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Interviews with the artists of the exhibition „DO NOT GO OUT THE WINDOW“


Joke Amusan, Standing, Despite It All

E k a t e r i n a  S i d o r e n k o v a

Interviews with the artists of the exhibition "DO NOT GO OUT THE WINDOW"

Few days ago in the HAZE gallery we opened a collective online exhibition called Do not go out the window.
This exhibition is focused on global problems that we’re forgetting, because they stay with us permanently, as information noise. All of us got used to these problems and became much less sensitive.
We spoke with artists about their works, the situation in the world and things that we should do to remember despite the circumstances.

Joke Amusan, German-born Nigerian artist living in England

How can you describe your art in a few sentences?

My art practice highlights the experiences and complex beauty of what it means to be a Black woman. My art pieces are conversational, encouraging women to come together to speak up, share their stories, and embrace who they are unapologetically. Words are an important aspect of my work and they weave through my practice like a narrative, joining everything together.

Can you call the most important authors in contemporary art? Why?

I admire a lot of contemporary artists and the list changes all the time, but I would say the one constant person I am inspired by is Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Although she’s a writer, I still view her as an artist. I admire the way she poetically tells stories and addresses situations that often get overlooked. She’s not afraid to voice her opinions and make sure that she’s heard.

I also love the work of Carrie Mae Weems and her photography work which are powerful yet have a certain vulnerability to them as well. It’s as though we, the viewer, are given an insight into an intimate setting. 

Joke Amusan, Against The Tide

I’m currently interested in the works of Billie Zangewa and her beautifully hand-sewn collage tapestries which explore the intersections of identities too.

Did your artistic vision change in the last few months? And how?

I would say that while my artistic vision is still pretty much the same, my way of expressing my vision has been evolving recently. While I was at university, I explored many different modes of presenting my art, and for a little while afterwards I felt stuck in one particular mode. I’ve recently become very interested in including myself more in my artworks and filming the processes of “staging” some of my art pieces. In this way, I’d like to show the process or journey of getting from A to B, and the various diversions that may present themselves in the middle of that journey. I don’t just want to share the somewhat finished and polished piece, I want every high and low, every mountaintop and valley to be seen in my work. I’m allowing myself to be more vulnerable and enjoying storytelling in that way.

Why  did you decide to participate in the exhibition Do not go out the window?

The theme of the exhibition really stood out to me because I’m a huge fan of speaking up for what’s right and fostering a space where we all listen to one another. I think the Do not go out the window exhibition is important because it reminds us that we must continue to stand strong in our beliefs and not allow the world to sway us. To not allow the obstacles in our way to scare us away from even trying.

What message do viewers will have seen in your works at the exhibition?

The two pieces I exhibited in the exhibition, If You Have A Voice, Speak., and Sharing Stories Breaks Barriers, collectively sums up what my art practice is all about. I initially created them aimed at Black women in a bid to help break down that wall where we feel that we can’t speak up or that, if we do, that it won’t amount to anything. It’s been great to see so many other people also resonate with the pieces. I truly believe that having a united front can break barriers, and the seemingly ordinary conversations that we’re having today can and will shape future generations.

Joke Amusan, This Too Shall Pass – Volume 2

Joke Amusan, Still I Rise

Joke Amusan

What would you like to wish our viewers and all the people in general to remember and never forget?

Being vulnerable is such a powerful and important thing. It is always worth it! Don’t be afraid to go against the current or have different thoughts that others may not necessarily support. Be steadfast and choose to rise again every single time you fall.


Elyana Shamselangeroodi, Iran

How can you describe your art in a few sentences?

Creating digital collages came to me at a very difficult time in my personal life. Finding it almost impossible and crippling to put my feelings, thoughts, and experiences into words, I began creating surreal spaces that brought me joy, allowing me to envision a world where life was simple, even in its complexity. My work was once described as ‚making friends with kind giants‘, and at the time it referred to large animals (namely elephants and giraffes) always being central to the stories told. Over the past two years, my work has begun exploring concepts of fear, joy, happiness, sadness. The kind giants have taken shape in facing the fear of the unknown, the difficult conversations, the scary thoughts. My expansion as a person has resulted in my practice extending itself beyond digital collages, introducing mixed media and new media to allow for the stories to unfold as best they can.

Elyana Shamselangeroodi

Can you call the most important authors in contemporary art? Why?

