Luca Curci talks with Viola Sevostianova (in collaboration with art curator Anna Nesterenko) during BODIES+CITIES SKIN, the first appointment of BORDERS ART FAIR 2021, at Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello.
“I am a contemporary artist, based in Moscow. For me, it is incredibly important to raise the problems of modern society in my artistic practice and illuminate them through my works. Each of my artwork conveys a certain concept and meaning, so it is not that important for me how well I draw it, but rather what message it communicates to the audience. In my works, I raise the themes of racism, feminism, religion and harassment. This is what I encounter myself and what I want to share with the viewer, showing that in this we stand together”
Luca Curci – How did you get to your current artistic practice?
Viola Sevostianova – I have been drawing since early childhood. I went to the art school for children and it was a turning point for me, as the education lasted six years instead of the previously expected four years. In the sixth year, I finally made a decision for myself never to do anything with art again. But later, when I was twenty and I wanted to make a present for my friend for his birthday but I did not have any money, I couldn’t think of anything better than to make a painting for him. And at that moment, it awoke something in me and since then I did not stop painting.
LC – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
VS – For the last three years I have been studying at BSHAD and HSE School of Design in the Contemporary Art program. Actually, it is difficult to point out one thing here. Education in general, and especially some teachers made a tangible contribution to my practice in terms of perception, understanding and, most importantly, being able to study further independently. Every day is an experience. And, if you don’t invest in yourself and don’t practice, then no education will help here.
LC – Which art themes do you pursue? What is your preferred subject, if there is any?
VS – It is difficult to highlight something specific here. For myself, I can only say that art is a constant search. Search for yourself, problems, feelings, techniques. The only thing that is more or less stable is the author’s style. Over the past year, I have paid great attention to the study of African art.
LC – Do you use art to express something in particular? Is it your medium of expression?
VS – Absolutely. I would say there are two kinds of artists: commercial and conceptual. Obviously most artists would like to be able to earn money selling their paintings. But to me it is more important what your art tells about you, what feelings it conveys and not whether somebody buys it or not. The question is whether you are running a sprint or a marathon. I personally stand for the concept. It doesn’t matter how it looks or whether you got a formal education. What matters is what problem you raise, what you want to say in your art. The main concept of my work now is the topic of self-identification, realization, gender, religion, racism and, of course, harassment.
LC – What is your creative process like?
VS – Music and smell are extremely important to me and my working process. In my workshop there is always incense and an audio column. Most often I listen to classics and jazz. My favourites are: Ludovico Einaudi, Aaaron Zigman, Marcelo Zabros, Thomas Newman, Sting, Olafur Arnalds, Chopen, Nat King Cole, Louis Armstrong and even rap sometimes.
LC – Do you agree with our vision of art and what do you think about the theme of the festival?
VS – Absolutely. I think BODIES + CITIES SKIN is an exact reflection of artistic reality today. I really loved your selection of participants with a very unique vision.
LC – In which way the artwork presented in our exhibition is connected with the festival’s theme?
VS – I presented with my works the concept of a home at the exhibition. Home, as personal space and property, this kind of a shell of space that complements and nourishes you.
LC – What is your idea about ITSLIQUID GROUP?
VS – I was very inspired by the group work. A well-coordinated mechanism, effective approaches to the definition of creative potential, a broad outlook and freshness in terms of the organization of exhibitions and their openings. Bravo!
LC – What do you think about the organization of our event?
VS – It was an incredible experience. It is very valuable that in the choice of spaces the location itself was taken into account, which does not “strangle” the artworks. You want to return again and again.
LC – Would you suggest a collaboration with us? What do you think about our services?
VS – Yes, of course. This is what I’m working on right now. I believe that the exchange of experience among artists in the framework of international exhibitions is crucial. I will be happy to introduce your group to the Russian art market in order to provide the opportunity for our young artists to exhibit at your sites, and I also consider it an essential need to transfer your experience and knowledge to the Russian art market under the auspices of your group in order to exchange the experience and works of artists at the international level. I believe that this is one of the global tasks of the world art community, which will ensure the friendship of peoples and expand the art horizons and knowledge of everyone.