Russian-Israeli-born Leonid Afremov was a modern impressionist artist. Created with oil paints and a palette knife, his works are alive with colour and movement. They have a unique beauty which is what makes his work exemplary art for the home - one of the main reasons why his art looks great as wallpaper murals.
In this article, discover more about Leonid’s journey. From his beginnings in Belarus with his supportive parents to when he decided to make the big move to the US. Afremov’s journey in becoming an artist wasn’t an easy one, but now he is regarded as one of the most talented impressionist artists to date.
Leonid Afremov’s early beginnings and education
Mural in photo: Cats out of Cuba
Leonid Afremov was an internationally recognised modern impressionistic artist who created paintings with a palette knife and oil paints. Born in Belarus in 1955, Leonid found his passion for art at an early age. His Jewish parents, Bella Afremova and Arkadiy Afremov noticed his talent and encouraged him to develop his skills. He would attend as many art classes as he could at school and engage in private lessons with local artists.
After graduating high school, Leonid attended Vitebsk Education Institute where he studied Arts and Graphics. It was here where he was exposed to the work of Marc Chagall, Picasso, Dali, Modigliani, and 19th century French Impressionism. All of which reflect in Leonid’s vibrant works of art today.
Family life and the start of his career
Mural in photo: Spirit by the Lake
After college, Leonid Afremov settled down with his wife, Inessa Afremova and they started a family. Meanwhile, his career began as a Label Designer for a local beer and liquor factory before becoming a Set Designer for a local theatre. In the early 80s, Leonid took on freelance work during the spring and summer for farms and schools. He designed and made various propaganda posters as well as creating themed rooms and walls for their events. In the winter, he would create paintings at home that were not allowed to go on show at government exhibitions because of his Jewish heritage. Instead, they were privately sold or given away for free.
After being affected by the Chernobyl disaster in the mid-80s, the Afremov family took the opportunity to move to Israel in 1990. However, because of being a recent Russian immigrant, Leonid still struggled to sell his art. During this time, he was unable to experiment and only produced work with acrylic paint and watercolours as it was what the people wanted. His son, Dmitry helped sell his father’s work with door-to-door sales and they soon created enough funds to open a gallery and frame shop in Ashdod. Soon after, Afremov was able to establish his identity and began experimenting with a palette knife.
In 2001, Afremov's gallery was completely vandalized. This led him to start a new life in the USA the following year. Although he had a few sales from galleries, Leonid Afremov was still unable to produce what he loved.
Success at last
Mural in photo: Farewell to Anger
It wasn’t until 2004 when his youngest son, Boris graduated from high school that he was introduced to eBay. People loved Afremov’s paintings and immediately, he saw a positive response. He started to make hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars! After a challenging start to his career, Afremov was finally seeing results.
There’s no doubt that Afremov could have given up on his passion on many occasions. He finally began creating art that he loved and also what the people loved. In a statement on Leonid Afremov’s bio, his paintings generally reflect certain personal memories and emotions. He traveled a lot and captured moments with photographs that he then translated into paintings.
Leonid Afremov’s later life
Metal print in photo: Sweetness
In the last 15 years before his passing, Afremov trained a group of professional artists from his studio to teach them his style of painting. At first, he would teach them to paint backgrounds and do pencil drawings and then Leonid would then finish all the detailed work. After, he began training his students to finish recreations for practice.
On the 19th August 2019, Leonid Afremov passed away and was survived by his wife, two sons and four grandchildren. His family is proud of Afremov who was a great man and a true inspiration. They intend to keep sharing his art with the world and aim to do so for as long as they can.
Some of our favourites
Mural in photo: Evening wall mural
We are proud to have some of Leonid’s most beautiful masterpieces in our custom-made wallpaper mural and metal prints collections. Relish in romantic scenes of couples walking amongst autumnal trees after rainfall and quirky Cuban cat musicians to majestic tigers and beautiful Mediterranean streets. All our murals are custom-made to fit the wall and are available to be printed on a range of high-quality wallpaper materials. Our beautiful metal prints are currently only available in the UK and can be enjoyed indoors or outdoors under a shelter.
Although we only have a small sample of his paintings available as murals and metal prints, if you have a favourite piece that isn’t shown on our website, we can request it on your behalf.