Salvador Dalí, René Magritte, and Vera Molnár.
Dalí and Magritte challenged how we see the world. Unique in their styles and storytelling, they each invite us to view everything from a different perspective, regardless of how unreal they might be. The courage to imagine something beyond the surface, created the fundamentals of many great novels, films, and visual art that we have seen, and continue to explore, in the 21st century. Vera Molnár, one of the pioneers of generative and computer arts, as well as the first woman to use computers in her art practice, introduced a 21st century medium to the arts. She is a major inspiration to me as a female artist, for her bold choice of using a medium that was unthinkable in a way that is complex yet stunning in simplicity at first glance.

 Did your artistic vision change in the last few months? And how?

Over the past year, alongside my digital collages, I have begun working in mixed media and new media as a way to expand my storytelling. In the beginning, getting used to painting over paint, messing things up, and exploring as I went was incredibly difficult to me, and I think that is primarily because digital work allowed me to have multiple versions of the same piece, without having to compromise. Getting over the fear of losing work, and embracing what would unfold as I went along was a challenge for me; however, it is one that I believe has made me a bit more brave. What I have learned in the past few months is trusting your instincts and the process.

Why  did you decide to participate in the exhibition Do not go out the window?

Do Not Go Out the Window highly resonated with me for providing visual arts a platform to be a form of protest against repression. As a woman from a country with many restrictions, especially for women to exist in the society and even in their own homes, we often find unconventional ways to have our voices and stories heard. I found Haze Gallery and this specific exhibition to shed a light on the significance that art can provide at times of personal, societal, and universal need to speak up, unify, and become more brave — and am thrilled to be a part of it!

Elyana Shamselangeroodi, Unlearn

Elyana Shamselangeroodi, Beautiful Ruins

Elyana Shamselangeroodi, Submerged

What message do viewers will have seen in your works at the exhibition?

I think for the unusual time that I found digital collages to be my rescue, I threw my loneliness and its familiar struggles into pieces that made me feel less lonely. Similarly, I have heard individuals connect with my work, empathizing having felt the emotion that the pieces often try to convey silently. I would hope that the viewer knows that they’re not alone, that the struggles they may be going through will make them stronger, that they matter in this world, that this world would certainly be missing something without them.

What would you like to wish our viewers and all the people in general to remember and never forget?

There’s a poem from one of the most iconic contemporary Iranian poets — Sohrab Sepehri — that reads:

Wherever I am, let me be
The sky is mine
The windows,
The earth
Is mine

This piece has time and time again reminded me that I belong on this earth, regardless of anyone who wants to go against it, and so do you. Live life on your terms. You belong here, you are worthy.


Kateryna Repa, Ukraine

Kateryna Repa, Evolution Earth

Kateryna Repa

Kateryna Repa, CatDog

How can you describe your art in a few sentences?

In my works in the field of painting, sculpture, and media, I touch on the topic of ecology and the impact of human consumption on it, as well as the types of its consequences for the environment and us.
In graphics, these are different manifestations of the human essence, such as it is, in my opinion, at the given moment of development.
I also touch on the topic of evolution and its manifestations, linking it with technologies, their influence, and possible themes of their manifestation.

Can you call the most important authors in contemporary art? Why?

Damien Hirst is great at marketing, some of his work reflects reality.
Marina Abramovich – she brought performance to a new level, some of her works reflect the dark essence of humans.

Did your artistic vision change in the last few months? And how?

Yes, it has changed, it has become more reflective of the events that are taking place in my country (Ukrainian) and has become more manifest.

Why  did you decide to participate in the exhibition Do not go out the window?

I wanted to talk about the real events that are happening now in Ukraine.

Kateryna Repa, Evolution Arch Water

Kateryna Repa, Stingray

Kateryna Repa, Gorilla

What message do viewers will have seen in your works at the exhibition?

The message of humanity. This is the only thing that can help us. And that cardinal changes are needed in the system of government of countries in order to prevent military actions.

What would you like to wish our viewers and all the people in general to remember and never forget?

I want to wish everyone to never forget the person inside of you.


Viktoria Salma, Uzbekistan artist living in German

How can you describe your art in a few sentences?

In my art I’m looking for things hidden behind the facade and trying to capture the beauty of the true self of people and animals, sometimes landscapes. As I truly believe, we all are souls traveling through time and space and each of us has a story to be told.

