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The owner of the company was born in the former USSR.
He became an artist over the years 1980-82 under the impact of Pavel Zaltsman, the only remaining at that time living follower of Pavel Filonov . After that he himself began painting icons back in the 1980s.
In 1990, Alexander Deriev converted to Catholicism. In 1991, he and his family left the USSR for the Holy Land. The State of Israel, however, deprived the whole family of Israeli citizenship only because they had declared themselves Catholic. What is even worse, the government of Israel refused to let the family out of the country. Nevertheless, living in East Jerusalem, Alexander worked as volunteer at Saint Peter in Gallicantu Church. He also organized the Russian Catholic Society of St. Jude Thaddeus and published the Russian-English newsletter Joy of Resurrection as well as several books in Russian and English. One of them Who Is Who in the Churches of Jerusalem being considered as candidate for the Albert Outler Prize of American Society of Church History. Moreover, many international periodicals have published reviews of this book, and the AFORISMA Publishers is presently working on its German edition.
In 1994, Alexander Deriev recorded his first CD for the Helicon Records Company. This SD is entitled Russian Sacred Masterpieces, and it features music performed by The Society of St. Jude Thaddeus. So far, Alexander Deriev has compiled and produced over fifty CDs for several Israeli and one British companies (The Divine Art
). His CDs emphasize rich musical traditions of various Christian denominations.
Finally, Alexander Deriev is a renowned icon painter. The icons painted by him can be found in many churches in the Holy Land, USA, and Europe as well as in private collections.
In 1999, after numerous requests of Church officials as well as many articles published in mass media, the State of Israel finally let the family of Derievs leave for Sweden and the USA. After receiving an invitation from the Catholic and Lutheran bishops of Sweden, the family of Derievs left for Stockholm to participate in an ecumenical conference. While there, they asked for political asylum.
Presently, Alexander Deriev and his wife Regina Derieva
, a well-known Russian poet and essayist, live and work in Marsta (suburb of Stockholm), where Alexander is painting some icons and preparing for publication several new books and magazines. At the same time he is teaching icon painting in different institutions across the Sweden.