Viktor Lyapkalo painter
Mitchell Pluto
3 min

States of Figuration, a Correspondence with Viktor Lyapkalo

3 min

I encountered difficulties in collecting factual information on Lyapkalo’s thoughts to write about. The following is a correspondence with Viktor Lyapkalo which resulted from sending him a message. I'm grateful that Viktor made time to reply. Before sharing our correspondence, I got Lyapkalo’s consent to share his thoughts on art.

Viktor Lyapkalo Russian artist

Fig 1. Viktor Lyapkalo

Viktor Lyapkalo Nude

Fig 2. Viktor Lyapkalo

Viktor Lyapkalo painter

Fig 3. Viktor Lyapkalo

Viktor Lyapkalo

Saint Petersburg is home to Viktor Alexandrovich Lyapkalo, Виктор Ляпкало, a painter from Russia and the Soviet Union.

Viktor was born in Ukhta, Komi Republic, a region known for its industry and oil production. The continental subarctic climate of Ukhta is also well-known for its long, freezing winters and short, warm summers.

In 1987, Lyapkalo graduated from the I. Repin Institute of Painting. Since the late 80s, he has been in exhibitions. From 1990 to 2009, Lyapkalo held one-person shows in Marburg, Munich, Hesse, Saint Petersburg, and Amsterdam.

Lyapkalo dedicates himself to creating artwork featuring landscapes and nudes. His artwork is present in many private collections, both within Russia and worldwide.

Viktor Lyapkalo chubby nude with tuba

Fig 4. Viktor Lyapkalo

Viktor Lyapkalo chubby nudes

Fig 5. Viktor Lyapkalo

Power of Narrative

In the Soviet Union, socialist realism was the dominant style of officially approved art. It maintained its dominance from the 1920s to the late 1960s. The primary aim was to ensure the safety of ordinary citizens, promote the reverence for the leader or productive individual, and establish historical legitimacy through artistic representations.


Joseph Stalin classified social realist artists as ‘engineers of the soul’ and acknowledged their role as cultural workers. The political ideology of social realism placed greater importance on narrative than on the artist’s subjective interpretation. Art was used to promoting state propaganda.

Borderline Kitsch

Recognizing the paintings’ realistic portrayal of people is key to appreciating their merit. In today’s world, social realism can display a borderline kitsch quality with its sentimental and commercial elements.

Viktor Lyapkalo nudes in the water

Fig 6. Viktor Lyapkalo

Viktor Lyapkalo nudes in the water detail


Viktor Lyapkalo Chubby Nude with partner and cat

Fig 7 Viktor Lyapkalo

Viktor Lyapkalo chubby nude and male partner

Fig 8. Viktor Lyapkalo

Viktor Lyapkalo chubby semi-nude in chair

Fig 9. Viktor Lyapkalo

In the extended Premium edition the artist shares his view on his aesthetics and style, and many additional images of his chubby nudes.

Click HERE for an article the plump aesthetics of Fernando Botero

Let us know your thoughts on Lyapkalo's full-figured sensuality in the comment box below....!!