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Ilya Schar was born in Moscow, capital of the former Soviet Union in 1945. Schar began his fascination with precious gems and minerals in early childhood and throughout his adolescence. What began as a hobby turned into passion, as well as a unique artistic quest. In his youth Ilya would often visit the Tretyakov Gallery and the Pushkin Museum where he developed an appreciation for painting.
In 1979 his family moved to Germany where they lived until 1999. He moved to the U.S. in 1999 and began exhibiting his work in art galleries and museums.Ilya Schar's explorations of color led Schar to see the true potential of gems as a medium of representation. Schar, a life-long collector of minerals,began using them as an art medium in the 70's and to create the artwork full-time after retiring from a career as an oral surgeon. Not a single stroke of paint is used in his three-dimensional works of art. Schar creates artworks which resemble paintings but are composed entirely of gem materials. He crushes and polishes gemstones to reveal the brilliant colors hidden. Each painting contains hundreds of different stones ranging in size from a bean to a grain of sand.
"I've always wanted to show that gemstones are not just for jewelry," the artis said. "Their wonderful colors can be used for many other purposes, which I've tried to demonstrate through my art."
He explored a broad spectrum of color and light and fine-tuned the true potential of using gems as a medium of representation.
Schar currently lives in Beverly Hills, California.
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