Can you call the most important authors in contemporary art? Why?

For me it´s Francis Bacon with all the distorted reality in his paintings — his work feels so contemporary to me, especially when we think, what is going on in the world. Adrian Ghenie with his historical topics. And surely Banksy – with his social critical approach.

Victoria Salma

Did your artistic vision change in the last few months? And how?

The last few months showed me even more clearly how important it is to stand for your own ideas and values.

Why  did you decide to participate in the exhibition Do not go out the window?

I grew up in Russia — in our history we learned a lot about violence and injustice. Especially against people who do not agree with the regime. But history repeats just in front of our eyes. I could not stay silent.

What message do viewers will have seen in your works at the exhibition?

The mix media drawings from the series „In Memoriam“, were originally started in honor of victims of Stalinism, as my great-grandfather was one of them. They are about the helplessness and the pain of not being heard. From February 2022 they are developed to be dedicated to all people who suffer from totalitarian regimes.

What would you like to wish our viewers and all the people in general to remember and never forget?

We live in a very special time, where everyone has to find her or his own truth and to stand for it. No one can hide behind others any more.

Victoria Salma, Metamorphose

Victoria Salma, From the current project Tonkashila

Victoria Salma, The spirits I called

Pawel Pacholec, Poland

How can you describe your art in a few sentences?

I wish my art to be thought provoking. Symbols that I use are often related to humanistic and social topics. I don’t consider my collage artworks to be very aesthetic, rather I care more about conveying reflective content. I try to fill the gap after C.G. Jung’s words that we live in thoughtless reality.

Can you call the most important authors in contemporary art? Why?

Since my main technique is collage I will mention the greatest in this field such as Robert Rauchenberg, Kurt Schwitters and Raoul Hausmann. They all created collages in the style of dada which is one of the best ways to comment on current affairs. Their collages were uncompromising, they criticized various political and social situations, often in a sarcastic or ironic way. This is an intelligent approach to art for thinking people.

Did your artistic vision change in the last few months? And how?

Present events in the world inspire deeper reflection. We are facing the greatest economic collapse ever and the social changes are very substantial and moving fast. The Overton Window mechanics can be seen very clearly as never before. I try to respond in an artistic manner to most of these turbulences.

Pawel Pacholec

Pawel Pacholec

Pawel Pacholec

Why  did you decide to participate in the exhibition Do not go out the window?

Topic that you propose is very close to me at the moment. Those massive changes in the world that we witness are forcing me to get more involved in politics and socio-economics. As the saying goes: “Evil feeds on the cowardice of good people”. I don’t want to be silent in these times.

What message do viewers will have seen in your works at the exhibition?

My main concern in life and art is the human condition. There are in my opinion way too many attempts of aggression, abuse and propaganda. I want to point out those subjects. I try to express my dissatisfaction with violence, as well as social pressure, repressions and aims to limit personal rights.

What would you like to wish our viewers and all the people in general to remember and never forget?

Follow your ideals, have some discipline, do and buy art that you love.

Pawel Pacholec, Absurd

Pawel Pacholec, Freedom

Pawel Pacholec, Body In Metamorphosis

Vanishing essences

By /ART/, /NEWS/

E k a t e r i n a  S i d o r e n k o v a

Vanishing essences

In 2020, when the whole world was isolated, many of us found ourselves in a situation when we were locked up face to face with other people in small spaces and it was mentally challenging. In this period artists started to explore new points of view, because many things were seen from a different angle and, as we know, restrictions are always the opportunity for something new. During the lockdown all social life, including art practices, changed. Many of us had problems with socialization, or rather without socialization and without usual communications.

Before the quarantine, for about five years Timur Antonov had been  drawing the characters of his family and friends. Using line as the main expressive medium, he accented on forms and prominent features to make portraits more individual.

Timur Antonov, Photo by @reinkarnatskaya

Timur Antonov, Photo by @reinkarnatskaya

The main theme in his artworks has been human identity. As an artist he tries to find a unique personality in his models and catch something that vanished in real life because we don’t look close enough.

But it’s indeed a difficult task, because in modern society we have an overdose of information including visual messages — advertising, social media, and the Internet. That all made our perception more insensitive, like selective flashes. We see images, sights, but we don’t understand the point, and miss the essence. We have connotations without denotation, because we can’t comprehend information and messages from the artist and can’t get the gist.

