He works with images from luxury brands and their latest collections and reinterprets them into imaginative collages. With his creative interpretations, he invites us into a magical world that combines classic art, high fashion and modern pop culture. His unique artwork has been featured in some of the world‘s most prestigious publications, including VOGUE, MADAME FIGARO and L‘OFFICIEL.
1. You were born in Kazakhstan and moved to Germany at the age of 11. How has the culture of the West and the East influenced you? On your art?
My multicultural background (as half Russian and half German, born in Kazakhstan, raised in Germany) allows me to find my way quickly in to all cultures. The influence on my character can be seen mainly in my personal traits, I am very reliable and always punctual, which could be described as classic German attributes. However, I also have melancholic side to me and serious features and I am also somewhat introverted without letting myself be pushed into the background, I consider this to be my Russian soul.
Regarding art… In the East, traditional handicrafts and classical art forms such as painting, sculpture and drawing are very common, while contemporary art is figurative. In the West, Contemporary Art is mostly abstract, conceptual and also often builds on performance art.
I am interested in both views and movements, as an artist I want to go in both directions, I consider myself as a border crosser between East and West.
2. How did your obsession with collage start? What attracted you to this art technique?
The art technique of collage has always fascinated me. For me, it allows me to go beyond my creativity and gives me as well a way to tell new unexpected stories. You play with the elements, move them back and forth until you find the perfect idea and composition.
I started creating collages while I was working at Condé Nast (Germany) Publishing in the Paris correspondence office. Every time a new collection comes out, the fashion houses would send to the fashion magazines the latest lookbooks with the new collections. These lookbooks are usually expensively produced and serve only the purpose of presenting the new collections to the press and buyers. I’ve been always wondering why they don’t reinterpret the images again and save time, money and resources. And so I came up with the idea of creating new surreal collages from the lookbooks by deconstructing them and by adding new elements to the images. The creative process was a lot of fun and I immediately noticed that the collages also meet with a great response on social media.
3. How would you define your style? Which are the main influences that you think that inform your artistic identity?
I am influenced by directors like Tim Burton, West Anderson, photographers like Tim Walker, David LaChapelle or artists like Jeff Koons, KAWS, Takashi Murakami, Yayoi Kusama, Salvador Dali and Andy Warhol, until today they continue to inspire me.
My art style is a fusion of photorealistic collages with influences from surrealism and dadaism. With my collages I create bridges between fashion and art, between reality and virtual reality and between photography and CGI (Computer Generated Imagery).
4. Which of your projects are you most proud of and why?
I am very proud of all of my projects, but it was in the collaboration with MONCLER and LOUIS VUITTON that I was able to grow the most as an artist and go beyond what was possible.
Working with MONCLER, I knew immediately where it would be going. When I saw the latest collection, designed by Richard Quinn for MONCLER, I was blown away. The fashion reminded me a lot of spacesuits embroider with floral prints and so I sent them on a journey into the depths of the universe. The models become explorers and discoverers, encountering surreal worlds inhabited by mystical animals. With the work I wanted to illustrate the desire for the unknown and for the journeys into space, but also to show the beauty of nature and its creatures. To date, the three animations have been seen by over 30 million accounts on Instagram.
In my collaboration with LOUIS VUITTON, it was about celebrating the 200th anniversary of the founder Louis (#LOUIS200). The artwork unites in itself the three essential aspects that inspired me to create it, namely the past, the present and the future. The trunk represents the past and the innovative genius of Louis Vuitton. The current collection by Virgil Abloh allows me to reflect the present of the house and also to create a surreal Louis Vuitton world. The animated technique of the collage reflects the future, and the desire to take us on a virtual journey of discovery. In other words, the trunk is an object that comes to us from outer space to show us the beauty of our planet and then to absorb it and to project it onto its surface.
5. Can you tell us your experience with NFT? How you got in there?
As a digital collage artist it was very natural for me to get involved with NFTs. At the moment I’m working on a very interesting NFT project, which will be launched at the end of March, beginning of April and will pave a new way into the NFT world for me.
6. How do you think the NFT will evolve in the near future?
At the moment the NFT world is strongly limited to digital art and digital collectables. However, it will also change and everyone, regardless of whether they work digitally or analog, will have the opportunity to offer their art as NFT.
Blockchain (NFT, Metaverse) will continue to accelerate democratization in art, design, film and music, which we have already seen through digitalization in the last 20-25 years.
7. Could you share some tips for artists who want to enter the NFT world?
I think it’s very important to look for the right partnerships and think about where you want to go, what you want to achieve with it. For artists, designers and other creatives who work in analog, it’s important to look for partners who can help them make the transition to the blockchain.
8. Tell us about some of your life rules that have helped you both in life and in your career
It is important to understand that no matter where you are in your life, you must first learn to believe in yourself. Only then will you be ready to stand up for your dreams and work for them. It is also important to stick to your dreams, no matter how long it may take you to start achieving them. Surround yourself with people who understand you and reflect your philosophy of life, and treat others the way you want to be treated by them. With RESPECT!
9. You are a young successful person who has already achieved a lot. What is your next challenge to yourself?
One of my biggest dreams is to create films someday, I’ve already mentioned that directors like Tim Burton and Wes Anderson inspire me a lot and I really hope that I’ll get to make films myself in the near future. I also want to continue to work on presenting my art not only in digital spaces, but also to bring it into the real world.
I already had my first big exhibition in October 2021 in Guangzhou, China, which is currently there on China Art Tour.
The exhibition shows collages and installations, but also sculptures, animated art images, photographs and stage sets. At the heart of the exhibition is the idea of “fashion encounters beyond time and space”, a theme that I repeatedly address in my work. The title of the exhibition “Beyond Fashion” refers to the personal experience of mine to be touched by an indescribable emotion, while at the same time I strive to convey this strong feeling to the viewer and encourage them to reflect on the meaning of life and the inner life of the soul.
Text: Anna Mar