Wednesday, 21 December 2016

While You Are Sleeping

That is the title of this work here below. It is showing at an art exhibition titled “Realism: Two Angles” in Abu Dhabi. 

In this interview, visiting Crimean artists Katerina Spirtus and Andrey Dudchenko, the duo behind “Realism: Two Angles” spill their mind. Katerina mentions the challenges of an artist mother, while Andrey tells how money helps you stay inspired in life. 

Katerina's works reflect occupied Crimea's affected psyche in all areas of life, whereas Andrey's interests perhaps are those... snatched away and approximated moments of fickle life, watching beyond the object’s limits, the tale without words. He attains through his frames a state when the object stops being itself. It becomes the certain abstract physical form, attractive and trembling... the results can be compared to a visual extraction of meditation. His inputs pushes the viewer to a state of inviolability, making the time to stop.

Emerging Crimean artists Katerina Spirtus and Andrey Dudchenko at the opening of their show Realism: Two Angles in Abu Dhabi

Visitors at N2N Gallery in Nation Towers, Abu Dhabi
One of Andrey's works from show. The artist loves the works of Middle Eastern art scene's
emerging Syrian artists Houma Al Sayed and Tammam Azzam.
The visiting artists with Natalya Muzaleva, Founder and Artistic Director of N2N Gallery. The gallery is actively striving to bridge Abu Dhabi to the vibrant and emerging art scene of the Eastern Europe. 

Selected excerpts of the Q&A

Describe yourself in 100 words

Katerina: I have always been interested in art. When I was six I started going in art, so I have been an artist all my life. I like discovering the world and to learn new thing, especially something that I have not done before, like skating or even playing on a piano. I like people so much, they make me fell alive and push me do my art. There is a miracle in my life - my daughter Eve who does not let me stay in one place and who makes me change and grow. After her birth, my paintings are filled with completely different content - they have more peace and wisdom.

(Adds) In my opinion, being a mother and an artist is very difficult task.

Andrey: I am man of creativity and my whole life is about art. My father was an artist and I grew up in an artistic environment surrounded by talented people, so there was no other way for me than to become an artist.
Most of the time I spend deciding on what I should paint. However, once is done decide on my subject, nothing can stop me. Every time I paint, I fall in love with my work. However once it is done I fall in love with the next one. The world is full of interesting things, and it is hard for me to limit myself.

How did you meet each other?
Katerina: We attended the same Art Academy, where we met and fell in love at the age of 17.  We have never been apart ever since; we travel and paint together. Andrey is my support and my inspiration.

What is your future plan?
Katerina: This is the first time that we are visiting the United Arab Emirates and the first thing I am going to do, when I go back home is to express all these new impressions on the canvas.

Andrey: My future plan is a new series of works. I have also been inspired by this incredible country.
How did the UAE exhibition happen and how is it going?

Katerina and AndreyEverything happened thanks to the gallery. The gallery management discovered us and invited us to exhibit our works at Abu Dhabi. The opening night was very nice, with a lot of people from different cultures, with different interests. We felt a strong response to our work. We are deeply honoured to see that people are interested in our work.

What motivates your individual style?

Andrey: The nature and everything around me can get me inspired. The most important thing is to find the form, the image that fit my current mood.

Katerina: People! I like and appreciate all people who coming to my life. They influenced me and in turn I get my inspiration from them. In difficult moments jus a few friendly words are enough to make me take the brush.

Who are your icons and why?

Andrey: In my opinion there is the only one answer possible: the God.

One living person you like to thank

Katerina: I am grateful to my mother and grandmother, who have supported me and still keep supporting me in my endeavours and successes.

Andrey: My father. I was attracted to the fine arts thanks to him. He was and still is my first teacher and my biggest support throughout my career.

Message to aspiring artist

Andrey: The most important thing is to stay focused, to analyze and think. You need to find some expression, the main idea you want to depict through your work. Style will be gradually develop itself through practice.

Katerina: To be a hardworker, not to be lazy. The more you work, the more you think, and the more quality you reach in your work.

Who is your favourite art teacher and why.

Katerina: I’ve had many teachers, and all of them were very talented. They all played an important role in my process of establishing myself as an artist. My most important would probably have to be Professor Michael Guida, a world-renowned artist. He was my main guide in learning the art of portrait painting, and I have learned a lot from him.

Andrey: This would have to be my father, first of all. As I have already mentioned he was my first teacher, and he took the most important role in my artistic path. I have also been learning from well-known artists such are Titian, Greco, Rembrandt.

Most inspiring Middle Eastern artist.

Katerina: The Middle East has offered a particularly unique art to the world which is excellent in its kind. I honestly admire the unique art and tradition of this region. It is very hard to pick only one artist, but if I had to, that would have to be an astonishing Iranian artist Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian.

Andrey: I really appreciate the works of young Syrian artists Houma Al Sayed and Tammam Azzam.

Most inspiring modern contemporary artist

Katerina: Only one name comes to mind: Alexandr Gnilickiy. In order to understand why, just take a look his work.

Andrey: There are many very talented artists all over the world and each country has their own brilliant contemporary artists. That is why is difficult for me to choose only one.

Most inspiring realist artist 

Katerina: I am in love with works Andrew White. He is the master of realism.

Andrey: I have to say that I am not a fan of realism in its purest form. I do adore the works of the American modernist artist Georgia O’Keeffe. She is a part of school of realism, but at the same time her art cannot be considered as direct realism.

Your favourite place to live and work.

Katerina and Andrey (in one voice): Crimea! It is a beautiful place, our homeland and the place where we grew up. It is the place we understand the best and love the most.

What does money mean to you

Andrey: Money is a tool to achieve our independence and to allow our children to build a financially-sound future.

Katerina: I absolutely agree (to Andrey).

What do you think of UAE's art scene.

Andrey: This scene is recognised all over the world for its rapid and dynamic development. We are particularly impressed by the wisdom of its leaders of this country who recognised the economic potential of cultural tourism. They were able to position the UAE on the global art map and surely this position will be even more important in the future.

What do you aim to achieve through workshops in Abu Dhabi

Katerina:  My expectation was to get a new experience and new emotions by teaching a different group of aspiring artist. And I definitely got what I had wanted. First of all, I was pleased by the number of students, and how they were grateful for learning new things and persistent in the learning process.

For more details contact the gallery:
Mobile: +971 50 594 0794
Tel: +971 2 665 9858

The two artists, who are partners in art and love, base their artistic expression in realism, which they interpret in a different way, both iconographically and stylistically. Still, their individual poetics are connected into a common endeavour to achieve a new kind of idealised subjective realism. These similarities and differences will be the backbone of the exhibition setting. The show opened on November 24 at N2N Gallery at Nation Towers, Abu Dhabi. The exhibition will run until January 10, 2017.

Season's best wishes. Thank you for staying inspired in art all around you!

- B'lu

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