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Ivan Mikhailovich Yamberdov is a Honored Artist of Russia, a Honored art worker of MASSR, a laureate of the Mari El Republic State prize named after A.V.Grigoryev. He was born on September 16th, 1955, in the village of Chodrayal, Volzhsky district, the Mari El Republic. He studied at the Yoshkar-Olinsky art school (1971-1975) and at the Surikov Moscow State Art Institute (1975-1981). He is a participant of republican, regional, Russian, and international art exhibitions. His personal exhibitions were held in 1986,1988,1989,1997, 2001, and 2004 as well as in Estonia, Finland, Hungarian cultural center in Moscow.

Cultural traditions of the Mari people are interpreted in many his paintings ("Worship", "Life", "White Horse", "Interpretation", all in 1993). His characters are personified both in natural images and persons. By the association of ideas anthropomorphism appears in the image of a sacred tree which is compared to the image of a woman ("At an Old Oak" -1982, "An Ash-Tree" -1998, "June" -1992). The tree of life turns out to be Ovda ("A Ruler. An Eye") and looks like a transformation of an old woman from paintings "A Century" or "An Epoch" (from the triptych "The Universe", 2003).

New mythology is presented by I.Yamberdov in typical Mari archetypes: zoological (a horse, a bear, a wolf) and ornithological (an owl, a swine, a duck) images, an image of a world tree and heavenly bodies. The image of a tree in his works has many faces: sometimes it is a powerful oak ("Oaks" -1981-2002, "At an Old Oak" -1982), more often it is a fur-tree ("An Apiary" -1988, "Hope" -1992, "Worship" - 1993), it could be even some old tree with dried leaves and roots ("Roots" -1990, "A Shout in the Night" - 1990," Ancestors' Call" - 1999). Trees are the roots for the artist ("Moonlight Night"-1992, "Yamberde's Roots"-1992).

The images of women are very important structural parts of the universe in the paintings "Time of Expectations" (1990), "A Sunset" (1994), "An Age" (2000-2001).

The artist works on the myth of white horse birth out of a sacred tree. The horse becomes a symbol able to express various sides of existence: time and energy, beauty and harmony, life and tradition, past and future ("White Horse", 1991-1992; "White Horse" ("Ovda-Sola"), 1992; "White Horse", 1993; "Moonlight", 2002; "White Horse and the Moon", 2002).

The artist keeps handling the plot: a horse-herd running on an endless plain ("Red Horses", 1993-2002; "Colorful Herd", 1992; "A Turn", 1985-1986). Love, maternity and childhood are presented in the image of a horse and a foal ("A Mother", 1983-1994; "Interpretation", 1996).

A lot of attention is paid to male archetypes of a leader and a wise man: "Grandfather Miron" (1986), "Long Memory" (1990, "Generation" (1997), "A Saint" (2000), "My Grandfather (2003), "Chotkar" (2004). A mature man who knows natural languages, a wizard possessing extraordinary power- various sides of this character are depicted by the artist in such paintings as "Yuzo" (1992), "A Wood Brother" (1999), "A Wood Man" (1995), "Mari Chodyra ("Forest")" (1997), "A Host-Bear", "A Wood-Host" ("Kozhla Mari Oza", 2008). Close to it there is an important and complicated image of a bear which is perceived as a zoological image of a wise leader.

Ivan Yamberdov's images are presented to spectators in their meaningful richness and many faces.