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Interview with artist Anna Tsvell


I r i n a  R u s i n o v i c h

Interview with artist Anna Tsvell

Hello Anna, thank you for taking time for that interview. Let’s start with a first question. What was your journey up until now in becoming an artist?
Hello !
Well I decided to be a full time artist not so long ago – in 2014 year and it was one of the best decisions in my life. I have a bachelor degree in Developmental and Child Psychology but I didn’t work even one day as a child psychologist. I’ve been working as a copywriter and event manager but I always was dreaming to be independent and to work for myself – in 2014 my dream came true.

You have a very recognizable artistic style in your paintings. What did it take to develop it?
Thank you for noticing the uniqueness of my style – it is very important for me.
As a said before I began my art career in 2014 year and I did it from absolute zero – at first I began as a digital artist but it was easy, I was just redrawing some photos and it was boring so I decided to draw and paint with traditional art supplies. I didn’t know anything about art world and art business when I was staring, I did everything very intuitively but even than I knew that I want my own remarkable style. And it was hard – hard to understand myself, hard to paint and draw without any skills or art education, hard to buy good expensive art supplies, hard to understand how does it all works in art world. But if you want something very much there are no borders so here I am now. The best advice I can give to beginners is to practice every day – to redraw, to doodle, to sketch, to find your own personal uniqueness or any psychological fixations and make them work on you . I am still improving my skills and working on my style every day, my style is changing from year to year and it is normal and great, I hope that this process will be endless .

What inspires your work the most?
I am taking the inspiration from absolutely everything so I can say that my inspiration is always with me, it is as normal process for me as breathing for example. Of course there are days of some kind of artistic bocks – I am just taking days off, walking a lot, traveling ( I am missing traveling sooooooo much now ) , reading books etc – and when the block ends I am coming out from it with new ideas.

Tell us about the spaces within you live and work?
My studio is located in my apartments because I am lazy and I don’t think that I’ll be ready to go somewhere else to the studio every day )) It is very comfortable for me to work from home – I am located in Moscow oblast now in a beautiful apartment complex near the forest and lake.

What is your favorite museum or art gallery and why?
There are three of my favorite galleries which I’ve visited : Getty Center in Los Angeles, Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice and Museum der bildenden Künste in Leipzig – incredible places ! So atmospheric , so unique. These galleries gave me so much inspiration, I can spend hours there and visit it as many times as it’s possible ! But if I need to choose one ( it’s hard to do!) I’ll choose Getty Center in Los Angeles – amazing museum with incredible view on my favorite city in the whole world.

Who would you most like to collaborate with and why?
My dream is collaborate with Gucci and YSL brands, my favorite ones. Also I think it would be cool to make a collar with photographers – photography is my second one passion and I think we can create a cool project from zero. Also my dream is to collaborate with a vine brand – I would like to create a vine label one day.

How would you define your personal aesthetics?
As I like to say – I am a professional hedonist.

What is your favorite artwork from your own collection?

It is my «4 am, piercing look at the city from the Hollywood Hills» painting from Essential scars series , 2020 . This series includes four paintings and it is about all that visible and invisible ( physical and mental ) scars we are getting during all our life. «4 am, piercing look at the city from the Hollywood Hills» is the biggest one from this series ( 120 x 100 cm ) and it is quite personal – it’s about a long way to the dream : strawberry and a glass of champagne – my favorite hedonistic symbols – are about happiness and success , red lines inside the abstract body figure are symbolizing scars that were received during this hard way.

Interview with photographer Kira Gyngazova


I r i n a  R u s i n o v i c h

Interview with photographer Kira Gyngazova

Hello Kira! We are happy to welcome you at HAZEGALLERY and would like you to tell us more about you: where you from? How did you approach photography and when did you start?

I am from Russia, Saint-Petersburg. I studied philosophy in the university. I got acquainted with photography when I first went living abroad to France 10 years ago. I bought a film camera on eBay and just started wondering int he cities snapping everything that caught my eye. I didn’t know that time that photography could be something more serious, like a job. I never interested in other photographers and even didn’t develop photos during a year and barely showed them anyone. That is very different feeling that I have nowadays because it was very pure, just for myself.