In March of 2020 Timur Antonov made his project dedicated to illusions in people’s characters and vanishing essences. He lived with his friends and with other guys in an apartment. For a long time he couldn’t go out because of lockdown rules. He was exhausted without his own space, without an opportunity to get out, to go for a walk. Living with other people for a while, observing their behavior and habits, Timur clearly understood how different they can be in various situations and how hard to catch their inner motives and feelings, their natural individuality.

Some traits of these people became annoying for Timur, some — attractive. But that all was something faintly discernible, when he tried to catch these traits, they always disappeared at the same moment like a silhouette in the smoke.




Working with icons, characters, Timur uses water pencils for vanishing effect. Despite the classical mediums and techniques, all of the images by Timur Antonov are airy, full of light and foggy haze. People at portraits look like a momentary mirage. When you look at the portrait, you have to focus very strongly, because you feel that the shapes will melt in the next few seconds. As the artist says, all icons in his works are not finished and they will never  be finished. They are like real humans, flexible and volatile, and never stay in rest. 

Experimenting with form and shape, the artist transmits the mood of his models through his technique and makes lines individual, characteral for each person. If we look at a portrait called Resentment, we can see a young girl in bloody-red shades and with red-lighted eyes. In her face we clearly see tension and anxiety. Pencil lines are sharp and intermittent, they transfer inner voltage to viewers. 

On the contrary, portraits from the Childhood series are softer, painted with care and tenderness. The author uses restful and deep shades for these portraits. The portraits are also unsteady and exciting, but they are like an airy haze, pleased and  virginal, without anxiety and worrying.

In general, all his works explore the fluctuation of the self-identity of the persons, their inner personality and traits that can’t be noticed from first sight. It’s a deep philosophical research of human nature and volatility in a new flashing reality with constantly vanishing essences.

The Face of Desolation


New Romantic

Following the trends of the time, Timur Antonov turned to the theme of transience and through the images, lines and color forced people to hold attention and feel the evanescence of identity in the portraits.

Ukrainian women in Photography

By /ART/, /NEWS/
Ukrainian women in Photography

Eva Dzhyshyashvili

I explore myself deeper and deeper to finally find myself on top of personal
perception, through reflection the image is manifested, the generalized female image of which I become a part. Private, individual, personal leads to the generalized. I concentrate on the parts, looking at the fragments of my body to crumble and relieve tension. Because it is not me anymore, on the surface a female image, so powerful and fragile. And I’m in the depths.

„Swan“ Symbolic revival by Anna Cherkas

This project presents autographic images. The author symbolizes himself with a white swan.
The goal of the project is openness and acceptance of your body. Reflection of the
symphony, with the help of the body and feminine natural beauty, in a symbolic image.

According to belief, the bird is equated with human qualities. They are a symbol of true sincere feelings, pure and mutual love. According to the sign, the swan is a bird of poets. A meeting with him is considered lucky.


Ph: Victoria Likholyot
Models: Victoria Likholyot, Tatiana Afanasieva

Long hair in modern culture is a female secondary sex characteristic. I religion, traditional culture, mythology, many stories are associated wit women’s hair: from the traditions of covering the hair after the wedding to the Christian stories about Saint Agnes, who had her hair grown to cover he nakedness.

Victoria Likholyot is a photographer based in Kharkiv, Ukraine. She studied photography at the School of Contemporary Art and the Chekachkov Photo Academy, both in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Likholyot’s work has been exhibited at the Kharkiv Municipal Gallery, Kharkiv, Ukraine; Lavra Gallery, Kyiv, Ukraine; and the
Grand Palais, Paris, France. She is currently a lecturer of Feminist art at the Karazin National University in Kharkiv, Ukraine.

Julia Lazumirska

Christina Yang „Red Noise“

By /ART/, /NEWS/


Production: Christina Yang (@christ.ywn) & Ruka Zheng (@zwenjiejie)
Photographer: Christina Yang (@christ.ywn)
Styling: Ruka (@zwenjiejie)
HMUA: Wenzi 
HMUA Assistant: Yeye
Model: Rain 
Assistant: Shao & Kun

Fashion Design:
Aojierou (@aojierou) 
Yueqi Qi (@_yueqiqi) 
022397 Bluff

Sunwanw (@sunwanw) 
Mojo G 

Interview with Female Artists from HAZEGALLERY


Text: I r i n a  R u s i n o v i c h
All photos are provided by the authors of the HAZE Gallery

Interview with Female Artists from HAZEGALLERY

Interview with Marina WitteMann

What artwork/series of works do you find pivotal for your career? 

