Mikhail Vasilievich Kopyev was born in 1947 in the city of Ufa near the Ural Mountains. After graduating from the Ufa State Institute of Arts, he taught at his alma mater before doing postgraduate work at the Repin Institute of Arts in Leningrad. Since 1986 Kopyev has lived and worked in the city of Vologda north of Moscow.
Specializing in painting, drawing and theatrical scenery decoration, Mikhail Kopyev has displayed his work at national and regional exibitions in Russia and abroad. In addition, he participated in the international «Expo-88» show in Australia and has had personal exibitions in Ufa, Vologda and Moscow. His work was most recently displayed this year at the Moscow Art Salon exibition in the Central Exibition Hall.
Mikhail Kopyev's paintings have been purchased by the Nesterov Art Museum in Ufa, the Vologda Oblast Gallery of Art, the Cherepovets Art Gallery, the Bashkiria Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation. His paintings can also be found in private collections in Russia, Israel, Germany, France, Italy and the United States.
In the paintings of Michael Kopyev audience stare with interest, plunging into the author's thoughts, agree with him or find his own interpretation of what he saw. By and large, it was Michael Kopyev returned to everyday life art Vologda 1980s art tableau with characteristic classical features of plot unfolded, special narrative rhythm, composition, a color and meaning. However, he found his own style and imaginative reflection of ideas of time. Most clearly, they sound in the works, the subject turned to the spiritual quest of man. Bible and New Testament stories, over which the artist works in all the years of creativity, not only reflect his own thinking about the world, but also in tune with the ideas of concern all of us today.
A special place in the portrait genre of artist takes a well-known composer, born in Vologda land Valery Gavrilin.
Historian of arts Dr Mikhail Sokolov about painting of Michael Kopyev: «His paintings are like illustrations to accompany some text that was never written or legend that was never told. It is presumed that we have the text in our minds. You take a closer look and «interactive» dialogue begins, if we use computer-influenced language of nowadays. A painting portrays and a spectator in silent contemplation tells the story. For this very reason as if to provoke us Kopyov so often paints conversation interrupted by meditation. He paints something that is willing to be told but is not able to. An impulse on our part is needed».
Historian of arts Valentina Kechemaikina about painting of Michael Kopyev: «Mikhail Kopyev is an «old fashioned» artist. His art does not shout, does not provoke, does not destroy. His is not the avantgarde credo of resistance. He is not at home with any -ism from the endless maze of twentieth-century culture. At heart, he is a classicist — his exquisite hand recalls the drawings of the classical artists, while the imagery, themes and subjects of his paintings return us to the works of the German romanticists and the artistic visions of the Russian symbolists of the turn of the last century. His art is the embodiment of artistic memory. Combining his diverse talents with philosophical musing, subtle irony and paradoxical wit, the artist is an open advocate of traditional language. The existence of absolute artistic values which always find their refraction in contemporariness is indisputable for him <…>
The artist is cosmic and pantheistic in his outlook. Reality cannot exist outside the spirit. Everything is an agent for Holy Light. This may explain why the sky is one of Kopyev's key symbols. It is not by accident that the artist devotes a significant part of his work to it. The sky – as a symbol of all that is transcendent – dominates the heroes in his paintings, keeping their existence in check. Cloudy or clear, dynamic or peaceful, the sky is always a source of the spiritual, a sign of what is eternal and sacred. All events occur against the background of the sky».
Michael Kopyev about himself: «I love the element of tradition in art. Because in any instance we are only continuing the language that existed before us. I think that's why it's necessary to always consciously look at what is eternal. While I love even the most extreme developments in art in the abstract, I tend to take conservative stands in what I do. I strive to blend into my surroundings without upsetting, and so I sometimes have to restrict myself in terms of color and boldness of stroke. It seems to me that what I do assumes some sort of «quiet conversation». If you like, take it as my philosophy».