Ilya O. Komov was born in 1965 into an old Moscow family deeply rooted in Russian history.


Ilya K. Komov is a Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Arts (2013), a winner of the Silver Medal of the Russian Academy of Arts (2007); Silver (2008) and Golden (2011) Medals of the Union of Russian Artists, prize-winner at the Golden Brush competition (1993); winner of the Grand Prix of the Moscow Artists’ Union (1997). He was awarded with the Honorary Diploma of the Russian Academy of Arts (1999). In 2000, Ilya Komov was selected as one of Millennium’s prominent figures at the Litsa (Persons) magazine.

In his creative work Ilya Komov draws inspiration from ancient Russian mural masters and follows the traditions of Russian art of the first half of 20th century (N. Gontcharova, Nicolas de Stael, Serge Poliakoff). His  vision and freedom enable the artist to reach the most intimate depths of images and add sharp emotionality of his works.

In 1983, after completing the full course at the Moscow High School of Arts, Ilya Komov entered V. I. Surikov State Academy of Fine Arts, from which he graduated in 1989. During his school years in Soviet times, Ilya Komov, together with his age group Yulia Rutberg (now a renowned actress), film director Aleksander Basov, poet Mikhail Bolduman, has, since 1980, been for several years a member of the underground art group Yar (The Ravine). He also participated in another underground artists’ union Kovcheg (The Ark). He was among participants at an open- air protest at the Arbat exhibition in 1987 as well as at exhibitions in the Central House of Medical Workers in 1988, one of the centers of non-conformist artists.  In 1991, Ilya Komov displayed his works in an exhibition at the premises of the popular literary journal Yunost (The Youth). In 1993 Ilya Komov showed his works at the exhibition of the art group Contract No. 13.

Since 1987, Ilya Komov has regularly presented his paintings at all the picture shows organized by the Artists’ Union, starting with the sensational 17th Young Artists Exhibition, and later on participated at exhibitions in the Manezh, The Central House of Artists, and other eminent art events. In 1991, Ilya Komov entered the Russian Union of Artists.

tuchbirThe first solo displays of paintings by Ilya Komov were held in 1991 in Helsinki (Finland) and in Serpukhov, near Moscow, at the City Art and History Museum.

Since 1996, Ilya Komov has been a regular participant in the project Russian Portrait – which presents portrait artworks inspired by long-time experience from ancient murals up to the newest forms of modern art using colour as an ultimate means for picturing the character’s nature and mood.

Within this project, Ilya Komov has presented several solo exhibitions – one in the Central House of Artists (2003, under the patronage of the World Health Organization), two others held at the Russian Academy of Arts (1998 and 2002), and one in the Reception Hall of the Embassy of Finland in Moscow (2002).

In 2002, Ilya Komov, with the musicians of the Bolshoi orchestra, started a new project, Russian Salons, based on the idea that color and melody are deeply related means of expression which shape and influence the soul of a human being. A performance with musicians playing at a rehearsal in the exhibition hall with their own artistic images in the background produced an extremely bright and vivid effect. The project received good and friendly coverage in the media, and Ilya Komov was distinguished with the Golden Medal of the Union of Russian Artists. The last exhibition within this project Image of the Music was held in 2011 at the F. Glinka Musical Culture Museum.

In 2005 – 2006, Ilya Komov visited India where he made a series of paintings presenting a special Russian vision of India. The artist enjoyed the honor of attending a private audience with Sonia Gandhi, the Chairperson of the Indian National Congress, who expressed her appreciation of his works. In 2006, in her letter on the occasion of the farewell exhibition of Komov’s works at the India International Centre, she again expressed her gratitude for the painter’s deep feelings towards India: ‘Thank you very much for your love of my people, so beautifully expressed in your paintings’.


In Moscow, Komov’s works from his Indian tour were exhibited in 2006 at the State Museum of Oriental Art, and after that in the Indian Embassy, and later on in the Vincent Gallery. Ilya Komov was awarded for his Indian paintings with the Silver Medal of the Russian Academy of Arts.

In 2008 – 2009, Ilya Komov, under the blessing of Amphilohije, Metropolitan of Montenegro and Littoral, travelled to this Adriatic republic. On his artistic trip through this Balkan country and during visits to its famous monasteries the painter created a large series of paintings under the title Life as a Miracle, recalling the renowned film by Emir Kustirica. This collection of paintings was exhibited at the Central House of Artists in Moscow in 2009.

Since 2010, Ilya Komov has frequently visited Paris where he worked on his portrait project In Search of a Human, in which his models were the French actors Michel Galabru, Julie Ferrier, Jean-Laurent Cochet, Brigitte Aubert (Catch the Thief by Alfred Hitchcock) and many others.

Since 2010, Paris has often witnessed Ilya Komov’s exhibitions at galleries in this city. In 2010, on the initiative of the gallery owner Mme Lilian Breau-Francois, Komov’s solo exhibition under heading The Voice Of Light was opened within the framework of the project A Russian’s ? Year in France. At this representative solo-exhibition in the Paris gallery Etienne de Causans (25, rue de Seine) Ilya Komov showed 42 of his paintings. This endeavor was supported by the Moscow gallery Les (‘Forest’).

citeIn 2011 two personal shows of Komov’s paintings were held in Paris at I-Gallery, Montmartre, and at the Petite Galerie in the Rue de Seine, and  London welcomed in the same year Mr Komov’s  Inner Light solo exhibition at Frameless Gallery.

Ilya Komov participated at the National Society of Fine Arts 150th anniversary  international exhibition in the Louvre (Carrousel du Louvre) in 2011.

Since 2012, Ilya Komov has been regularly working and exhibiting in the South West of France, in French Catalonia – Languedoc-Roussillon: Collioure, Ceret, Prats de Mollo, Saint-Laurent de Cerdans, Corsavy, Arles-sur-Tech, Argeles-sur-mer – as well as in Spanish Catalonia: in towns Besalu and Tapis.

In 2013 Ilya Komov participated in an artistic trip to Saint Martin du Canigou, the ancient monastery situated at one of the highest mountain localities in the French Pyrenees. This expedition resulted in a series of portraits The Face of Catalonia. Two years later, in 2015, the solo exhibition under same name – The Face of Catalonia – was arranged in La Capelletta, the major exhibition hall in Ceret, the famous city of artists.

Along with portraits of French actors, Ilya Komov made a series of portraits of leading Russian film and theater actors. These are presented in the project Duel, which the artist constantly replenishes with the new characters. The point of this series is that the artist presents the actors in scenes playing their best roles. All these portraits were painted live, in acting, and in a real living contact with the actors. In 2015, the Duel project was presented at the large Komov solo exhibition in the Alexander Pushkin Museum and received wide coverage by the main Russian TV and radio channels. In 2016, the series of Duel was nominated for the Russian Government Prize. Apropos, the theatrical paintings of Ilya Komov was the theme of one of the reports delivered at the 22th Art History Conference at the Russian Academy of Arts, and Komov was remarkably the only single contemporary artist whose works were discussed  at this forum.

машThe 50th birthday of the artist was celebrated with the large personal exhibition My Way  at the Academy of Arts at the turn of 2015-2016 .

In 2016 held a solo exhibition The Right to Light at the residence of the European Union Ambassador to Russia

All in all, till now, Ilya Komov has already had about 50 solo exhibitions in Russia and abroad. His works are kept in many museums and private collections in his motherland and overseas; among others, in the collection of the former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, in Sonia Gandhi’s collection, and in the collection of the former President of Finland, Mauno Koivisto.