Mission My sculptures capture a moment frozen for eternity. But each of them has a longer story to tell. The thoughts, hopes, memories and fears that have shaped me as a person likewise shape my works. My creativity is authentic and electrifying precisely because it is a metaphoric translation of my life’s struggles and experiences. My sculptures are inspired by ideas of tolerance and acceptance of our diversity. I want to challenge the viewer to a discussion, perhaps even a heated debate. In fact, I welcome divergence of opinion.
Conversation I create sculptures to provoke and communicate. My art is always an invitation to a dialogue, the beginning of a conversation. My work reflects the world around me on a metaphysical level. It reveals the pain and inner turmoil, the truth, love and beauty that lie beneath the image we project.
My Job I think of myself as a surgeon that cuts through the skin to cleanse the wound and help it heal. I am fascinated by our dualities as human beings, imperfect, scarred, flawed and at once magnificent, freedom loving and strong. My job is to scrape away the accidental, to dig beneath the façade. I must capture what is inside and bare the indestructible human soul, the good and the bad in it. I want my sculptures to inspire new ways of thinking and lead to greater understanding and tolerance.
To Heal I want the viewer to understand how ultimately fragile we all are and at the same time how strong and resilient. I want my works to awaken positive feelings, to empower and have a healing impact.
My Roots My passion to communicate ideas of beauty and pain through art largely comes from my father, a well-known Russian artist whose works are on display at the Russian Museum in St. Petersburg and in private collections. My father cultivated my taste and encouraged my creative side. Early on, he noticed that I had a natural gift for music. He persuaded me to continue my education as a classical pianist and singer.
The Choice of sculpture as a form of artistic expression was far from being something I consciously intended or planned. I just found it to be the best way to express myself and connect with others. When working on a sculpture, I feel the clay and I trust it. The process of creating a sculpture can be short or long, but it is always agonizing, a battle between two combatants: the forces of order and chaos, the mental image and its physical embodiment, my hands and the material. In the end, the clay always succumbs to the demands of my imagination and my will.
How (the process) Ideas for a new work come to me in mysterious ways, difficult to explain. Choosing a subject presupposes a conscious, perhaps, pragmatic inner decision. It starts with an evasive image floating in my mind. To implement an idea I need to sense its special message and feel the soul hiding deep beneath the surface. I am enticed by the true self within every human being, inspired by the question of ‘who’ behind a face. To portray it I have to become that person, almost like an actor who for a time identifies with a role.
Freedom I believe that the provocative style of my sculptures is in tune with the times. To be lifelike today a piece should create the effect of movement, vitality and disrupted rhythm. The absence of symmetry in my works has its own balance and special harmony. It offers me greater freedom to explore new techniques and helps to deliver the message in its most pure and simple form, without imitating reality or embellishing it.
Compassion Capturing life’s strange irregular heartbeat, I strive to depict the timeless human predicament within a personal vision of hope and resilience, and with faith in the healing power of love and compassion.