It was a series of colour fields made of paper that has become a turning point for my career as an artist. Prior to that, I analyzed every work of mine considering it to be a new step of development. Thus, my creative self evolved and infused with each of my artworks. However, even I was amazed by what happened at the very beginning of this series.

Ever since I can remember it, I have enjoyed a special relationship with colour. It’s called synesthesia: when sensations emanating from one sense organ are also manifested in another one, for example, seeing the pain in colour or feeling the shape of a cold. Therefore, my art revolved around this. Before, I didn’t understand why it happened. The desire to analyze, reproduce, compare the colour with form and material prompted me to do new experiments. 

I love oil paints for its texture and colour purity, but this has never been enough for me. I felt a need to go beyond the canvas, to feel the colour in the space. In sculpture, the shape interferes with the colour, that’s why I opted for it. The way I work now allows me to use paint and other materials as they are, leaving out the original colour and the history of these objects. That’s how I translate the emotions I experience daily through artistic materials.  

How has being a woman affected your career?

Surprisingly, I have always enjoyed being a woman, though perfectly realizing that women tend to think in a too complicated way and yield to emotions. All that prevents women from discarding the unnecessary and focusing on what is really important. I cultivated those qualities myself, so now I can control my emotions, while still enjoying my feminine essence. I seek to express the tenderness and softness of female nature in the floral and gentle shape of my art objects. The paper structure catches the eye and lets one penetrate the surface at the same time, just like the woman nature implies.

What makes a great artist?

It seems to me that an artist becomes great when their art begins to resonate in the souls and the minds of other people. It’s just the way it works in all spheres of life. A great artist is capable of creating a piece that is equally simple and complex. For example, imagine a work where a composition reveals through the material, while the material, in turn, establishes many associations the viewer might recognize. The colour grabs attention and starts a discussion; the texture excites and awakens a desire to touch the piece, to communicate with it physically… From the work, the viewer gains a longstanding experience and a sense of time. Therefore, a great artwork is inevitably modern, as it reveals the timeless conditions of being alive. 

Which other great women artists inspire you and why?

This list is endless. And by the way, I don’t divide artists into men and women. Primarily, I look at the object or the non-material result of work and only then, will I read the author’s story. I can still highlight a few of my favourite female artists and just women with a capital letter W. A great woman who inspires me is not just a woman who paints with oil or makes sculptures. For me, it’s a creative being full of willpower, authenticity, and capacity to communicate with people and life. 

Here I would like to mention Matrona Moskovskaya as one of my sources of inspiration. Saint Matrona was blind and lost the ability to walk early in life. With all the hardships, she was so strong in spirit that she kept working wonders for people. So those miracles for me are what artists should strive for in their artistic practice. In general, being an artist and a saint at the same time, like Andrei Rublev, for example, seems to me an especially fruitful combination (and history proves it). 

Another Russian artist who inspires me is the ballerina Maya Plisetskaya. Her energy, passion, hard work, strong character, elegance and progressive thinking are what I am guided by in my work. 

Choreographer Sharon Eyal is no less inspiring for me. When I first saw her Untitled black performance in Shanghai, it felt like a shock and an extravaganza. I was struck by the incredible naturalness of the movements the troupe did on stage. Music, costumes — everything looked as if it were taken from the future. It seems to me a real work of art should be just like that: progressive, challenging, highly material, and sensual.

In general, I tend to consider my contemporaries while searching for inspiration. For example, artist Phyllida Barlow is like a teacher to me now. If I have a question, I will certainly look for an answer in Barlow’s works. I love the simplicity of her materials and the way they’re interpreted. The completed work should be viewed not with the eyes, but with the soul. To be able to ‘read’ art objects that have been created on a sensory level, one needs to use their sixth sense. I feel a strong connection with Russian culture here: I guess we, Russians, often communicate this way. 

Last but not the least, I should mention artist Marina Abramovic. I will never stop learning from her. The way she communicates with the viewer and reaches catharsis, the mediums she uses in art, all that captivates my attention. For me, it’s about feelings, soul, experience, and in general the development of the sixth sense.

