Boris Kulikov (1966–) Biography
Personal, Addresses, Career, Illustrator, Sidelights
Born 1966; immigrated to United States, 1997; Education: Institute of Theatre, Music, and Cinema (St. Petersburg, Russia), graduated, 1992.
Agent—c/o Author Mail, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 19 Union Square W., New York, NY 10003.
Illustrator and painter. Formerly worked as a set and costume designer in Russia.
Lore Segal, Morris the Artist, Farrar, Straus & Giroux (New York, NY), 2003.
John Lithgow, Carnival of the Animals, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (New York, NY), 2004.
Nina Bernstein, Magic by the Book, Farrar, Straus & Giroux (New York, NY), 2005.
Kathleen Krull, Leonardo da Vinci ("Giants of Science" series), Viking (New York, NY), 2005.
Yelena Romanova, The Perfect Friend, Farrar, Straus & Giroux (New York, NY), 2005.
B.G. Hennessy, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (New York, NY), 2006.
Kathllen Krull, Isaac Newton, Viking (New York, NY), 2006.
Kathllen Krull, Sigmund Freud ("Giants of Science" series), Viking (New York, NY), 2006.
Kate Banks, Max's Words, Farrar, Straus & Giroux (New York, NY), 2006.
Nancy Crocker, Betty Lou Blue, Dial Books for Young Readers (New York, NY), 2006.
Linda Heller, The Castle on Hester Street, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2007.
Contributor of illustrations to New York Times Book Review.
Born and educated in the former Soviet Union, illustrator Boris Kulikov graduated from St. Petersburg, Russia's Institute of Theatre, Music, and Cinema before immigrating to the United States in 1997. He worked at a variety of odd jobs before establishing his artistic career as an illustrator for the New York Times Book Review. Expanding his clients to include the Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times, among others, Kulikov eventually found a way to make a much-hoped-for transition into children's-book illustration. His first illustration project, Lore Segal's Morris the Artist, drew critical praise and many other illustration opportunities. Among his more recent illustrated books are Carnival of the Animals by actor John Lithgow, Magic by the Book by Nina Bernstein, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, by B.G. Hennessy, Max's Words, by Kate Banks, and The Perfect Friend, the last by Kulikov's wife, writer Yelena Romanova. The illustrator's "witty illustrations" for The Perfect Friend "are sure to intrigue children and adults alike," noted a Publishers Weekly contributor, while in the same periodical another critic wrote that "Kulikov's voluptuous pen-and-ink" drawings for Magic by the Book add to the work's "elegant storybook feel."
Kulikov's illustrations for Morris the Artist stand out due to their contrast with Segal's modern story line about a creative boy who is unwilling to relinquish the gift of artist's paints he has brought to a friend's birthday party. Drawing from his training in theatrical costuming, Kulikov dresses the story's characters in clothing from a more-distant era, such as sailor suits, fedoras, and even knickers. The illustrator's "creative style … is enhanced by his brightly hued palette," commented a Kirkus Reviews critic, while a Publishers Weekly reviewer stated that "an off kilter, funhouse feeling pervades the full-spread compositions, and the children … sport big heads … and eyes with the unsettling fixed gaze of marionettes." Gillian Engberg, writing in Booklist, called Kulikov's artwork "noteworthy," writing that "an unusual, visually stimulating story about the dynamic of children's play and letting creativity loose."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Booklist, August, 2003, Gillian Engberg, review of Morris the Artist, p. 1990; November 1, 2004, Diane Foote, review of Carnival of the Animals, p. 485; April 15, 2005, Jennifer Mattson, review of Magic by the Book, p. 1464.
Kirkus Reviews, May 1, 2003, review of Morris the Artist, p. 683; March 1, 2006, review of Giants of Science: Isaac Newton, p. 233.
Publishers Weekly, April 7, 2003, review of Morris the Artist, p. 66; June 30, 2003, "Flying Starts," p. 18; April 15, 2005, Magic by the Book, p. 57.
School Library Journal, March, 2005, Caitlin Augusta, review of Magic by the Book, p. 206; March, 2006, John Peters, review of Isaac Newton, p. 243.
Boris Kulikov Home Page, http://www.boriskulikov.com (May 10, 2006).
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