October 28, 2014

Alexander Emelyanov, Naive architecture-sculpture outdoors, frescoes on walls indoors

all pictures courtesy of Alexander Emelyanov

Life and works

Born in 1964 in Tashkent, Russia, Alexander Emelyanov in the nineteen-eighties studied paediatrics, and then settled as a hospital doctor in Samara, a city in the south-eastern part of european Russia on the east banks of the Wolga River. 

An industrial city, Samara is a scientific, educational and cultural center with a number of drama theaters, a ballet theater, an opera house, a philharmonic and various museums and art galleries.

Attracted to the world of art, Emelyanov in the late nineteen-nineties as a self-taught artist began making paintings in a naive style. In the course of the years he has made several hundred paintings (a selection of his paintings can be seen on the ArsenalArt website)


Around 2009 Emelyanov added another approach to his artistic activities by examining what he could create in the field of architecture and sculpting from an art brut point of view. 

The picture below has an early example of this new approach. Entitled Akvaduk 3 it is a sculpture that probably inspired Emelyanov to continue making creations in the context of akvaduktologa, a selfmade term that denotes a special variety of builded structures with uprights and girders. 

Akvaduk 3

So in recent years the garden around his house has undergone a transformation into an art environment by Emelyanov's acquaductologic construction of a huge structure made from used material such as old barrels, pots, parts of a refrigator, and so on, as pictured below.

 Akvaduk Tashkent 13

This impressive, highrising structure of 4 meters wide and 3 meters high (13.1 x 9.8 ft) along the garden's fence, entitled Akvaduk Tashkent 13, when seen as a whole has the potential of a spaceship, and hides in its details various imaginative scenes, such as the medics in below picture.

Akvaduk Tashkent 13, detail

Various other creative elements in the garden

The garden has been filled with various other items, such as puppets, sculptures, decorated walls, panels with texts or inscriptions....

Some totemlike sculpted elements and structures -as in above picture- mark the entrance to the artist's own art gallery, located in a small cottage. 

Frescoes indoors

Indoors Emelyanov has decorated the walls of two rooms with frescoes, executed with oil and acrylic paint.

One frescoe is entitled The temple of the first heaven, the other bears the name Paradise No 2.

Decorating the walls of a house in Russia traditionally is not uncommon, in particular in farmhouses in the countryside. However, Emelyanov's way of painting the frescoes is not traditionally at all. The style of his frescoes may have links with naive art, but then with a lot of references to contemporary ways of expression and themes.

In the same manner, the way Emelyanov has transformed his house and garden into an art environment, in particular his preference to work with cement and iron and with recycled material, is very much in line with other builders of art environments elsewhere in Europe.

With some of these creators, in particular those from Finland, he shares the non-traditional, visionary and often humoristic way of portraying of and commenting upon happenings around.

An ungoing affair

The naive architecture in the garden is an ungoing affair. In 2015 Emelyanov added constructions which depict an airport.

This airport is named F. Cheval 1, a humoristic reference to the famous french postman who created le Palais Ideal (the Ideal Palace).

The picture below portrays the control tower.

Happy landings !

The park museum

During 2016 Emelyanov expanded the scope of his activities in the field of outsider art environments, both in conceptual and in practical terms.

He took into service a Парк музей народного и современного искусства "Зубчаниновский (Park museum of folk and contemporary art "Zubchaninovsky").

Conceptually a mega environment, the site includes a piece of unused land located out of town. The office is equiped with a signboard and some smaller creations already have been arranged.  

Documentation/more pictures
* A selection of Emelyanov's (recent) creative constructions on the ArtMajeur website
* Facebookpage Narodny muzey igry  v soldatiki "Sasha Yemel'yanov" (The National Museum of the game of soldiers "Sasha Emelyanov"), began november 2014. This page has more pictures of the airport referred to in above text.

first published oct 2014, revised jul 2015, oct 2016

Alexander Emelyanov
Naive architecture-sculpture and frescoes
Samara, Russian Federation
visits on appointment only


  1. Большое Спасибо Хенк! Вы настоящий Мастер! Общение с Вами доставляет огромное удовольствие! Спасибо.

  2. Спасибо, Александр