What advice would you give to emerging female artists entering the art world?

— Take yourself seriously and enjoy the process. If you don’t believe in yourself, then no one will, why should they? In art, you can lie, neither to yourself nor to the viewer; if someone senses a catch, the work won’t be recognized as a true art. At the same time, if you don’t experience pleasure from doing art, you will hardly be able to engage others with your ideas.

— Listen to yourself and constantly work, then everything falls into place.

— Always try new things. And reflect on it.

— Compare yourself with contemporaries and geniuses and draw conclusions: has your work differed; if so, for better or worse etc. 

— Continue to doubt, otherwise you may either remain ignorant or stop your search too early.

Interview with Elena Fuks (Lentov)

What artwork/series of works do you find pivotal for your career? 

I wouldn’t call it pivotal, however, my decision to enter the sphere of art was related to this particular piece. It was the first artwork I sold: a watercolor on an A5 sheet of paper portraying a little girl in the style of Yoshitomo Nara. One day, I was invited to participate in the big student fair of contemporary art at the British Higher School of Art and Design. Among the participants, I was the only non-student; full of hesitation, I was in the process of choosing my future career at the time. Nevertheless, I had all of my artworks sold by the end of the fair.

How has being a woman affected your career?

I find it really difficult to answer this question without having an experience of being a male artist. I can’t say for sure, but female art seems more emotional and sincere to me. 

What makes a great artist?

A great mind and an unquenchable inspiration.

Which other great women artists inspire you and why?

To be honest, I don’t have idols and normally I don’t pay attention to the gender of the artist either. I’m rather inspired by the art piece itself and the emotions it conveys. For me, the pure source of inspiration is hidden in daily life, in the stories and personalities of ordinary people… So you can be the first to transfer these feelings into the realm of art. 

What advice would you give to emerging female artists?

Be yourself, don’t dread the ‘journey’ with all its ups and downs, and always remember about your goals.

Interview with Kristina Okan 

What artwork/series of works do you find pivotal for your career? 

I would say it is my Allusions graphic series. What I did in the period of 2017—2018 defined my entire artistic practice so far. I feel like I have found my voice. Besides, I have realized that the process itself is just as important as the outcome in art. 

How has being a woman affected your career?

Luckily, my gender has never affected my career in neither way. I believe there should always be enough space for both male and female artists on the art scene.

What makes a great artist?

Honesty with yourself. Sensitive interaction with the world. Regular doubting and questioning what you do.

Which other great women artists inspire you and why?

Alicja Kwade is an absolutely mind-blowing artist for me. The way she works with materials such as stone and wood is great and simple and smart and impressive at the same time, it looks like pure magic! Giovanna Garzoni has become my recent discovery: her works are very inspiring because of their mesmerizing quality and a very sensitive admiration of nature they transmit. I also think here of Yayoi Kusama, her parallel universe where you just lose a sense of reality.

What advice would you give to emerging female artists?

Be in contact with your inner voice, never let it down. Always be the best version of yourself. 

Interview with artist Maria Volokhova


Photo: Natascha Wilms, Maria Volokhova
Text: Irina Rusinovich

Interview with artist Maria Volokhova

Where do you come from, where and when were you born?

I was born in 1980 in Kyiv / Ukraine.

Please tell us your artistic vita in a few sentences.

In Kyiv, I started my artistic education at the age of 6 and later attended the Shevchenko State Art High School. From 1997 to 2004 at the HKD Burg Giebichenstein, Halle/Saale painting/graphics graduated with a diploma.

Study visits in:
2000/02 Accademia die Belle Arti Bologna / Italy,
2003 – Ohio University, Athens/Ohio, USA
2005-2007 – Postgraduate studies at HKD „Burg Giebichenstein“, Department of Graphic Arts
2006 – 2009 Visiting student, Research Studies Ceramics, University Tokyo University of the Arts, Japan.

In 2009 the studio “ Volokhova Porcelain“ was founded in Berlin. In addition to working in the Berlin studio, I have interned in various porcelain manufactories in Germany and implemented my works in collaboration with the manufactories. My projects are exhibited worldwide at   M.V museums , exhibitions, fairs, and biennials (Faenza, Gyeonggi, Bornholm, Jakarta) and received several awards (NASPA Award, Keramikpreis Diesen, BKV Award, Ready Set Award).