I started doing photography full-time when I moved to Bangkok, Thailand 3 years ago. This city literally blowed my mind and as I love cinema a lot, I found Bangkok very cinematographic and started to do a lot of street photos. From this point photography became my main passion and occupation.

Do you prefer shooting digitally or on film?
I prefer digital as sometimes I have to react very fast not to loose a perfect moment, a moment in between.

What’s your definition of beauty?
Aesthetic pleasure  that brings joyful emotion.

How would you describe the colour palette of your photographs?
It depends on my mood,  I  like desaturated, dark and low contrast tones as well as bright colours as red and green and blue.

Do you have a favorite photograph or painting, which inspires you?
“The sudden gust of the wind” of Jeff Wall. Every time I see this work something clicks in me.

What visual references do you draw upon in your work?
I collect a lot of paintings on my computer as well as screen shots from the movies. I use them as inspiration.

What are your future goals?
Just want to continue to experiment with subjects and mediums. In the nearest future planning to make a short movie

Instagram Kira @kira.gyn

Interview with artist Nat Apanay


I r i n a  R u s i n o v i c h

Interview with artist Nat Apanay

1. How would you define beauty in 140 characters or less?
The beauty for me is not a sex, classical pattern, length of legs or yachts, material box or cocoon of our matrix world. The beauty is a synergy of the Nature and the Artistic Mind which puts back together the pieces of flowing living energy working to create a whole greater than the sum of its parts.

2. How would you best describe your style?
Biomorphic abstract impresses of fantastic worlds that appear a qualia from there to this place like a vibrating sculptures. Multi-layer artworks move like a hallucination and embody the complex essence of the human personality. Moreover natural materials such as branches, stones, moss, bones, blood and synthetic materials such as silicone, nails, plastic, money, gadgets are built into the voluminous works like the architectural structure of our time of the anthropocene.

3. Has this always been your style?
I have got a Master’s Degree in Architecture, Academic Arts. I’m used to create works and paintings in the academic way. Besides philosophy, cosmology, neurophysiology, biology and theoretical physics have captured almost all of my attention, becoming a passion and this knowledge has led me to abstraction. I’m proponent of scientists (Eric Kandel, Vilayanur Ramachandran, Samir Zeki, Dick Swaab etc) who study the brain as a part of the science discipline – neuroesthetics who already gives us the better understanding that abstract art affects the development of mind’s potential. Therefore recently the abstraction is the main field of my research. Even now I review selfidentification through the abstract principles and openmind optics, that experiences are presented in such related media as sculpture and video.

4. Do you feel that your works are addressing a topic, theme or problem?
There are two main themes that reflected in my artworks: mind’s potential and coexistence organic world of nature and territory of mankind, technological and synthetic.
And the problem is to create a peaceful ecological connection between man and planet, correct implementation of AI and other our ambitions. I’m trying to find the mental-spiritual bridge that could make a strong collaboration of science and art.

5. What is the driving force behind your work?
My parents and sister are hereditary doctors, farther is a surgeon, so I’m used to research everything in a scientific way, to dissect an issue, get inside it and study the very essence. Therefore new studies in neuroscience and biology are driving force behind my art as well as visiting Kunstkammers, watching online surgeries and studying literature on anatomy. Moreover now I’m getting degree in Western philosophy in Moscow State University. And I need to mention that Eastern philosophy and meditation which I practice in Nepal, Japan, Bali and India helped me in crucial times to stay whole and comprehensive unit of living energy.

6. Have certain artists or movements inspired your work?
Francis Bacon, Mikhail Vrubel, Joseph Beuys and Gerhard Richter are one of my favorite artist. Their subtle perception of the world’s settings, as well as their selfless immersion in art, amazes me and arouses deep respect.
Also I do admire the Western philosophy which researches our matrix world and human place and aim of being. Such great thinkers as Friedrich Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger, Gilles Deleuze as well as Fyodor Dostoevsky, Franz Kafka, Nikolai Gogol and Vladimir Nabokov have formed an amazing inner tool for perception of the world and finding wisdom, they are my teachers and main friends.

