Igor Ignatiev was born in November 1937 in Kremenchug, Ukraine. During World War II he lost both of his parents and was raised in a children’s home. He started drawing in his early teens. He was fond of drawing still life using flowers, trees and fruit as subject matter. At this particular time in his life, Ignatiev considered painting as a mystery, and viewed painters as Magicians.
After finishing his primary education, Ignatiev enrolled as a student at Oddessa College. After finishing his studies, he enlisted in the Black Sea Navy and became a seaman, stationed in Kerch.
His main profession was graphic design. He explains, “At first, I could not give serious attention to painting. During Soviet domination, there were opportunities to practice painting, but something prevented me engaging myself in the effort to bring forth my visions on canvas. Now I understand that it was ideology.
We were not free and we did not feel liberated at that time. When I look through old art magazines, I see how poor, with small exceptions, that the art was at that time.”
Fortunately, Ignatiev could travel in the U.S.S.R. at his convenience. He lived Magadan, Kirghizia near Lake Issyk, Kul and in Kremea. His love for painting seems to grow with age. “Now I feel I have a second wind and a strong desire to work”.