- Your stunning works were published in numerous magazines and exhibited in several collections. If you have limitless budget , what kind of exhibition center would you build and in what ways would you present your photographs to the audience?
I would have built a huge park, and this would have been not only my personal gallery. Each individual pavilion would have been allocated for individual project made by my own, or for the project of other authors. Besides, the external filling would have been made out of modern art objects, created from the wildlife. There would also have been a school for little children, as it is quite important to give children an opportunity to express themselves as they want, without any dictation from the grown-ups.
- You graduated from the Petrov-Vodkin art college of Samara. Have you experienced any advantages of your education in your career up to now?
Yes, a good basis is always useful. However, I was lucky to learn in the way that I wanted and I never agreed to bend in the asked direction. Therefore, nowadays I’m a professional and have saved my own view.
- From National Geographic to Homme, Seventeen to Porsche Calendar, your images took part in prestigious publications. It's always very difficult to select one but, if you are asked to pick the most 'important' photograph you've ever taken, which one would you choose, and why?
This is my latest work almost without exception, as it reflects everything that I think and feel currently. As for other things – everything is rather complicated. That first old work, from which it all began fundamentally, is also important for me. If talking seriously, I have not made that very important work yet.
- You live in Moscow , Russia, one of the most fascinating cities in the world. Does it inspire you? If it is suddenly removed from the world map, in which city would you like to go on living, and why?
Moscow is a fabulous and kindred city, however, it is rather hard. It has furious energy and sometimes it suppresses you, and does not inspire – however, when you are leaving for some time, you begin to miss this fury. The only thing that I really miss here is sun, which is quite a rare guest, especially in winter and in autumn. That is why I’m dreaming of living near seaside. Maybe this will be such city as Marseilles. I adore Paris though this is not original. It is really filled with love and this is not a myth.
- Usage of the colors in your creations is really attractive. You know, there are many color researchers in the world who believe that the colors have distinct effects on our perceptions. Do you use the 'meanings of the colors' when using them, or are the colors only the elements of your visual compositions?
For me the color is of the same importance in the composition as a form is. I do not think about affecting the viewer in a more intense or quicker way. In this issue I’m always listening to my intuition, as usually it does not trick me. I believe that a good artist’s subconscious works quicker than the conscious does to select a correct decision and does not provide an opportunity to think over the idea that came from above. When an artist thinks over the very idea, not the details but the initial image, he chops away his wings. Or he just has no inspiration at all – in this case he is just a draftsman, not a creator.
- As a painter, did your mother influence you in your childhood? What can you say for her?
Of course, she influenced quite strongly both the taste and the development of my own “face”. She made me cry, forcing me to remake poor work – but at the same time she always advised me to have my own opinion and do not listen to anyone in my creative work. I’m so grateful for this. Today there are three persons whose opinion I absolutely respect – and she is one of them.
- Your "Paint" series is absolutely wonderful. What makes you decide to create something like that? Would you please tell us about the project?
Thank you very much! At first I wanted to investigate and to search locally and internally, but then the search led to something bigger. I started to investigate my inspirations. What did Vincent feel when he was creating self-portraits. Why was he doing that? What did he want to say? What would I feel if I was in his shoes? This transformed into learning more about myself… through an attempt to trace the process of creation of world masterpieces.
Besides, it was nice to study the technical side of creation, the see the way my favorite artists were working. It was great watching the well-known paintings transform in something new – something inside me. It was interesting to combine the two techniques and two arts – photography and painting. The idea to use myself as a model came up at the very beginning. The main aspect that unites the series is my own self. As the main object. This has a reason, many famous artists has a woman as this main object, too. They were smelting their sexual energy into paints and this energy combine with talents and perfect technique gave us the well-known masterpieces.
Two waves of inspiration interlace in my works – one of the great artists and one of my own… that’s what made the work on Paint so very special. These have been the fascinating artists who have always inspired me, and I always loved their work. The list of artists is of course much longer, I’ve only chosen some. Subconsciously, - those who are especially dear to me, who have similar state and moods.
- What about the connection between you and your models? What kind of emotional environment do you create in your sets? Would you please tell us about your working process?
In almost 99 cases out of 100, I am the model as this model feels the given author in the best possible way. I have no problem of fitting into one or another image that I conceived. I give to an actress that lives in me no chance to die. Of course, there are some difficulties, as I assign a hard task for myself - technically – when making pictures of myself, but as my experience grows, this problem is solved.
- One of the greatest masters of classical music, Russian composer Sergei Vasilievich Rachmaninoff says; "Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music". Do you feel the same for fine arts? Are you afraid of death?
Yes, I agree. And I’m terribly afraid of it. I love life as a maniac.
- "Red" is very dominant in some of your impressive photographs and the theme of the current issue of Bak Magazine is "Red". What does this word mean to you?
Red – this is my very self. This is my name and my temper. Red has the unlimited number of versions, as it may be everything – both white and black, tender and cruel. This is the thing that fills us and gives life.