7. Tell us about the spaces within which you live and work.
Nowadays I live countryside in the green and calm place not far from Moscow. My studio is located near house where I live so in early morning I’m used to walk or ride in a forest, collect specific for me stones, bones, moss or plastic staff, meditate and than work in silence. Often I put works to the car and go any direction, only trust my intuition, and walk with paintings through forests or ruins to full feel the energy of space, the man’s and nature’s territories.

8. Do you have a routine or rituals as you work?
I don’t push myself to create, don’t rush. I always prepare myself by everyday meditation and absorption of the new knowledge and thoughts to start express them in art. Day by day I await the right mental flow, watch extraordinary dreams, I feel that idea needs to ripen and one night I wake up in 5 am and I know I ready.

9. What is your favourite museum or art gallery and why?
Of course Tate Modern in London, Guggenheim Museum in NYC and Centre Pompidou in Paris are my favorite places where I could spend hours, days and immerse deep into my thoughts, dreams, sufferings and joys, where I feel the realization of mankind’s potential.

10. Your best advice to fellow artists?
Don’t be afraid of anything, don’t feel sorry for anything, and don’t be shy about your identity, your inner true identity. And I am sure that we need to learn all our lives constantly.

Instagram Nat Apanay: @natapanay

Interview with Kristina Okan


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Interview with Kristina Okan

Tell us a bit about yourself, your background and your work
I am a visual artist, originally from Russia but currently live and work in Berlin.

I graduated from Moscow Stroganov Art Academy with major in Ceramic Art. After  studying for 6 years, I felt creatively lost, because Russian artistic high education is very separated from the real situation in the contemporary art world. So, I decided that the best idea would be for me to move abroad and to start the next chapter of life in a new place where I have never been before, thus I moved to Warsaw, and then – Berlin. Now I am a full time artist, exhibiting and working locally and internationally.

What set you off as an artist?
I never saw other options for me in life to be honest. All my life I practice and study art. Nothing excites me more than when I express myself as an artist. I guess, it is my nature. Even though I tried to run my own art space project, to be an art manager in the gallery and to be an art teacher – I always feel that I am out of my element and I waste my time when I do something different from artworks.

Tell us about the themes you pursue in your work
All my works derive from my fantasies about natural and organic beauty. I think that so much visual beauty and power is concentrated in simple, trivial objects such as apples, lemons, etc., that we get used not to notice, though they are always in front of us. Also, digging deeper into the topic of still lifes I was fascinated by how much meaning and symbolism fruits and vegetables carried in the past, in the Renaissance epoch, for example.

In my works, I often look for a balance between abstract forms and real natural objects. As I said before, I am highly attracted by pieces created by nature, and I play around with this existing beauty in my own way, creating my imaginary shapes – little biomorphic monuments. I also like the visual effect of repetitive forms and patterns, that is why all my works are made of repeated elements. For me is very important to leave a room for interpretation of my objects to the viewers, to give a chance to find their own meanings.

Is there something you couldn’t live without in your studio? what is your most essential tool?
My studio is where my table is. It is the basic and the most sacred object for me in my studio. Not sure it can be considered as a tool actually, but it is the most essential element for me for sure.

Tell us how you organize, plan, and prioritize your work
Working with porcelain implies a very high level of discipline and self organization. If there is a tiny bit of rush – everything goes wrong. That is why I always prepare myself mentally in advance for the new series of works and organize my schedule the way that nothing will disturb me and I will devote 100 % of my attention to work. It is like a retreat or meditation.

With watercolor works on paper is almost the same. Since all my graphic works are meticulously detailed, it takes also a lot of concentration. Sometimes, I am so much into work that after hours of drawing, I look at the work and think: oh, wow,  did I really do it myself? Because at some point, I have a feeling that the work guided my hand without my direct participation. I think these works are my favorite ones!

