..but rather a great number of diverse icon writing styles. Icon writing is inclining towards an original icon, when the author's style is becoming more independent and easily recognizable. Yakov Stepanov's exhibition shows that he differentiates style from canon. Following the canon, he expresses his artistic freedom and looks for new expressive means.
His paintings created within the icon writing tradition are real masterpieces, not simply replications or copies of ancient images. At the same time, Stepanov manages to preserve canonicity, severity, and prayerfulness while creating his painting.
Each of his creations becomes a highly artistic work. He conveys his massage so that it could be heard, he writes so that his painting became a revelation for someone. His images pass from the transformed reality to the earthly existence. Stepanov lives in a modern world devoid of harmony, but strives to achieve it, filling trivial images with a new meaning. His works reflect his emotions, as he wishes that a woman would remember her mission, that a mother would be proud of her role and enjoy motherhood, that the connection between children and parents would be indissoluble, and that the father would always set the example for his children. Any image he creates is unique, because the inner beauty is so.
Admiring exhibited paintings of Stepanov, it is worth paying attention to the eyes of their characters. They may be described by a famous expression: "the eyes are the mirror of the soul". They also contain the emotional key to the image. If you compare the paintings, you will see that it may be merciful or terrible, attentive or detached. The emphasised eyes create an impressive effect, as if it is not you who is looking at the image, but the eyes are looking at you. This is not an emotion, but eyes that the master successfully depicts in his paintings. The ones that emanate light, make the soul warm and settle in the memory of the viewer leaving them overwhelmed with impressions of new meanings.