q)Walk us through an intimate day in your life.
a)It was quite a long time ago. My friend and teacher, famous photographer Boris Mikhailov (winner of Hasselblad prize) used to constantly criticize my works, even tear them down. Once I made a very intimate project “Adultery”. It was dedicated to the theme of evolution of the psychology of a man living two lives – one with his wife and another with his mistress. Boris looked at it very precisely, then he hugged me and congratulated with a great job.
q)Where did you grow up/where do you live now and how does that contribute to your art?
a)I was born and still live in Kharkiv. I identify with the
of Photography’s middle generation. This was the generation that debuted in the
1980s. It had no official recognition or state support. Consequently, our
esthetics has been largely driven by the desire to be an artist in hostile
circumstances. The lack of photo studios meant we had to turn to our private
space, where our tiny apartments, our personal and even intimate life became
the proving grounds for our art. The unavailability of high-quality equipment
and materials led to the emergence of “poor quality” as an esthetic category. The
absence of any formal education, funnily enough, made photographic art more
intellectual, produced as it was by humanists and assorted freethinkers. Our
existence outside the socialist context critically distanced us from the Soviet
art system and the political structure in general. Kharkiv School
q)What is your earliest memory that propelled you to create?
a)I was nurtured in a very intelligent family. Since childhood I was deeply interested in music, dances, I was spending a lot of my time on reading, movies and theatre. While I was in my adolescent ages film directing and acting classes were absorbing all my time. Thus I can say that since my childhood I was into the creativity.
q)Tell us a little bit about your creative process.
a)My art is a three-way junction of ideologized Sots Art, deeply private conceptualism, and frighteningly simple realism.
As an artist, I study personal relationships in various social environments. Sometimes a snapshot is just raw material, and I come up with a complex system of image processing to turn a realistic photograph into an epic installation. I use individual shots like puzzle pieces to create a single picture, a single exhibit-worthy organism.
q)How do you wish for your art to be perceived?
a)I would like my works to be interpreted by recipients. With new project I create my own secret language. The code to it lies in sensitivity. It is crucial for the recipient to feel firstly, and through that feeling to comprehend my art.
q)What do your internal dialogues sound like?
a)I am in the constant search for the striking and actual ideas that will touch everybody. I suggest letting go of the purported credibility of a captured fact and rewriting, reimagining events through the prism of personal experiences, which are always true, being given us here and now. Contemporary photography is a reflection of social relations and a study of life’s various facets. A contemporary artist is a blend of the social and the personal in exact proportions.
q)Do you feel that there are limitations to what you want to create?
a)I understand that I irritate a lot of people because of the provocative character of my pictures. They are brutal, scandalous and erotic. And people tend to so called mental inertia, thus are used to clichés in art.
If a person spends all his life on fashion magazines,
movies and visits of the photo amateurs forums it is normal that one’s taste is
in a very poor level. As result – people do not understand contemporary art. It
is common today that people, without any qualification and education, let
themselves judge contemporary art.
My art is not a pop-culture, it is not for big auditory. I understand that there won’t be big lines for my exhibitions.
Do I have any taboo? Yes. In 1988 I made one of the biggest mistakes in my professional life. I created erotic pictures with using religious symbols. It was not made on purpose, I just thought that it will work. It affected my personal life in a very negative way. So I have promised myself not to sin in art.
q)Do you feel art is vital to survival and if so, why?
a)I believe that contemporary art, as it is today, has to be in high demand. It gives visual picture of all the contradictions between political and social institutes. Today an artist is the one who has to ring the bells of liberty and democracy.
q)Describe a world without art.
a)As a famous French novelist Honore de Balzac once said, “All humanity is passion; without passion, religion, history, novels, art would be ineffectual”. I couldn’t describe it better.
q)Tell us a secret, and obsession.
a)Look at my pictures and I'm sure you will find the answer.
q)Where can people see more of your work on the internet?