How would you describe your creative process?

The ideas for the projects usually arise intuitively. In the work I delve into the thought to another level, so to speak, to another „planet“ of the current theme.
The work on the projects has an experimental character. How far can I explore the limits of the material?
My work with porcelain requires long preparation in designing the models. In the course of the process, further developments of the project emerge. Failures are part of everyday life and often lead to unexpected and exciting solutions.

What was the key influence that led to the development of your process and style?

My study at the Accademia di Belle Arti, Bologna in 2000/2001. There I came across the Museum of Anatomy with historical exhibits. Since then I have been busy interpreting and expanding projects about the inner worlds of the human being.

The desire to aesthetically realize this somewhat unpleasant subject led me to work with porcelain.

Do you have a life philosophy? Does your creative practice fit in with this philosophy?

Life itself, enjoyment of life, experimenting and constant development.
Also in my artistic practice, I am always researching about man as a being, our connections with the social environment as well as the new possibilities in the implementation.
My credo is: to remain free in my thoughts and ideas and to keep the possibility to pursue my goals.

Have you ever had a moment when you questioned your career entirely?

Moments of doubts come across an artist mind  again and again. These moments eventually lead to inner strengthening. At some point, I understood that my activity as an artist is my true vocation, and I cannot imagine my life without my research work in the workshop.

What is your favorite museum or art gallery and why?

me Collectors Room, Berlin

A contemporary art chamber with exciting artifacts. There I always find historical overlaps with my artistic research and new inspirations. Exciting temporary exhibitions.

What’s next for you?

At the moment I am working on the development of the project in connection with the current war situation in Ukraine that will be shown in the context of the Porcelain Biennale in Meissen in the summer.

I was very moved emotionally by the Maidan Revolution in 2014. At that time I realized what a strong meaning the country of Ukraine has for me, although I have been living abroad since 1995. The current attack on Ukraine shook the whole world.

For me Ukraine is a country with people who have warmth in them, always going about their daily lives with smiles and humor. The hearts of these people are destroyed, they mourn for their loved ones, for their destroyed cities, and continue to fight for their existence as a people and their independence.

Interview with artist Vera Kochubey


I r i n a  R u s i n o v i c h

Interview with artist Vera Kochubey

Where do you come from, where and when were you born?

I was born in 1986 in Moscow, USSR. It’s the year of Chernobyl and 5 years before the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Please tell us your artistic vita in a few sentences.

I was born an artist and already at 2 years old I got first lessons of painting from my grandfather who was an amazing artist himself. I spent all my childhood around him in his home atelier in Moscow. I went to art school in Moscow but dropped out and came to Berlin in 2011 to establish myself as an Artist. Since then I have more then 200 collectors under my belt worldwide as well as dozens of international art shows.

How would you define Contemporary Art in 140 characters or less?

Contemporary art is badass, provocative, bold and imaginative, I like that there is no borders at all. So it’s fair to say, Contemporary Art is something close to Chaos Magic.

Was there a pivotal moment when you decided to follow your passion?

I had artistic soul from the very beginning, but I felt shame for this and was taught that you need to “sacrifice your life for higher proposes of common wealth of communism” – from my grandparents. In Soviet Union there was no such a profession as an “artist” so it was never taken seriously. In 2014 in berlin I met a man who was a successful writer coming from working class family and meeting him put a sparkle in me to peruse my artist career seriously . Then he took me to Berghain and my wild spirit was unleashed.

How can you describe your art practice ?

I think my art is an expression of my multiple personalities. One wants to escape all the struggle into the happy colorful bubble, one wants to shout out from every corner the painful universal truth, the other one is empersonating an ambiguous androgynous figure that is trying to figure out this life and is questioning his body/spirit existence.

Has social media had a positive impact on your work?

I started to take Instagram seriously in 2015 and I build my audience and followers since then. My main business platform is there too, so I believe that social media plays a big role these days for emerging artists.

Do you find that Berlin’s art scene inspires or influences your art?

I feel I am very independent from Berlin Art scene to the point where I could call myself the most famous Berlin art scene outsider.

What’s next for you?

A show in Berlin Urban Nation Museum, solo show at HAZE gallery, art residency at BIKINI BERLIN and autobiographical book on the way + baby steps into NFT art market.

