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contemporary american artist Andrei Rabodzeenko

::: bio/statement
::: contemporary paintings
::: artist interview


"My paintings don’t express concrete situations. They are an attempt to connect with the unreachable, subtle side of being, something that is beyond a verbal vocabulary."
Andrei Rabodzeenko


American Contemporary Painter American Artist Interview


Contemporary artist, Andrei Rabodzeenko


Andrei Rabodzeenko Artist Interview - June 2005


1 ::: Why are you an artist Andrei?


It fascinates me that from basically nothing - an empty canvas and a bunch of colors on the palette I can create something that awakes emotions, something that becomes a reality.

+2 ::: Could you tell us some more about your paintings?


My current artist's statement is the result of many tries. It's probably the best I can do in terms of explaining what I am trying to do:

My paintings don’t express concrete situations. They are an attempt to connect with the unreachable, subtle side of being, something that is beyond a verbal vocabulary. When the connection happens I express it through colors, lines and images. This expression may be described as a careful preservation of a spiritual state. Explaining such painting is an unnecessary challenge. My titles are the answer to this challenge, more like a paying respect to tradition with a twist of irony, humor or sarcasm. That’s why they sound absurd. But they serve the purpose – to throw the viewer away from the concrete perception of the painting, to create an empty space where the subtle will have a chance to be born. My viewers have to be relaxed in terms of not seeking for an immediate answer. The subtle can’t be born and can’t survive in the reality of concrete questions and immediate answers.
We have enough rush and concreteness in our everyday life. So don’t rush and ask me what this or that painting means. I probably will diligently try to explain, but my verbal explanation will not give the whole spectrum of feelings already expressed on the canvas, perhaps it will do the opposite - to steer you away from the truth. To ask for the immediate answer from the piece of art is a steal.

+3 ::: The titles of your paintings are sometimes quite long. Could you explain how and why you title them like you do?

My paintings are attempts to reflect my complex views of reality. Titles in general tend to narrow the focus of viewers. When I create a title, my goal is to send viewers' attention on a "detour", sort of asking them to look at it from another side, without directing them straight to one point. This way I hope viewers will approach my paintings in a more creative way.


+4 ::: What artists have influenced you, and how?

I formally studied art for nine years. Through that time I had many favorites (one at a time): Hieronymus Bosch, Van Gogh, Paul Klee, Mark Chagall, Pavel Filonov, Petrov-Vodkin, Persian miniatures, native African, Latin American, Chinese and Japanese traditional art, to name a few. I heard that some medical students experience symptoms of studied diseases as if they really have those diseases. So in the same way I was consumed many times by a particular artist or style.

+5 ::: What other interests do have (besides painting)?

Recently (three years ago) I started sculpting. I started with wood, and now I work more with welded steel. After a long break, I also started doing etchings again. Besides that I play guitar, and write poetry. I think all of these enrich each other, help me to look at myself and the reality around me from different perspectives.

+6 ::: What inspires you to paint and how do you keep motivated when things get tough in the studio?

The answer begins in the previous response. When I feel exhausted from painting or sculpting I switch activities. This helps me to generate new ideas, so the next time I will start on the next level of the spiral.

+7 ::: How have you handled the business side of being an artist?

I try to be organized. I know some artists who are more able in terms of promoting themselves. But in my case my wife and her family help me a lot. Every artist has to deal with it sooner or later. I always remember the words of one well-known Russian artist Vasily Vereshagin: "when I paint - I am an artist, when I am finished - I am a seller."

+8 ::: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

That is very hard to say. Right now I hear many good responses from people at my shows, and that means a lot to me. I go to art museums and then come back to my studio and I see the difference energy-wise. I believe that people really respond to the energy radiating from art. That's my goal: to create art that is charged with much more energy, so people will really feel it.

+9 ::: Could you talk about your latest series of paintings and what you are trying to achieve with them?

Right now I am working on a new series of paintings. It's a sharp turn from my previous work which you can see here or on my web site. I think many people who know my work will be very surprised when they see these new canvases. I want to be more respectful of traditions developed through the centuries before the impressionists and other later movements. At the same time I don't want to lose what I already found in terms of my own visual language.

+10 ::: What advice would you give to an artist just starting out?

I would advise any artist, no matter their media or style: learn to draw. Nude figure, portrait, hands are the most difficult. The drawing process requires a tremendous synthesis -- all you have is a sharp pencil, but you must show a subject full of life. It is very hard work for your hand and brain. Look at the drawings of the old masters and you will see how selective and how exact their lines are. Try to do the same and you will realize that it's very hard. You will start understanding with what dedication the artists of previous generations achieved their mastery, and it will help you see your own work differently. Another piece of advice: don't make challenging your audience a main priority. Start by challenging yourself; it will generate lots more energy. Then your viewers will feel that energy and they will be involved and challenged by it.


More artist information can be found at the website of the artist.. Andrei Rabodzeenko
View more artist interview at ArtQuotes.net here.. Contemporary Artist Interviews








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