RICHMOND – Artist Zmiya Mochoruk of Richmond once lived in the south of France, but he never made it to see the master works at the Louvre in Paris.
That is until last week, when Mochoruk flew to Paris to have his work, “The Awakening of Eve,” shown in an exhibit at the famous museum during Le Carrousel Du Louvre Art Expo 2016.
Another artist and fan of his on social media invited him to show a painting when a spot opened up. Mochoruk spent the next three weeks planning his trip and working on his painting, an oil on canvas with a biblical theme that fit well with the artist he would be showing with.
“[It was received] very good,” Mochoruk said. “I was surprised at the amount of interest in my piece, considering there are hundreds of pieces there, all by European artists, with very few from the states. A lot of TV crews and other artists came by and gave their congratulations and really enjoyed what I did.”
He also took the opportunity to finally visit the Louvre.
“It was pretty awe-inspiring. It’s so much bigger and so much grander than I had expected, really, it was overwhelming,” he said. “It’s all such a blur. … It’s just masterpiece after masterpiece after masterpiece.”
Since returning home, Mochoruk is focusing on his other art, tattoos. In May he opened Arkane Ink, 10331 Main St., Richmond, located inside the AEON Gallery, where some of his paintings also can be seen. Although he has been painting for about 28 years, he took up tattooing in 1999, he said.
“I went through kind of a painter’s block,” he said. “Another artist told me to try another medium. I had a couple of years and an extra $10 grand laying around and went and got an apprenticeship. [I] thought I would just tattoo for one day and turned out to be pretty good at it.”
He spent the next almost two decades developing both of his talents, the success of his new shop coinciding with the success of “The Awakening of Eve.”
Through the contacts he made at the Louvre show, the painting next will be shown in Cannes, France, and Art Basel, an international art fair in Basel, Switzerland.
“They do a lot of big name exhibitions, and so now that I’m kind of hooked up with these guys, we’ll see where it goes,” he said.