Monday, October 23, 2006

Art Space Talk: Nikita Brinev

I recently interviewed artist Nikita Brinev. In my opinion, Mr. Brinev's work is very 'raw'. He seems to cut down to the bare essence of what it is to be human in his paintings.

Mr. Brinev's crude figures come together in order to form a complicated work of art. This expressive style of painting seems to convey a message that cuts to the core of the human condition. I see the majority of his paintings as a 'gut-shot of thought' in that they provoke me to as questions about society. I hope that they provoke you as well.

Q. When did you first discover that art would be an important part of your adult life?

A. "I started drawing in my childhood. My parents used to be artists and art was always part of the family atmosphere. Though I always liked the art I did not choose to make it part of my career. I’m a professional in international and comparative education, but still art is an integral part of my life. Since recently I felt art as a part of my professional art as well. There can be various definitions of professional art, but I consider myself to be a professional artist."

Q. How has creating art shaped you professionally and personally?

A. "Every other minute when I feel like contributing to my professional sphere with my art, I do so. It is expressed differently – by hanging my paintings in the office to make it look better as well as by developing web-sites which requires skills in web design. Personally, art gives me everything else that I cannot find in my professional life: self-expression, satisfaction, opportunity to spend my leisure time with creativity, and a dialogue with inner world."

Q. How has society influenced your art? Are there any social implications in your art?

A. "Of course, there are! During the era of post-modernism, it is difficult to avoid being unengaged with the society. Though during all times art was interconnected with reality so that it gained its specific character according to these relations. Though my artworks are different in medium, plot, and ideas, a number of them express some relationship with society, but it is pretty vague. Russian epos is one of the things that is interesting to me and that is reflected in some of the artworks."

Q. What are your artistic influences? Has anyone inspired you?

A. "There are so many great artists that I cannot remember a certain name at the moment. I would say, there is no influence in terms of medium, techniques, or ideas. I just get inspired by what I see and it fuels me a lot to work more. At the same time, I cannot emphasize one or more artists here, and leave the others; every other artist has at least one artwork which I find impressive and which influences me to some extent."

Q. Tell me a little about your background. Are your past experiences reflected in the work you do today? If so, how?

A. "No, every other artwork is a reflection of inner feelings and experiences, not directly related to what and who I am in reality. I also think that it is not always important to find parallels between the works of an artist and his life. My "artistic character", if I can put it so, differs a lot from my character as a personality. It is a mixture of veiled emotions and thoughts, and I myself sometimes try to find parallels between the "taste" of them and my life. Moreover, I am antagonist of the idea that an artist should cherish "his own view upon this life, his unique vision". I consider that an artist should try to deliver ideas which are universal to all human beings, and those that are alive for thousands of years amongst peoples around the world."

Q. If you could pinpoint the characteristics of people who collect your art, what would they be?

A. "At the moment the majority of them are just my friends and acquaintances who just would like to see my works in their places. I do not sell a lot since taking part in exhibitions is more interesting to me because I have a deficit of just talking with other artists. I’m better represented in the Internet with my artworks than in exhibition halls and galleries, and this will change soon, I guess)"

Q. Do you have an upcoming exhibit? If so, where and when?

A. "Yes, I have initiated an art project "Contextual Art In Diverse Settings: Combating Conflict Through Visual Arts" at the CAMAC (CENTRE D’ART. MARNAY ART CENTRE) in France next summer. This project is affiliated with the UNESCO-Aschberg Bursaries for Artists Program. I’m also invited to have an exhibition in Germany after that."

Q. Where do you see your art in 10 years? What are your plans?

A. "I have very ambitious plans regarding my artistic future! The best plan is to work more and develop my artistic skills. Also, it would be great to obtain education in art which I’m missing a lot now. Another plan of mine is to "inculcate" love to arts to my little daughter since I think that art is one of the things that helps people become better in character and attitude towards the outer world."

Q. Discuss one of your pieces. What were you thinking when you created it?

A. "For instance, two artworks represented at "fresco" – it is easy to trace my love towards indirect objects, which do not tell their "story" as it is, but conceal it a bit far from the viewers. But the trick is that there is not much story in all my artworks as it might sometimes look). Color, dab, stroke characters are more important for me than some subreptive essence. I do not simplify it, I feel the power of visual impact in these things. Perhaps, this is a temporary state till I’m still in search of my dimensions. I assume this can change soon."

Q. What is your artistic process?

A. "Feeling the power in color, dab, stroke characters, and other parts of visual presentation, I also believe in the artist’s emotional and spiritual state. I would not discuss my artistic process, but will just give you a hint that my ideal is the work of Russian orthodox icon-painters, who related art very close to spirituality. There is a mechanism of reciprocal influence between the viewer and the painting, and I think it is a responsibility of an artist to put as much good energy in it as possible!"

Q. Why did you choose the medium(s) that you use?

A. "I tried many mediums and still create many artworks using all of them. I like mixed media a lot since it give unexpected results. I like this unexpectedness in creating art, and I never plan what I’m going to depict before I start working. This resembles the "Stream of consciousness" which came from literature, but truly reflects the same mechanism of a dialogue between artist’s consciousness and inner concealed emotions. At the moment I’m taking a class in Pottery – another medium to express myself)"

Q. Do you have a degree or do you plan to attend school for art?

A. "This December I’m finishing my MA program at Columbia University, and I’m close to defending my PhD back in Russia. Unfortunately I do not have a degree in arts, which is my desirable plan for the nearest future /hopefully/!"

Q. Where can we see more of your art?

A. "Here are some of the web-sites where my artworks are represented: - - - Here you can find some of my photographs: "

Q. Are you represented by a gallery? If not, do you want to be?

A. "No, I’m not. I would like to be represented by a gallery in the future."

Q. Why do you create art?

A. "I think I have answered this question in previous questions. Art is a requirement of my personality for self-expression and development."

Q. Where can we find you on

A. "I’m registered as Nikita Brinev and posted my first gallery there called "NB-ART"

I hope you enjoyed this interview with Mr. Nikita Brinev. You can find his gallery by doing a search for nbrinyov on the main site.

Feel free to critique his art.

Take care, Stay true,

Brian Sherwin

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