Vladimir Patalakha was born in 1918 in Feodosia (the Crimea). His unusual abilities to painting became perfectly obvious from his childhood. He also loved music: he sang very well, played the guitar and mandoline. He was fond of gymnastics. In 1941 the World War II started. As all the people who lived in the territory occupied by the fascist troops, he suffered hardships, cold and hunger. After the liberation of the Crimea he started his Army service. Then he tried to enter some of the Moscow Art Colleges. But he was not admitted because of the severe medical diagnosis: a monoculous eyesight, as a result of a hard disease. He could see with one eye only.

When returned to the Crimea in 1948 he entered the Musical School in Simpheropol and at the same time he started his career of a singer in Philarmonic. But after catching a cold he lost his voice and he left the Musical school.

In 1949 he entered the Fine Arts school in Simpheropol and in 1954 he successfully graduated from it. Those days this school was giving high level of education to those students who wanted to become masters in painting.

By that time he got married. Vladimir Patalakha hated the idea of teaching Drawing and Painting at the secondary school. That’s why his activity as painter confined itself to random earnings. The Art Department refused to give him work because he hadn’t protection and institute diploma. But he didn’t leave the idea of expressing his feelings and emotions in his own canvases. So, in 1958 he started traveling all over the Crimea. The Crimea landscapes touched his heart. He became an out-of-door painter. He observed country scenes; he fell in love with the Crimea. So his first works were: “Morning in the Blue Bay”, “Lavender in a Full Bloom”, “Sea near Sudak” and others. In these pictures, besides his good hand shown in color and his method of painting, his romantic and very tender soul was perfectly expressed.

The spring of 1959 was very fertile. The painter went to the Volga region where he painted a lot of landscapes: “The Volga Backwater”, “The Town Plyos at the Sunset”, “The Bank of the river Volga” and so on. At the beginning of summer 1960 he was there again. He painted “The Barges on the Volga”, “Sura Spring”, “The backwater in Vasilsursk”. The awakening of nature and a spring flood, Russian villages and country churches were there in his pictures. His soul was captured up with the beauty of the Russian nature. But the painter could not exhibit his canvases. The government officials said that the Soviet people didn’t need such landscapes. His pictures were not shown to people. And to earn his living he had to paint to a very cheap order.

In one of such very difficult moments of his life he went to the conclusion that he had to go to Moscow — the capital of the former USSR. Many talented and highly skilled people had great expectations for Moscow. And Vladimir Patalakha succeeded there. Two famous artists Porphiry Krylov (one of the “Kukryniksy”) and a professor of Fine Arts Boris Yakovlev were shown his pictures and his pictures were highly approved by them. They wrote a letter of recommendation he needed for entering the Union of Artists. They wrote: “Making acquaintance with Vladimir Patalakha’s works we can make a conclusion about his great talent and professionalism. His landscapes are deeply emotional, the description of the native nature is very serious, deep and sincere. The painter possesses the ability of feeling a color and has got a good hand and taste”. His several the Volga landscapes were bought by the officials of the Fine Arts Fund in Moscow.

Having returned to the Crimea, nobody noticed his creative work or his personality. And he came to the decision to leave the Crimea for Khirghizstan where in the town of Osh he could work in his own studio. But the fortune didn’t smile to him there: the intrigues there were the same. He couldn’t get rid off the system. From those years only sad and bitter reminiscences had left, and his canvases. He was painting there the most beautiful lakes of Sary-Chelek and Issyk-Kul, the mountains of Tyan-Shan the unique walnut forests of Kyzyl-Ungur,the waterfalls of Arslan-Bob. The nature has always been the best doctor and the best friend to him, it gave him the inspiration and consolation. Here, in Kyrghizstan he became a skilled master of the out-of-doors painting. All his paintings were quite realistic. He became a master of painting on paint. The method consisted in putting tiny touches of pure and transparent colors onto the canvas. The color-mixing gives us an optical effect between the canvas and the eye of a beholder.

In 1989 the painter came back to his native land. And he painted there the cycle of his pictures called “The Flowers of the Crimea”. In 1998 his first and the last exhibition took place in Simpheropol Fine Arts Museum. He was 80 then. The delighted opinions were expressed in the words: “Dear Valdimir Ivanovych! I hadn’t visited exhibitions for many years due to family reasons. But you have alived my soul. Your landscapes gave me a lot of joy. I could feel that I am back to mountains, sitting on the rocks near the sea. Your flowers are so real that it seems that you can take the bouquet. You have possessed so pure eye and soul, connected altogether. God bless you! N.S.Sklyarenko, Simferopol.”

His last day was the 14th of October, 2005. Till his death he didn’t lose the interest to life, people and Art, in spite of his illness. He never complained of his Fate, because he was absolutely sure, that his life was less dramatic in comparison with the other people of art, who didn’t find the understanding, help, who became mere drunkards, or were perished in the II World War or “Gulag”. The only thing he regretted was that the time had run away and he could have created even more masterpieces. The beauty has always been and will always be necessary for people.

Vladimir Patalakha’s pictures must be exposed in home and foreign art galleries. Probably, it will happen one day.

But so far you can see his reproductions in our virtual Picture Gallery. The person that has eyes will see.
(Biography facts were taken from the family papers and mass media)