“Outside of commissioned portraiture, I am most excited about my work with traditional cultures across the world,” says artist Pavel Sokov. “I am fascinated by the narratives, textures, traditions and people I encounter throughout my world travels, which birthed my series Stories of the World.” Most recently, Sokov spent a month in the Omo Valley of Ethiopia, where he stayed with six different tribes, which inspired his current project, The Stories of the Tribes of Ethiopia. The works showcased here offer glimpses into Sokov’s travels, transporting you to Kyoto, Japan, Taipei, Taiwan and the Omo Valley.
“My goal is to carry across the interesting personalities and stories of the many people I meet, and in so doing, show the diversity the world has to offer,” says Sokov. “With my works, I want to make you feel like you are really there with the person in the painting, and are taking part in an adventure. Rather than embellishing or romanticizing my encounters, I focus on creating paintings that are most accurate and representative of reality, without any judgement.”
In the painting of the tribesman Arjan Arboro, Sokov felt it important to depict him in his natural environment, surrounded by the mountains he sees everyday, along with cattle, central to life in the region, in the distance. In the painting of Maiko Fumisono in Kyoto, Japan, an apprentice geisha, or maiko, is showing off her orange obi.
“As I progress in my pursuit of sharing the ‘stories of the world,’ I am moving towards increasingly rare and difficult to visit places and people with the goal to share their culture that you may not know much about,” says Sokov. “I am always looking for adventures off the beaten path.” —
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