Ep 31 Featured Image Podcast

Collaboration – Igor Kozlovsky and Marina Sharapova – Ep 31  

May 25, 2022


I believe it is the artist’s role to show us, in the trail of their art, who they are and who they are becoming. The more we can feel them, the more we can connect to their art. But what if you were not alone in your art-making? What if there was someone else? Then the lens with which you create could become remarkably more expansive. What this would make possible is hard to imagine for most of us solitary makers. 

But not for Igor Kozlovsky and Marina Sharapova. They met while still attending art school in St. Petersburg, Russia. But it wasn’t until many years later, after immigrating to the United States, that they began collaborating to make their paintings. Today, the husband-and-wife team create gorgeous oil paintings that showcase and push the differences between each other, the representational and the abstract, the modern with the traditional, and as you will soon find out, the wild and fiery with the meditative and serene. Join me now, for a peek into this beautiful, almost storybook collaboration of art-making. And in this case, certainly, life-making.

Listen if you are interested in…

  • The love and art story of Igor and Marina [3:31]
  • Exploring art collaboration within a marriage [10:15]
  • The unique perspective Marina brings to the work and creating the atmosphere of a story [13:50] 
  • The gifts and challenges Igor and Marina bring to the collaborative art-making table [19:34]
  • The evolution of Igor and Marina’s art collaborations and the road ahead [29:45]
  • The logistics of Igor and Marina’s life and art practice [35:45]
  • Igor And Marina’s advice to aspiring artists [43:04]

Marriage and art-making

Have you ever been deep into the art-making process and felt like something was missing? What if that thing was another person? That is exactly how husband-and-wife duo Igor Kozlovsky and Marina Sharapova started making art together. One day, Igor drew a small square in the center of a canvas. He told Marina to try and paint something inside the borders, and Marina obliged with a small portrait. Those who saw the work were intrigued, so Igor and Marina continued collaborating with increasing frequency. However, it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows.

Like any relationship, there are fights. And when you make art as a part of that relationship…I can’t even imagine the emotional intensity in that studio. Yet, Igor and Marina made it through those tumultuous days by developing a delicate balance in their art practice. If Igor has an idea for a painting, he paints the background and tells Marina what to do. Likewise, when Marina develops the initial concept for a painting, she has most of the creative control. It’s a beautiful give and take that requires a lot of patience and humility from both sides. While they can’t work on the same painting simultaneously, they each take turns with the canvas, bringing a fresh perspective with every brush stroke.

Creating the atmosphere of a story

Admiring a painting done by two different artists is such a unique experience. When I look at Igor and Marina’s work, I can feel which parts came from who. Marina’s contributions create fascinating characters who live in Igor’s abstract backgrounds. Marina is always looking for where she can add value to a painting. She wants to find the perfect thing that goes with Igor’s style or that fits into the overall story of the work. The two love to create pieces that put seemingly contradictory things together, like a renaissance character in a modern setting. It gives the impression that there is a deeper story there, but you can’t quite put your finger on it. Rather than tell a story, Igor and Marina set out to create all of the anticipation around a story. They create the atmosphere for a narrative because they want their work to engage our imaginations. The art brilliantly invites you to tell your own story and build connection with it.

Two souls, one canvas

Marina and Igor use the canvas to combine things from the past and the present. They also use their art to create a combination of each other. It’s remarkable work because of how much they need to rely on each other. My goal with Art2Life is to teach artists how to use more and more of themselves in their work. Taking all of their flaws and assets and using them as fuel to create authentic work and be their most authentic selves. The fact that Igor and Marina are doing that with an entirely different person is absolutely incredible. Their collaborations possess a vastness that could only be created by two souls combining on one canvas. The result is art that is both contrasting and cohesive, a delightful contradiction that stirs the mind and leaves you wanting more. 

Connect with Igor Kozlovsky and Marina Sharapova

Connect with Nicholas Wilton


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Nicholas Wilton

Hi! I’m
Nicholas Wilton
the founder of Art2Life.

With over 20 years experience as a working artist and educator, I’ve developed a systematic approach that brings authenticity, spontaneity and joy back into the creative process.

Join me and artists from all over the world in our Free Art2Life Artists Facebook Group or learn more here about Art2Life.

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