Our Artists

Ilya Volykhine

Based in Devonport, Auckland, Ilya Volykhine is a critically acclaimed New Zealand figurative artist.

Most recently his work was selected as a finalist in the 2023 Molly Morpeth Canaday Award, and also a finalist in the 2021, 2018, 2017 and 2016 Walker & Hall Art Awards, where he won for his figurative art. He was featured as a finalist in the 2016 Adam Portraiture Award. His international accolades include works in the Archibald Prize at the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the Blake Prize for Religious Art, the Jacaranda Drawing Prize in Australia, as well as, featuring in the Benneton family's Imago Mundi New Zealand Kiwi Consciousness Collection in Italy.

Ilya was born in the USSR and he and his family have lived all over the world; Ilya has exhibited and held residencies worldwide, from New York to Estonia and he is a Citizen of New Zealand & Australia. Since moving to New Zealand in 2009, Ilya has exhibited throughout New Zealand in both solo and group exhibitions. Similarly, his artwork can be found in numerous private, public, and corporate collections worldwide.

Ilya Volykhine’s paintings are darkly comic, sometimes poetic, the characters within his pictures battling their way through the anxieties and joys of life, and his narratives are loose, playful and chaotic. What lies at the heart of his paintings is Volykhine’s intuitive process, his willingness and confidence to allow the story to unfold as he paints, with his expressive brushwork opening up a space for his characters to breathe, to take on a life yet unexplored.