Interview published in Top Printmaking, 2018
Watch the things my way.
Every life is unique no matter whether it is human, animal, city or buildings. Their life stories are created by numerous moments: interesting, bright, boring, monotonous … different.
I’ve been working with objects for a long time. I inspired myself studying the details of their life history. Those were ordinary things such as bicycle, clothes, shoes, utensils. I was focused on investigating dishes and cups for a long time – I have no clear explanation why, but perhaps because of the possibility to read them more clearly. Coffee, morning, alone, together … evening, tea, alone, together …
Long-standing still life has taught to watch and see, read and listen. I learned how to feel life.
I am not a hermit, but spend a lot of time in the studio alone with my thoughts and objects that surround me. No, I do not hide from people at all – I just got used to it and I feel myself comfortable spending time that way, as it gives me an opportunity to feel the flow of life.
One day it became clear that the most interesting things for me to watch is the city in which I live. It was not a sudden occurence. For several years, I went to the studio the same way almost every day – in summer, winter, autumn, spring. The weather, seasons, people’s clothes, car designs, advertising boards were changing, and the city was rushing or going down to whisper, but it was never silent. You just need to stop and listen to its exciting sounds. So I began to read the architecture, which for me was a monumental chronicle of life.
I am often asked about the reason why I do not work with the architecture of the old city, famous tourist places of my city, and buildings with a hundred years history. The answer is simple – I like the different areas and types, but I do not choose what to portray and how to express, just some things I’ve already read and felt.
I use linoleum in my work, even though it is simple and almost childish. Maybe because it gives me an opportunity to work on an old, used material, the one that lived here for 40-50 years. Sometimes I feel like an ancient builder who uses only local materials in his work.
On the last series of works “Where I Am” I have been working for more than four years. It is dedicated to the places I see every day from the window of my apartment, while going to the studio or returning home and its every moment was unique.
I consider myself to be a happy person, I do not seek and do not wait for exciting moments or surprises. All life is one totally unique and exciting moment.
“The Right Direction” is one of my most favorite linogravures, as it perfectly expresses my attitude to life, my way home and to myself.
LINOCUT – the way I do it.
In the early beginning, when I was a student, I started my creative search from etching and collagraph techniques. I’ve created one series of prints in each of them. It took me a two years to find a lino. Even don’t remember where I found a first peace of material and my first tools. But I remember my first prints.. It was real challenge for me to find my own way..
So, how I do it –
I checked all possible materials of different lino manufacturers and now I prefer old and used linoleum (40-50 years), made from more natural components. It soft enough, good for small and delicate markmaking, never crack. Where I take it? Mostly in garbage, near reconstructed old, “soviet” times buildings.
And sure my friends, and simply people who knows I’m an artist (even from FB), send me or deliver lino to my studio. GUYS – thanks to everybody!!!
Many people ask me what type of curving tools I use. My answer – sharp, handy and usable. Pfeil, Flexcutmicrotools and made by local handymen, U-gouge and V-gouge… different. But prefer the smallest V-gouge.
3. Image transfer.
First step, as many artist I make a sketch or drawing of future image on paper.
And second step – I just draw this image on linoleum by black markers or pens. Sometimes I do not make sketches, only drawing on lino. So I cannot say anything useful about transfer process.
I work really slowly. The big size (50cmx70cm) takes about two month of time.
Small size, like 20×20 – about 3-4 weeks. (About mark making – to make small round dots use the smallest U-gouge you can find.)
For printing, I prefer smooth and plain paper. It’s the best for small and delicate lines. Black ink that I use – good quality professional typographic ink (mostly made in German)