top of page

Alexander Kanevsky – a modern-day Renaissance Artist

Alexander Kanevsky looks poised to be an artist on everyone’s radar for 2015. The Soviet-born,  U.S.-based artist is a man of numerous talents: From at one time working in cancer clinics as an oncologist to practicing alternative medicine today, He writes poems and plays, is an accomplished  novelist, and a noted scholar and sculptor. His work as a painter brings him the most satisfaction.  With a style as unique as the man himself, he has garnered particular praise in Italy, where he is referred to as “Il Maestro d’Arte” and “Grander Maestro.” It’s hefty praise for an artist  from  Princeton, New Jersey.  Italian pundits are not known for having any sort of affinity for foreigners.  Having had several exhibitions in Italy this year, as well as being featured on Italian TV, Kanevsky has found his place on the peninsula that brought us Michelangelo, Donatello, Raphael and Leonardo Da Vinci. Whereas most 21st century painters have rejected popular movements of the past several centuries, Kanevsky’s style combines the high renaissance art of Michelangelo and the aforementioned Da Vinci.  Indeed, Alexander Kanevsky’s male figures are highly evocative of Michelangelo. Kanevsky’s paintings also evoke the romanticism of William Blake, the surrealism of Marc Chagall, Salvador Dali and Edward Burro, Fauvist impressionism and German expressionism — all with a modern and extraordinary vision.

Kanevsky is undoubtedly a modern-day Renaissance Man. His creative corpus contains works of various sizes. However, many are expansive, multi-layered compositions, strong on symbolism and of a broad and far-reaching range of subject matter that serve to demonstrate Kanevsky’s multi-dimensional character.

Indeed, it seems to be Dr. Kanevsky’s depth of character and his life experience that provide the themes and give shape and form to the contents of his artwork. His medical training and practice appears to inform his paintings because the themes deal with death, disease, suffering, dysmorphism, aging, the psyche and the human condition to reach an opposition of Eros and love.  In his poem, Pigeons and Rats, Kanevsky writes ‘that from this art originated my medicine.’ We could say that from this medicine originated his art! The swollen limbs that are so pervasive in his art could be interpreted as the swollen limbs that accompany liver and other cancers — the very cancers that an oncologist treats. Death and dismemberment are recurring and binding motifs. Indeed, death is something of a leitmotif in his artistic output that is able, in a realm of the very same captured moment, to transform the entire theme into a power of healing, passion and evocative glory. Other themes such as existential torment and transmogrification could point to the hallucinatory effects of medicine and drugs. Users of certain prescription and non-prescription drugs often report vivid, surreal and bizarre dreams. Could it be that some of the scenes of terror that he depicts are a commentary on modern dependence on drugs? We do know that Dr. Kanevsky is a proponent of alternative medicine and natural healing. His paintings are strong on symbolism and some can be construed as allegorical in nature. Alexander Kanevsky — “Il Maestro d’Arte” is a man of science and a man of deep faith, and there are religious  themes aplenty in his paintings. Fragmented and conflicted scenes are sometimes attended by a celestial presence, and figures often look skyward. How do we interpret them?

Alexander Kanevsky uses his hands to answer the questions we all want to pose. In many of his paintings, the themes are juxtaposed to depict nightmarish scenes that are at once powerful, shocking, horrific, engaging, controversial and challenging. Whatever the response that may be elicited from the spectator, one thing is certain: the paintings are unforgettable! Obviously highly-educated and intelligent, Alexander Kanevsky’s imagination seemingly knows no bounds. William Blake, the Romantic poet and painter held that imagination has far greater importance over slavish imitation of nature. It could be argued that imagination is the highest form of intelligence, in which case Kanevsky’s imagination transcends the ordinary and the dull to achieve extraordinary expression via his paintings, sculptures and writings.  Kanevsky’s works are a window into his mind. It is the mind of a bold, fascinating and outstandingly talented man. For more information please visit


bottom of page