Comments by experts 

 

 

Culture Adviser to the President of the Russian Federation

Président de la Maison Bijoux "Marshak" Dominique Blanshar.

Of the Armory Chamber of the Open-Air Museum “Moscow Kremlin”

Head of Metals and Stone Department of  All-Russian Decorative-Applied and Folk Arts Museum

The art critic from Sanct Pitersburg

Owner of Saatchi Gallery, London

Stroganov Moscow State University of Arts and Industry

 

        “Objects made by Andrey Lvovich Mandjos impressed me a lot, because each of them is marked by unique artistic expression. I was amazed by the fine artistry and rich colors of his pieces. The artist can be credited with a great achievement in setting a new trend, which organically combines jewelry art, monumental art, and applied and decorative art, while revealing new facets of Russian enameling traditions. Andrey Lvovich Mandjos was awarded the Certificate of Merit for his contribution to national and world culture, the invention of a brand new art: "Stoving Enamel Mosaic " and for its exhibition on February 5 to 26, 2007, at the Administration of the President of the Russian Federation “. 

Culture Adviser to the President of the Russian Federation, Y.K. Laptev

 

"MARCHAK "

PARIS

Dominique de Blanchard:

" Pour Andrey artiste exceptionnel qui partage la philosophie de Marchak pour le beau et l' unique et avec lui je serai heureuse de creer des merveilles Amities

de Blanchard

Moscou 27 octobre 2007"

 

 

Enamel mosaics by Andrey Lvovich Mandjos

“Mosaic composed of a huge number of tiny copper plates covered with polychrome enamel is the copyright of Moscow’s enameller-mosaicer, graduate of the Stroganov School, Andrey Lvovich Mandjos. 

This new technique using classical material, despite the existence of mosaic and enameling techniques that have existed for centuries does not have any parallels in the history of mosaic or in the history of enamel.

It is easy to trace the origins of the artistic method of A. Mandjos. He transformed the technology of tessera mosaic in order to use it for making jewellery enamel so that his enamel resembles tessera. The artistic preferences of the author were shaped by the genius of M.V. Lomonosov who had “absolute pitch for color and paints”. It took the author about two years to complete one piece, the portrait of M.V. Lomonosov himself. It was labor-consuming manual work, a lengthy production process including the baking of tiny pieces of metal with polychrome enamels, with each color having its own melting temperature; it also included the assiduous assembling of mosaic on a flat surface or in three-dimensional shapes, which required amazing patience and thoroughness. By using this new mosaic A. Mandjos created unique objects that were inspired by the world’s famous masterpieces; they allow us to enjoy a totally unexpected aesthetical experience.  Since all the enamel elements of the set have their own micro-volume, they deflect and reflect light individually; his artwork gives a special graphic and sculptural expression and preciousness of formation imbued with sparkling light.

Art pieces of different ages and styles arranged by the technique of Andrey Mandjos possess new decorative vibrancy, a brightness, depth and sonority of paints, which only pertains to enamels. Apart from wall panels and mosaic pictures, the artist has created portraits, sculptures, interior elements, cult objects and home utensils, mosaic furniture, jewelry, decorative elements for cars and yachts. By using the absolutely new capabilities of his technique, Andrey Mandjos was the first one to use enamel for making mosaic frames of icons and books, as well as crucifixes and Easter eggs, clothes and accessories, plus stained glass enamel mosaic”.    

Senior Fellow of the Armory Chamber of the Open-Air Museum “Moscow Kremlin” L.N. Peshekhonova 

 

 

Enamel art. 21st century.

          “Moscow-based enameller-mosaicer Andrey Mandjos stands out among other artists who contributed to the development of enamel art; he invented his own new trend in art, the enamel mosaic. His contribution to the development of traditions of Russian enamel art has become more evident every year; the collection of his mosaic pieces has become increasingly famous not only in Russia but also in the rest of the world.  

          The history of enamel making is thousands of years old, beginning with Ancient Egypt. Originally, enamel was applied to metal castings, then cloisonné enamel appeared followed by painted enamel and enamel miniature.  This is a unique situation because altogether intuitively, driven only by his passion and interest, Andrey Mandjos started to experiment with enamel mosaic and discovered a brand new field within the art of enamel in the beginning of 21st century. 

Hot enamel always has been regarded as a difficult material because it is hard to process, and any such items are valued as jewellery. The properties of hot enamel are comparable to those of precious stones, but it offers a much wider range of capabilities. The circle of artists working with hot enamel has always been narrow and their customers throughout history have included high-class people. By inventing the technique of enamel mosaic, Andrey Mandjos has positioned hot enamel as a cutting-edge innovation as far as authoring art and creative materials are concerned.   

