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Taste of Vail welcomes 'Knight of Color'

CREATED: 2006-03-16 03:02 PM


Taste of Vail welcomes 'Knight of Color'

VAIL, Colo. - Organizers of the 16th annual Taste of Vail fine wine and culinary extravaganza, April 5-8, are proud to announce "Enchanted Journey," a painting by Colorado's Anton Arkhipov, as the festival's official artwork this year.

"Anton's really into food and wine and the lifestyle that we live up here in Vail," says Paul Ferzacca, owner and executive chef of Vail's La Tour restaurant and a member of the board of directors for Taste of Vail, benefiting Vail Valley Charities for 16 years.

Arkhipov created "Enchanted Journey" especially for the Taste of Vail. The original oil-on-canvas painting - measuring 63 inches by 68 inches, including the frame - is now for sale and on display at Masters Gallery in Vail Village. A limited edition of 100 hundred prints also are on sale now through the end of the festival; at last count, eight already have been sold.

"I'm the only painter who does après-ski," says Arkhipov, 43, known for using symbolism as part of the fantasy in his works. "I like to break dimensions. I paint my world; that's the beauty of being an artist."

Known as the "Knight of Color" in some art circles, Arkhipov is an original. Born into a family blessed by generations of artists, his father, an artist himself, was a well-known dissident in the Soviet Union. So young Anton grew up around the world of art and knew at an early age it was his calling. Through many years of intense schooling and rigorous training in all aspects of art, Arkhipov comes to us thoroughly free to communicate in a language of creativity seldom seen.

"In my paintings, the figures invite the viewer to feel their own individual experiences and circumstances. The round face is the face of our souls, the observer observing ourselves," he says." The characters in my work are meant to be universal. I have invented a single, anonymous person, and I place that person in different situations to which we can all relate."

Now based in Denver with a studio on W. 29th Street, Arkhipov has enjoyed a successful career, decorating the walls of many pleased collectors over the years. Finding inspiration from his enthusiastic patrons, he says his evolution as an artist continues as he strives to reach even higher levels of artistic brilliance.

"'Enchanted Journey' uses symbolism as part of a fantasy," says Kevin Frest of Frest & Royce Fine Art in Healdsburg, Calif., which represents the artist. "It's inspiration is après-ski; it's about the good life and love."

Peggy Jo Sivert, curator at the South Bay Contemporary Museum of Art, in California, says Arkhipov's application of symmetry and symbols "help to conjure the invisible divinity and express the duality" between the divine and its material expression.

"Arkhipov's use of symbols, phrases and colors of the ancient past are not meant to be narrative or literal interpretations," Sivert says. "Instead, Arkhipov uses color as a form of expression, creating elegant compositions. The viewer is drawn into the canvas in a natural attraction to the graceful balance of color and imagery, which evokes a compelling sense of harmony."

The Taste of Vail was created in 1990 by a group of Vail Valley restaurateurs as a marketing event to showcase the resort's world-class restaurants. Now the internationally famous community boasts more than 20 Wine Spectator award-winning restaurants - the most of any resort community in the United States. This year, as many as 5,000 attendees and volunteers are expected to participate in the 16th annual Taste of Vail, with chefs from more than three dozen local restaurants and winemakers and/or owners of six dozen wineries from around the world participating.

Taste of Vail is a charitable, nonprofit organization. Over the past 15 years, the festival has contributed more than $300,000 to Vail Valley Charities; and in 2005, in conjunction with Ritz-Carlton, the Taste of Vail donated $13,000 to the Hurricane Katrina relief fund.

For more information on "Enchanted Journey," call Masters Gallery at 970-477-6600. For more information on Anton Arkhipov and his work, visit, call Frest & Royce Fine Art at 707-433-1577, or e-mail or

For tickets to the 16th annual Taste of Vail, or more information, visit or call 970-926-5665.

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