What is it like to be a woman in art today? Q&A with an artist, a curator, and an art dealer: Russian perspective


Text: Julia Kryshevich
All photos provided by the Q&A participants 

What is it like to be a woman in art today? Q&A with an artist, a curator, and an art dealer: Russian perspective

To reflect on this pertinent issue, I invited three young (given that young age is a rather vast thing), promising (in my humble but confident opinion) women from the Russian contemporary art world to share their views. Meet Anastasia Omelchenko, an art dealer and founder of the Moscow-based Omelchenko Gallery, Lizaveta Matveeva, a St. Petersburg curator active both on the local and international scene, and Alexandra Weld Queen, an artist who, yes, welds to shape her creative vision.

Photo: Inna Rabotyagina

A n a s t a s i a   O m e l c h e n k o

(b. 1991, lives and works in Moscow) 

Cofounder and director of Omelchenko Gallery* (Moscow), artist

Patience, obstinacy, and effort define a woman working in art today

It’s no secret that the Russian art scene runs on women’s endeavors. Look at Olga Sviblova, the Multimedia Art Museum director, Aidan Salakhova, one of the most famous female Russian artists plus a founder of the prominent Aidan Gallery1, Teresa Iarocci Mavica, cofounder of the V-A-C Foundation Moscow2, Margarita Pushkina, founder and director of Cosmoscow International Art Fair3, the list goes on and on. 

Photo: Inna Rabotyagina

I would say it’s patience, obstinacy, and effort that define a woman working in art today. At the same time, she might be easy, elegant, and empathetic. Through combining leadership and sensitivity, women hold prestigious positions in the art world like art historians, art critics, museum directors, and gallery owners. The same goes for me: I have to balance between my art dealer, curator, and artist roles, which often go in different directions. 

There have always been hard-working women in art. Over the centuries, women have been painting and they have been watched! However, their achievements in the artistic field weren’t really recognized before. Fortunately, today it’s different: female artists and arts administrators have been given a voice and an opportunity to share their visions on society and culture. In art (and thanks to it) we can prove ourselves comprehensively both as creators and managers and show all our talent. 

L i z a v e t a    M a t v e e v a 

(b. 1991, lives and works in St. Petersburg) 

Independent curator* and project manager 

‘Curare’ means ‘to take care’. However, care doesn’t have a gender

That’s an interesting topic to think about from the Russian perspective. From my experience, I would say that local art scene seems to be gender neutral, meaning you can see women and men on all levels of administration: you can see female, male or queer artists and curators, etc. However, in your daily working routine, you face all kinds of stereotypes; some of them you don’t pay attention to, some might be traumatic, some you don’t even identify as stereotypes or an encroachment on personal space.

I don’t think there is any fundamental difference between being a female or male curator. At least I don’t feel or see this difference, as I truly believe it’s important, first of all, to remain a human being in any sphere. Attempts to find those differences bring us back to stereotyping. Of course, we’re different, as every human being is. But also we’re quite similar in many senses.

If we think of the etymology of the word ‘curator’, it comes from the Latin ‘curare’, which means ‘to take care’. I can imagine that in patriarchal thinking taking care is primarily considered as a female gesture. However, care doesn’t have a gender. Fathers can be as caring as mothers.

A l e x a n d r a   W e l d   Q u e e n 

(b. 1985, lives and works in Moscow) 

Artist, sculptor, and performer* 

Today it’s only fighting oneself that matters

What is it like to be a woman in art for me? It means doing anything I want without restraint. In my practice, I work with metal and weld a lot, which traditionally is seen as a ‘man’s job’, but it never really bothered me. Because I don’t really care what everyone will think, I just do what I like and bring my ideas to life. 

In my opinion, today there is no point in fighting for one’s place in art, proving or arguing something. I’m grateful to all the progress feminists have made by now. However, I’m sure that today it’s only fighting oneself that matters. I find it important that I can do whatever I want in a world where everything is possible. That’s why I rather focus on personal comfort, freedom, energy, and liberation from internal constraints that disturb living happily. I seek to reveal answers to all those questions through my artworks, sculptures, and performances. 

* A certified specialist in welding technology, Alexandra Weld Queen both designs and makes her objects by hand. In Moscow, where the artist currently resides she’s known for her impressive public art projects created for city parks and gardens. Weld Queen is also a keen performer. Since 2019, she and her team have taken part in Burning Man. Discover works by Alexandra Weld Queen: