PAVEL VOLYKHINE – goes by the artistic nom-de-plume ‘PALEV,’ was born on July 30, 1961 in the small town of Ust-Labinsk, in the southern part of Russia that is part of the Krasnodar region.
From a very young age, he evinced a fascination for and attraction to art as expressed through listening to classical music and audio books on the radio, devouring art books, and then teaching himself to draw and paint. He started learning to play guitar as a seven-year-old, and a year later started to play solo trumpet with an orchestra.
From these early beginnings as a musician he began to develop a passion for music, poetry, and songwriting. He became a singer/songwriter–and eventually a rock star–traveling and performing throughout Russia and Europe during his young adulthood and appearing onstage with some of the biggest touring American musical stars: Carlos Santana, Willie Nelson, Diana Ross, Kris Kristofferson, Paul Young, Paul Horn, Billy Joel and many others.
Pavel moved to Los Angeles and continued his music career, attending Lee Strasburgh’s institute of acting and Charles Conrad’s school for acting on camera before switching up and heading to NYC to try his talents at writing, acting, and painting. He found his attraction to the visual arts calling out to him there and found that he had a natural ability that demanded expression. It was during this NYC sojourn that he developed a unique and specific style of his own. Once he picked up a brush and began to express himself on canvas the results were startling. He became prolific, his paintings exuded vibrant color, uniquely expressive of his intensely passionate nature, and imaginative in a way that belies his rough and bleak beginnings.