Interview: Liubov Bochkova Luca Curci talks with Liubov Bochkova during FRAGMENTED IDENTITIES, the second appointment of BORDERS ART FAIR 2021, at THE ROOM Contemporary Art Space.
Liubov Bochkova (Moscow, Russia) is a European-based fine artist. At a young age, she started attending several painting courses. At the age of seven, she began to study at Moscow Art High School that ended in 2007 – the year in which she successfully passed the admission tests to one of the most important academies of Russia – Moscow State Academy of Fine Arts named after V.I. Surikov. After 6 years she graduates from the Surikov Academy achieving getting a master’s degree in painting. In 2012 she was invited as a teacher of painting and composition at the Art High School of Moscow. In 2014 after two years spent working in an Art High School in Moscow, she decided to enrich her background by attending a master’s at the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera in Milan (Italy) choosing this time a contemporary direction. In 2015 she became a Member of the International Association of Artists of Russia. From 2018 she started participating actively in several art exhibitions both in Russia and in Italy as an emerging contemporary painter.
“I am very curious about psychology, the levels of sensitivity and consciousness, so my main goal in art is to increase the sensitivity of people to their internal states, to put in doubt everything they assume is right or wrong, and to make them look on it from another point of view. Mostly my paintings are about emotions and feelings. Since these are very abstract themes, then I often use semi-abstract solutions in paintings, using acrylic and oil colors. We are living in the moment of history that is fashionable to be socially active, international, to be informed on every topic, to live the lives and problems of others, to express opinions on everything that happens outside our lives. In all of these, we forget to go back into our souls, thoughts, feelings, ask ourselves who and why are we doing things for, we hide our problems because we don’t know how to deal with them, we don’t pay attention to our desires and above all, we don’t know how to accept our weak points, we always try to appear better or different from who we are. Like activists do, I also sometimes ask for action: to go inside yourself, hear what you feel in the depth of your thoughts, reflect on joys and fears. Because we are physically alive thanks to the things that surround us, but we feel alive thanks to the feelings and emotions we experience. Painting helps me to remember my spiritual part, my values, it gives me time to reflect and constantly develop my sensibility.
Luca Curci – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most? Liubov Bochkova – I was born in a family of engineers in Moscow. Although my parents or relatives weren’t engaged in art, I’ve always received huge support from them in my desire to dedicate my life to art. While I was studying in both music and art schools, the moment to choose one direction arrived. I chose visual arts without hesitation: I was obsessed with colors and the power of the impact of painting on the viewer. I spent years of studies at Art Academy in Moscow and Milan. But experience, which made me who I am, was 3 years of loneliness, surviving and research during my life in Milan. It was a complicated period when my art became the mirror of my life through symbols and allegories.
LC – Which subject are you working on?
LB – Currently I’m working on a big project that talks about time and space and our role in both. This project supposes to include also my ceramic artwork.
LC – Where do you find your inspiration?
LB – From people, I’d say: not the external aesthetic, but internal. I often think about the complexity and versatility of feelings, the existence of logic, the strange work of our brains, and some inexplicable actions.
LC – Do visitors’ suggestions enrich yourself and your art?
LB – Actually, people always confuse me, even more, than I am already (laughs). I love to have deep conversations, but the more we talk, the more doubts we have. So maybe the truth is that my doubts caused by people enrich my art and make me move on and continue to explore.
LC – Did your style change over the years? In which way?
LB – I was supposed to use oil colors and canvas in its more traditional way during all my studying years because I was very inspired by classic and figurative art and I was fascinated by the impeccable skills of old masters. Now I’m more interested in the contemporary world, nowadays problems and new ways of self-expression. So there is an evolution from a very classic art language to more abstract and creative. I would also note a specific color choice related to each different period of life.
LC – What do you think about the concept of this festival? How did it inspire you?
LB – I work much more on the psychological identity of people, but here I am having the pleasure to present the painting dedicated to the identity of a city. The urban theme is very interesting and inspiring, I think I’ll come back to it soon.
LC – Can you explain something about the artworks you have in our exhibition?
LB – At the “Fragmented Identities” exposition I presented my artwork “Illusions in a big city”. What do we expect when we move into a big city: opportunities? The sweet smell of success in the air inspires. We dream big, we feel powerful, we are open. Yet it might seem like a cage: loneliness and the illusion of freedom, because we see the sky in the mirrors of skyscrapers, we see directions, but someone told us where to go and how to do; every day we move so fast but basically, we don’t move anywhere.. as slaves of our own expectations. The Latin phrase – “Alis Volat Propriis” which means “Everyone flies with their own wings”, is the perfect description of my perception of life in the cities.
LC – What do you think about the organization of our event?
LB – I’m very happy I am taking part in the event. The organization is perfect, and there are quite many visitors. It’s a pity I almost didn’t have an opportunity to meet other artists and know each other at The Room space and make a small opening presentation altogether due to Covid restrictions. But considering the situation in Italy, the team of Itsliquid has made everything they could.
LC – Would you suggest a collaboration with us? What do you think about our services?
LB – Absolutely yes. Much cordiality and help by the staff.
LC – What are your suggestions about our services? Is there something more we can provide to artists?
LB – I think it’s very important for artists to know personally each other, even if most of us are very shy. So, I would be super glad if there was any meeting point, maybe an online short live video where everyone who participates in the exposition is present at an indicated hour.