Dima Suljakov

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Gondola into the Distance

Vadik Suljakov (Dima) was born in 1960 in Moscow, the cultural center of Russia. He comes from an intellectual family with many generations of artists and writers. Vadik, known only to his friends as "Dima";, began painting at the age of seven. At age twelve he started his formal training at Moscow First Art School. He continued to study the fundamentals of painting and drawing and established the solid skills of a master artist. While in college, he was given the opportunity to visit Italy and France and took part in student exhibitions. It was then that the charm and beauty of these countries left an indelible mark on Dima. He was enchanted by the awe-inspiring cities and towns steeped in history and began painting the beautiful landscapes and city scenes that he admired on his travels.

After college, Dima spent three years in the Russian Army. During this time, he honed his graphic arts skills, all the while continuing to paint for himself the European images that captured his imagination.In 1990, Dima left Russia like many other artists had done, because they were asked to tie their art to politics. He began to establish himself as one of the most distinguished impressionists in the country. He spent a year in New York City with a group of other artists from his native Russia, working as a commercial artist. In 1991, he moved to Southern California, and settled in the picturesque town of Laguna Beach. Dima was able to make a living by selling his paintings and built a small following of collectors.

Often commissioned to paint portraits for families in affluent Orange County, California, Dima has continued to refine and perfect his signature style of vibrantly colored, textured painting. Working from sketches, thousands of photographs and vivid, cherished memories, Dima continues to create magical scenes that convey a timeless sense of history and old world beauty. He has continued to evolve over the last three decades as an American painter, transitioning from cityscapes and landscapes that delicately capture the beauty of the old and new world to doing heavily textured abstract works. He also continues to do commissioned artwork of people and pets. Recently recognized by the Chalmers Institute as one of the premier Russian impressionists living and working today, Dima has garnered numerous awards, including Laguna Beach of the Year 2001, Long Beach Art Gala Distinguished Artist Award 2003, as well as featured artist at the Piermont, New York Art Festival. He is a featured artist at Coast Gallery Laguna Beach, although his works continue to sell internationally.