Artist talk. Leonid Varushkin

26.07.2022

Artist talk. Leonid Varushkin

What was the beginning of your creative path? Why have you decided to become an artist?

What were your first themes of artworks?

The work "Light Bulb" can be considered the source of my creative research: it depicts a lamp and a ceiling, and nothing else. For me, this is already a whole story with its own universe, a kind of stuck in minimalism.

Next comes the painting "Bridge", which is now presented at the exhibition "Other Eyes". After it, in a series of my paintings, I began to work with space, color and form. The plot in these works is generally absent, the dominant theme is the state or feeling. They show passages torn out of someone's life; fragments that carry a sense of the state of the depicted moment.

How did you form your style?

Now you are studying at the Academy of Arts, but the visual component of your work is far from academic. How did you come to it and why did you decide to go in the direction of experiments?

Tell us about your studies at the Academy. What influence does it have on you? What do you think is important in education?

Why do you choose predominantly large canvas formats?

Download. Acrylic on canvas. 100x260 cm

You work in different mediums: painting, sculpture, objects. Which format do you like best? Do you want to try something else?

Your objects often contain references to folk art. For example, in "Noise" you use the technique of embroidering a carpet "lyapochikha". Why have you chosen this particular technique and what do you want to say using it?

For one of the artworks, I was looking for a Russian folk pattern; while searching, I accidentally stumbled upon a carpet made with the “lyapochikha” sewing technique. Then I realized for myself that this is a real masterpiece: something familiar, historically and ideologically so deep and so not fully disclosed that I need to take it on and continue to improve what was started by my ancestors.

In the approach to embroidery with scraps, I see a kindred mentality and one common soul. This is a kind of story about a package with packages or a TV remote control in cellophane, frugality in material, when nothing is superfluous. I understand the origins of these thoughts. I see and know how to beat it and create a new branch in folk art.

Socket. Lynen, polyethylene, plastic, plywood. 57x57 cm

How do research topics change in your art? What affects it?

Who or what inspires you?

Do you collect art? Artworks of friends/other artists that you like?

Are there any new series planned? What are they going to be about?

The theme for me is a component of the visual appearance. In recent series, I wanted colors, a sense of space in the painting; the carpets are also about the visual component of "lyapochikha" and its semantic background. All factors are connected with each other, improvisation takes place in sketches, when the work is drawn up like a puzzle, and then the execution takes place. The topic with the “lyapochikha” has not ended for me; there are still no pieces for the puzzle for the canvases either. But there are also new series in plans. Can`t name the topic yet.

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