In an attempt to find two artists who connect to each other, I am focusing on Dmitry Spiros in addition to Leonid Afremov.
From his website: "The subjects of his paintings are mostly city scenes, genre paintings, the sea, flowers, and portraits. Most of Dmitry Spiros's paintings are created using the medium of the palette knife, oils, and acrylic paint. Spiros is constantly finding new themes, subjects and creative approaches to use."
Interestingly enough, when you look up "Dmitry Spiros" on google images, two of the suggested/related searches are "Leonid Afremov Most Famous Painting" and "Leonid Afremov Dancers."
After watching this video I drew many connections between Afremov and Spiros. They both tend to incorporate linear perspective, creating a path with nearly symmetrical features on either side. In Afremov's case, it's the trees. In Spiros' case, it's the buildings. They also both use wet, reflective ground to create interesting light. They both also seem to enjoy painting streetlamps. Finally, both the painting in the video and Afremov's popular paintings incorporate small figures into the scene.
While the paintings themselves look rather different, they carry a similar feeling and I can see why people associate these artists with each other. They also both majorly use palette knives - Afremov only uses the palette knife, while Spiros uses it for large blocks of color and uses a brush for underpainting/scumbling and fine details. Another quote from his website that bears striking resemblance to Afremov, but in a more urban way - "Bright fantastic paint palette transmit the energy of the city streets, night city parks with lonely lights, cars and passers-by, and the rain in the pictures seem to lyrical and warm...
You can see in this section: autumn landscapes of cities, cosy evening streets, the lonely rainy city parks, seasons in urban landscapes executed in the technique - oil on canvas, palette knife."
I like the greater sense of realism in Spiros' art compared to Afremov's. While i do like the thick color in Afremov's, Spiros' paintings tend to feel more atmospheric, which is something I'm drawn to. They feel softer and more comforting than Afremov's. The marks are more rounded and gestural than than the quick, squarish marks of Afremov. There's also an interesting texture on "Night City" that makes it look as though you're looking through a glass panel with rain on it, like you're in a car looking out the windshield. I like the feeling his duller paintings give off, but not so much the vibrant ones.
Kristin Hines - Student artist at Maggie L. Walker Governor's School