At first glance there seem to be no difference between mosaics made of stone, smalt or enamel. However, the point is not that the artist invented a difficult enameling technique, but rather, that he realized and felt very well that enamel applied to mosaic creates an absolutely different effect as far as artistic visual perception is concerned. In fact, enamel mosaic retains the full range of coloristic and precious properties of enamel plus it allows working in the field of fine art, i.e. mosaic pictures, along with any type of décor and ornament. Enamel is based on glass and these properties of enamel as a glass mix help make visual artistic impression impossible with any traditional mosaic materials.   

For Andrey Mandjos his enamel mosaic is not merely his profession or work but rather a lifestyle. He invariably sets new artistic objectives to be achieved by means of his invention and fulfills them. His artwork is always recognizable within respective root systems, schools and genres; these include figurative pieces, ornamental motifs and decorative solutions ranging all the way from jewellery to large interior sets which designers and architects can use in their projects. By means of the art of enamel he creates a new imagery, looks for individual and advanced solutions thus bringing the enamel art up to date, making it interesting and sought after in the 21st century, harmonizing it with the times we live in. 

As you look at the end product of Andrey Mandjos, it seems easy to make but enameling technology with its multiple bakes and very difficult material is a real challenge to an artist, specifically, the problem of colorism. His achievements in the field of enamel art are very impressive and every year his art becomes more mature and attracts increasing attention from his fellow artists and the public. In recent years, his art has been thoroughly analyzed by art theorists and art critics. Few artists can say they invented something within an old genre of art, especially with regard to an established genre with its own system of perception stereotypes.  Andrey Mandjos made it. 

The art of enamel mosaic and any mosaic in general is a premium art and therefore it needs to be nourished and supported. Typically, all objects related to mosaic are made on order as part of large-scale projects and require adequate funding. In Russia it was Lomonosov who started making mosaics and this art was patronized by Russian emperors. Nicholas I used his own money to pay for Russian artists who studied in Florence and Rome and then created famous pictures in the St. Isaac Cathedral, this is why today we can boast Russian mosaics and other preserved works of art.  

The art of Andrey Mandjos is perfect for shaping the image of Russia as a great cultural nation, which is high on the agenda today. Andrey Mandjos devised an ambitious project, which he named Enamel Room (by analogy with the Amber Room) and in order to implement it he seeks the input from art sponsors, his followers and disciples.

Concerning the contribution of Andrey Mandjos to national heritage, it is worth mentioning an example of the French state approach to such matters, because the French system of support for national heritage proved to be the most similar to our Russian system, i.e. in France they greatly care for and support both the national artistic heritage and the ‘living heritage’, that is, those who maintain age-long skills and tradition of working with various art materials. 

Enameller-mosaicer Andrey Mandjos fully fits into these two evaluative categories, i.e. national heritage and living cultural heritage. And the circle of people who understand and realize this will broaden more and more, as happened in early 20th century when the activity of two leading Russian jewelers, Ovchinnikov and Faberge, was perceived by Russian society as a matter of national pride and a nationwide phenomenon. In a similar way, the art of Andrey Mandjos can be rightly perceived by us as an indicator of today’s level of the national cultural heritage”. 

Head of Metals and Stone Department of  All-Russian Decorative-Applied and Folk Arts Museum, honored art worker,   A.A. Guilodo

 

Mosaic revolution in the field of enamel

"Russia can surprise and please by means of fine arts..."   

 M.V. Lomonosov

“In the early 21st century, Moscow-based artist Andrey Mandjos invented enamel mosaic technique which can be regarded as a new type of fine art. In a nutshell the invention combines two absolutely different types of art, i.e. the art of mosaic, best represented by M.V. Lomonosov who organized in Russia the first mosaic production, and the art of hot enamel, the brightest representative of which in Russia was the school of Carl Faberge. The invention of A. Mandjos can be fully appreciated by those who know what stoving enamel is like and who know how difficult it is to bake together at least a few shades of color. By way of experiment A. Mandjos discovered a simple but ingenious solution: he used small plates covered with stoving enamel, which serve as elements of mosaic to create a whole image, given that each shade of color is pre-baked separately. Surprisingly, no one has arrived at this simple solution before; even Carl Faberge for some reason made his only one mosaic egg from stones rather than hot enamel.  

First results went above and beyond any expectations when sculptured objects and mosaic panels composed of many rectangular drop-shaped elements sparkled and glistened with all colors and shades. All the precious properties of enamel were retained in this new technique while the palette broadened to the extent that it may be likened to a revolution in the art of enamel. It took time for the artist to arrive at his invention; he began with the study of the principles of Lomonosov with regard to smalt mosaic, thus proving to be a true follower of Lomonosov’s school; then he experimented with hot enamel and eventually studied the capabilities of enamel mosaic. In his work Andrey Mandjos organically combines powerful color expressionism with the exact depiction of individual spiritual images of his contemporaries. Having creatively developed the principles of M.V. Lomonosov he does not elaborate each element of the face or fine details nor does he draw sharp outlines, but rather he magically blends a few polychrome fragments into a whole image, thus conveying an overall impression of the object. In addition, the artist actively applies to his mosaic the principle of the decorative spot which makes his style reminiscent of the best achievements of impressionism and even ancient methods of icon paining. 

