The metamorphoses of artistic growth provide the continuity of painting that endures as an experience passed on from teacher to student, adopted by the student and enacted in the work of both participants of this dialogue. The teacher's portrait is a lush green bush. This is not the entertaining metamorphoses of Archimboldo, nor is it a metaphorical allegory that hints at the personality of the portrait’s subject. It is an image of bountiful blooming, an apotheosis that bestows its vitality. The teacher is creativity that removes any obstacles in the way. The teacher is a living life that knows no end, that is contagious and continues living in the student.
The student's portrait is also not composed using the collage principle and does not use a system of analogies and comparisons to represent his identity. The student is not a sequel or a victim of the teacher. A hundred years ago, masters of the school of formalism insisted that apprenticeship means to challenge the system established by the teacher, to engage in uncompromising debate in which the student who is carrying on his teacher's work finds his own voice and discovers his convictions. This is the essence of the modernist understanding of tradition, shared by Vitaly Pushnitsky and evident in the student's portrait. The student — a helmet with a lowered visor and an impenetrable bunker — lives by the teacher's generosity, but always makes his own way and sticks to his guns. The student either leaves the teacher, or remains in the unenviable role of the epigone — an eternal student, an apprentice, a child who has not grown past the mirroring stage. This creative rivalry is the life of art, its organic movement forward.