‘Knight of Color’ back in town for Taste of Vail
VAIL – With his proven flair for bringing pleasures to life on canvas, the “Knight of Color,” aka artist Anton Arkhipov, is returning to the Vail this spring for Taste of Vail. Arkhipov designed the festival’s official artwork, a painting called “Once Upon a Time Over Vail.”
“Romance, food and wine, skiing and apres-ski – that’s our culture here,” the Russian-born painter and sculptor said. “It’s a good tradition.”Arkhipov, with a studio in Denver, is no stranger to Taste of Vail, having been invited to premiere his first festival-inspired painting, “Enchanted Journey,” last year. Sales of signed prints, posters, T-shirts and other items emblazoned with the image were wildly successful, far outselling those from previous years. He says this year’s painting – a 44 inch by 61 inch acrylic and oil on canvas – is more specific to Vail, and to Taste of Vail.”It’s a fantasy about a couple in love driving through the mountains to go skiing. They see a chef flying overhead with food and wine, so they follow him to Taste of Vail,” Arkhipov said. “It truly is the greatest escape imaginable.”
As with his other works, symbols have great meaning in “Once Upon a Time Over Vail,” Arkhipov said. A lit candle in the chef’s pocket, for example, represents “spirituality, the continuation of life”; the ’55 Buick convertible is “iconic for the American spirit”; wine is for “creativity”; and the food, of course, “represents Taste of Vail.”Known as the “Knight of Color” in the art world, Arkhipov was born into a family of artists. His father, a well-known Soviet dissident, was a great influence, introducing his son to the world of art at an early age. Showing early talent and drive, Anton graduated with honors from the prestigious Surikov College of Fine Art in Moscow, all the while hearing stories of freedom and dreaming of being an American. His “dream came true,” he said, and for many years now he has enjoyed an artistic freedom in America that he never takes for granted.
“Embracing life sets us free,” Arkhipov said. “Creativity starts when basic survival is met. We enter the realm of creativity through love, through celebration, through being enthusiastically and fully in life.”Arkhipov’s original paintings “Enchanted Journey” and “Once Upon a Time Over Vail” are for sale and on display now at Masters Gallery, 100 E. Meadow Drive, in Vail Village. This year, the gallery offers only 20 numbered prints of the latter, each signed and embellished by Arkhipov himself, for $2,995; another 15 one-of-a-kind artist proofs, in which the artist will personally customize the Buick’s license plate for the buyer, are available for $3,295. n addition, Masters Gallery is offering a special showing of a large body of his work on Friday, April 13, from 4-8 p.m.For more information on Arkhipov and his painting, “Once Upon a Time Over Vail,” or to buy a limited-edition print, visit http://www.mastersgalleryvail.com or call 476-0600. The 17th annual Taste of Vail happens April 11-14. For more information about Taste of Vail, or to buy tickets, visit http://www.tasteofvail.com, e-mail email@example.com or call 970-926-5665.