As far as the style is concerned, it is worth mentioning a clear-cut classicism of the artist which is brightly expressed, for instance, in the Portrait of Mikhailo Lomonosov. This festive, literally royal portrait seems to have been made many centuries ago, owing  to the brilliant and perfect workmanship and very integrated and figurative depiction of the spiritual essence of this great Russian enlightener. Thanks to a great number of tiny mosaic fragments the portrait fully resembles a painting. The artist seems to show that his technique has the flexibility and expressive power of oil painting and by far exceeds it as a precious material. Often he uses plain classical subjects but, because he represents them in such a decorative, fresh and vivid way, and elaborates the background so deeply and experiments with color combinations so boldly, he cannot be confused with anyone else. Each of his pictures gives a feeling for the fiery element – this impression perhaps owing to the properties of hot enamel. Each tiny square is put in its own place with a purpose, not automatically; each grain of color is meaningfully charged with specific visual information. This thorough technique along with the artist’s own bright inner vision explains the uniqueness and originality of his art which stands out from the crowd of modern spontaneous paintings.

Each work undertaken by the artist including his coat of arms, mosaic parsuna or incrustation on porcelain is of excellent quality, is thoroughly devised and creates a profound image. However the most amazing is his meticulous technique especially when the artist mentions how many enamel elements were used to make one particular artifact. For example, the portrait of Lomonosov is made of 13,650 units and his panel “City on the Neva River. Mosaic Tour of St. Petersburg” consists of 18,421 units. It is a rare artist who would dare to carry out such tremendous work. However, it is this thorough manual work which arouses the admiration of his contemporaries and explains the high price of A. Mandjos’ artwork, and undoubtedly the portraits made from enamel mosaic are the most expensive in the world.  

Just imagine that the processing of one tiny plate covered with hot enamel requires up to 28 jewellery-making operations, that creating one whole image from these dot-like particles requires enormous creative concentration, almost a rite, and you will realize that such a labor-consuming process makes the prices of objects made from enamel mosaic equal to the price of mosaics made from precious stones and in some cases exceeds it, especially when using stained glass, miniature and micro-miniature fragments, the so called Faberge Molecules. His piece ‘Russian President Vladimir Putin’ is by far more expensive than any existing portraits of Russia’s second president and its starting price at any European auction would be at least 500,000 Euros. However, due to the amazing uniqueness, great public impact and strong attention attracted by the new art from all sides, we ought to admit that the exceedingly high price of his artwork is worth its historical value. Andrey Mandjos is a phenomenon in the art world and his pieces are likely to be the crown jewel of any museum, collection or exhibition.

The art of Andrey Mandjos and the unparalleled charm of his enamel mosaics are the recovery of extinct traditions of Russian art, which formerly was so much in demand in the world. And this is only the beginning; soon thanks to enamel mosaic Russia will have a new school of mosaic art with revived spirituality, traditions and new vision of the role of creativity in our lives; and the main project of the artist, the Enamel Room museum, will be carried out. 

     Art critic   M.A. Andreev

 

     “Very happy to see your work on the gallery site.  I am thrilled that the standard is so high from such a variety of artists and hope it will be interesting to gallery owners, exhibition curators and collectors to see such diverse work. All my best, Charles Saatchi”.

     Owner of Saatchi Gallery, London

 “Your new method of making mosaics was demonstrated to students and teachers of the university and they showed profound interest in your art. For the first time ever we saw mosaics made of tiny copper plates covered with polychrome jewelry enamel. The idea of this technique is amazingly simple but the process and materials are very difficult. It is excellent that you introduced this novel art right at the beginning of both this century and the third millennium”.  

     Rector of Stroganov Moscow State University of Arts and Industry A.A. Dubrovin 

 

      “Before anything else I would like to point out the high artistic quality of mosaics exhibited at the Stroganov Moscow State University of Arts and Industry. I was most impressed by the unusual mosaic technology using the combination of mosaic and enameling technique which enriches the exhibited objects and allow the artist to ensure close affinity with the originals. The works of Andrey Mandjos are marked by the clear-cut outlines, thorough elaboration of the images and balanced color mix. I would wish Andrey Mandjos further progress in bringing this unique technology to perfection”.

     Head of Department of Academic Sculpture,  Professor, Honoured Art Worker,  G.D. Zhilkin

 

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