Professionally, what is your goal?
My goal is to reach a broader audience and to get more visibility on international art fairs and competitions. And to have my works in David Zwirner`s collection, of course.

Are there any upcoming exhibitions or projects in the works?
I was working for a quite long time on my solo exhibition  MY SECRET GARDEN, but unfortuntely it was postponed and then finally cancelled due to current situation. Now I am very glad to announce that this show is finally going to happen in Haze Gallery and I am mostly focuced on its preparation. Besides this, I am working on a number of applications for ceramic biennales and art awards.

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Interview with Victoria Rosenman


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Interview with Victoria Rosenman

1.Victoria, you have an art education and you planned to devote yourself to painting. What was the key moment to choosing photography as your medium?

There were exactly two key moments that led me to photography:
My familiarity with graphics and painting and unfortunately also my subjective or false perception of artistic value. In the first year of study, I felt very privileged when it came to painting techniques, because I was convinced that my years of experience as a child in a Russian painting school full of discipline and all conventions proved my skill and that I was able to do something better than other people. I demonstrated lifelike illustrations on paper or canvas, but they were without content. This demonstration of the inauthentic, technical ability resulted in my first strong artistic block.
At that time my professor recommended that I write down all my suffering and other emotional states, so that as semester papers and at exhibitions I presented all the texts and formulas that came from within. The reaction of the audience was rather neutral, which made me very outraged and sad. Nobody wanted to read subjective pseudophilosophical texts by an art student. So I decided on stronger visualisation so that outsiders can better engage with my thoughts and concepts. So I started to reproduce the content of what was written in the form of photography: texts became images.

Another reason why I chose  photography and why I also continue the project „From the destruction of a muse“ (the upcoming exhibition „Don’t kill me“ is another component of the project) , are interpersonal relationships that inspire and frighten me, which I ultimately “preserve” as an eternal requiem in various forms of representation.
I started documenting an extraordinary relationship. I wanted to capture the personality of a person because this presence and aura in a good sense nourished and moved me. For me, this person was a muse – a source of inspiration. I later found out that certain characteristics and polarities of a human personality are very appealing to me and I want to „hold onto“ more of the psyche of everyone. Photography was able to clarify my visions and a certain stage of my relationships and trigger further, productive thought processes.

2.Your oevre is inspired by classical photography; light, shapes and color. What do you think is the starting point in your work?

I would not say that they are classic photographic representations. I mostly take pictures outdoors in daylight – I use almost no artificial light sources because I love painterly aesthetics and the transition or mixing of photos to and / or painting is very liberating. I don’t want to commit myself to a specific medium, the photos I take are part of the whole. Texts, installations and, of course, the “muses” are part of the whole. Often at my openings people are exhibited in front of their photographic images, which I call my muses. So I offer the viewer to compare the „living“, „breathing“ reality with my perception. Speaking of comparisons: if we come back to the original question: the classic view of my photos is explained or visible to the extent that, of course, I do not like depth of field or photograph everything sharply and light / shadow plays often achieve painterly effects that are reminiscent of old master paintings.

3.Choosing a Muse is the main part of the process for your works. Tell us about how you choose them?

I watch a lot, but I’m not looking for people who should become my muses. People who work with me on the project, despite their openness, radiate a lot of discrepancy and are not afraid to show their vulnerability. To recognise such a character, of course, I also have to spend some time with this person. The revelation of the inner polarities of a muse is the origin and beginning of my artistic work. The photographic illustration or texts are only final results or memorabilia, a valuable process that documents an interpersonal relationship – a devotion between artist and muse, an interplay of power and dependency, guilt and innocence – a mutual challenge. I also write about this in my manifestos, which I have now published in the form of an art book (the book can be purchased at the opening of „don’t kill me“)
Of course, a discrepancy between the outside and inside of a person is always very exciting and a certain appearance often leads us to get to know the personality of the person better. In the end, mutual trust counts and good friendships have developed from many processes.

