The Garmash’s impressionistic works show their mastery of the figure and their ability to translate sensuality. The Garmash’s incredible talent is only matched by their love and career stories.
Both Michael and Inessa Garmash were born in Russia where they were schooled and studied art. An early starter, Michael Garmash began painting at the age of three. By age six Michael Garmash started his formal education at the Lugansk Youth Creative Center. Recognizing rare, natural talent, his teachers sent his works to a variety of exhibitions in the then Soviet Union. Ms. Garmash, born Inessa Kitaichik in 1972 Lipetsk, Russia, has excelled in the arts since early childhood. Inessa Garmash entered the Lugansk Fine Art School at age fifteen. At seventeen Inessa Garmash was accepted as that year’s best undergraduate to the Lugansk State Fine Art School.
Michael won first prizes at several juried exhibitions, including the Lugansk Regional Juried Exhibition-1977 (Best Poster), the Czechoslovakian International Youth Competition-1978, and the Hungarian International Art Competition of Circus Related Art-1978. Graduated valedictorian from the Lugansk State Fine Art College in 1987, In 1992 he began studying at the St. Petersburg Academy of Art. Prior to graduating at the top of his prestigious school’s class, Mr. Garmash exhibited in France at galleries in cities such as Paris, St. Etienne, Avignon, Lion and Marcel.
Mr. Garmash has also excelled in the creation of stained-glass windows and received an honorary medal for his work in the Suvorov Military Museum in St. Petersburg.
During the 90s Michael and Inessa worked with French dealers selling their paintings at many prestigious auctions.
Starting 2000 they began to work on the US market and had 2-3 exhibitinos every years in Santa Fe, Chicago, Carmel, St Augustine, San Diego, Valencia, San Francisco, Hawaii, etc.
Michael and Inessa won several International awards for their portrait work and are considered to be one of the most important figurative artists working on the US market.
After college graduation Michael had to serve 3 years in the Soviet army. During his 1st vacation, he came to his hometown and visited his art college. As he was walking out, he spotted a beautiful girl on the bus stop by the college, which showed him a cold shoulder when he tried to approach her. As he says, “for me, it was love at first sight.” Michael took a taxicab to follow the bus and saw where she lived. When it got dark, instead of going back to the army like he was obligated to, Michael started painting the portrait of the girl on the wall of the building her window faced. When morning came, Inessa saw her beautiful self, painted on a wall of a 4 story brown brick building. Michael, however, was not standing by his creation because he was arrested by the military police.
The next time he had a vacation from the army and came back home, Inessa heart was opened for the romance.
In a year they were married and to commemorate their first meeting, Michael climbed the electrical pole by the bus stop and hung a garland made of daisies that his bride wore for the wedding ceremony.
The couples’ artistic voyage began after Mrs. Garmash, seeing the damage their 2 year old daughter had done to her to husband’s painting and not wanting her husband to be upset, fixed the painting using her own training. Mr. Garmash submitted the painting for review and was praised for completing his best work ever. He was surprised to see the “new” painting and immediately recognized his wife’s hand. Michael and Inessa Garmash have painted together ever since.
1998-2000 – The Atelier (Jeffrey Watts), California: Abstraction Method
1995-96 – L’Ecole Albert Defois (Ted Seth Jacobs), France: Restructured Realism
1994-95 – Palomar College, California: Drawing and Composition Study