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Chelushkin, Kirill 1968–

Chelushkin, Kirill 1968–

Personal

Born 1968, in Abramtsevo, USSR (now Russia). Education: Institute of Architecture (Moscow, Russia), graduated, 1994.

Addresses

Home—Moscow, Russia.

Career

Illustrator and artist. Exhibitions: Artwork exhibited in Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Russia, and United States. Work included in permanent collections of museums, including Bozano Art Museum, Bologna, Italy; State Art Gallery, Kalingrad, Russia; Itabashi Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan; and Museum Ludvig, Köln, Germany.

Awards, Honors

Classics of Russian Literature in Contemporary Editions for Children award first prize, 2000; Russian Classical Literature Illustrations award nomination, Taipei International Book Exhibition; numerous other art awards.

Writings

Anna Carew-Miller, Hans Christian Andersen: Denmark's Famous Author, Mason Crest (Philadelphia, PA), 2003.

John Cech, The Elves and the Shoemaker, Sterling Publishers (New York, NY), 2007.

Illustrator of books published in Russia.

Sidelights

Breaking with the traditions that unify much illustration work for children's books, Russian artist Kirill Chelushkin creates unique images that draw readers in to the fantastic. Trained as an architect, he plays with perspective in imaginative ways, and inhabits his Escher-like settings with imaginatively disproportionate characters. In addition to his unique images, Chelushkin also breaks with another artistic standard: rather than use pencil and paper, he draws with various shades of graphite on plastic sheets, keeping his palette limited primarily to shades of grey. In addition to his picture-book work, Chelushkin is a well-known fine artist whose architectural-inspired drawings have been exhibited internationally.

One book featuring Chelushkin's art that has reached English-language readers is John Cech's retelling the traditional story "The Elves and the Shoemaker." Praised by School Library Journal contributor Kirsten Cutler as "strikingly illustrated and well-written," The Elves and the Shoemaker finds an impoverished and overworked shoemaker leaving his humble shop each night, then returning the following morning only to find that new shoes have been crafted from the scraps of leather on his work bench. Ultimately, when it is determined that these new shoes are being crafted by elves, the shoemaker and his grateful wife must figure out how to thank their nocturnal helpers. Chelushkin characteristically "plays with perspective and shadows" in his illustrations for Cech's tale, prompting Cutler to worry that the book's "slightly eerie look" might not be appropriate for younger children. In Booklist, Carolyn Phelan described the illustrator's "monochromatic" drawings as "dark, dense, and a bit puzzling," but dubbed The Elves and the Shoemaker "artistically accomplished" and "imaginative."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, March 15, 2007, Carolyn Phelan, review of The Elves and the Shoemaker, p. 50.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, July-August, 2007, Hope Morrison, review of The Elves and the Shoemaker, p. 454.

School Library Journal, April, 2007, Kirsten Cutler, review of The Elves and the Shoemaker, p. 120.

ONLINE

Krokin Gallery Web site,http://www.krokingallery.com/ (August 1, 2003), Selma Stern, "Kirill Chelushkin."

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