4.Your manifesto speaks of a certain “seismographic perception of a person”, please explain what exactly this means and how it is displayed in your works.

My “muses” should be able to show themselves to be as vulnerable as possible. Of course, this requires a lot of preparatory work, a process that I call very valuable. In the process, we build trust, open up, deliver each other. You go through different phases together, which are sometimes attractive, sometimes painful. Later, a clear psychogram of a personality emerges – in the case for me: a photographic image of the „current“ muse. This means that a „seismographic“ approach means a meticulous recording or demonstration of the characteristics of a muse.

5.The starting points in your work are eternal human conflicts; power and dependence, destruction and creation. What exactly do you project in your works? Process or decision

The process is supposed to satisfy me in the first place and when it happens, I automatically trigger new thoughts and thus also offer solutions. Whether these solutions can be applied to other individuals is less important to me. It is enough if questions arise. „Mark“ questions people – I like this idea.

6.Describe what beauty means to you in a nutshell.

I think there are many types of beauty and their intensities increase or decrease in different contexts. For this I reveal my first, self-invented formula, which I presented on a DinA4 sheet of paper in my first year of graduation:
Degradation / effect = value.

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1. When did you realise you wanted to become an artist?

As my parents tell me, I started drawing little sketches when I was about 3 years old, but I began painting and illustrating fashion illustrations when I was about 9 years old. I always loved painting and was interested in my grandpa’s and my dad’s artworks, as they are painters as well. I was   ready to analyze the little details of their works by that time. When illustrating I was and still am fascinated from natural silhouettes, poses and famous painters’ work which also became a became as a big inspiration to me.

2. Which artists would you cite as your influences?

There are many painters and many illustrators who’s work has had a big impact and influence on me. My favorite painter is Gustav Klimt while my favorite illustrator is Rene Gruau. When I see Klimt’s painting seems like I’m in another world. His paintings have deep meaning – beautiful tones, dots, shapes, moves and on top of this all, golden color. That means everything to me and to many other people in the world as it is one of the most inspirational artists. Every painting of him fascinates me! His amazing work shaped in many styles such as pointillism has influenced me into exploring other styles such as pointillism. That is the main reason why many of my paintings are done in pointillism style. On the other hand, Rene Gruau,  as an amazing and unforgettable illustrator pushed me into turning my little sketches into real illustrations. I’m in love with his silhouettes and accents in his painting and I think that his painting style had a big effect into many artists’ work today including the motives he has lead to all of the other fashion designers to achieve their dreams.

3. Do you have a specific technique?

I have worked in many techniques and I can’t really specific any of it, because it is usually combined techniques that I use in my artworks. I often use watercolor for illustrating, but acrylic, oil colors or tempera for painting. It doesn’t usually cause any problem in which technique I am working with, it’s always about the motive I have.

4. What artwork/project are you most proud of and why?

I have done many artworks, illustrations, sketches and paintings as you can also follow me on social medias and you can be informed for every piece of it, because I am ready to share with everyone my work at any time. I can’t really specific any of my paintings cause in all of them it’s a little piece of spirit I have given to make it. It takes a while to think and decide which one I would choose. As my painting touch many topics such as feminism, I would like to mention my realism painting “The African Girl”. In this painting I have tried to express all my feelings for feminism and empower women for protecting their rights.

5. Finally, in the time of COViD – 19 what is the main message you want to share? 

I know that everyone has had difficult times and it’s a lot that’s going on lately with covid 19.Many people getting sick, many countries having difficulties in many spheres ,but I think that everyone should be safe in these times, take care of their health and be productive as much as they can.

For all the artists in the world I think it’s time that their motivation needs to be shown in their paintings. Get your papers, colors and canvas and get in to action! Your work may be a big inspiration for other people and may give them motivation  in these times to start something new, to look into new activities, into discovering new talents. Also, try to  read, paint, check out new tutorials, learn something new, do something you didn’t have the time to! Give the message to everyone that creative  work matters, show them your art and the pain for all the pandemic times we are having.