The 'Unforeseen Circumstances' group show took place from November, 11 till December, 5 in RuArts, a prominent Moscow gallery. It's been organized in collaboration with a creative association Artmossphere and curated by its co-founder Sabina Chagina. The line-up included two Moscow-based artists with graffiti background, Dmitri Aske and Alexey Luka, the German artist SatOne, and Finsta from Sweden. We've talked to all of the participants and asked them to share their thoughts about working in the street and indoors, about group shows, and their plans for the future.
Dmitri Aske is a bright artist belonging to the new generation of those who began their artistic career painting in the street. In mid 2000s, Aske was one of the most cutting-edge Russian graffiti writers, who later started to apply his graffiti experience to illustration and digital graphics. In 2010, the New York Print Magazine named him among the 20 most talented young artists from around the globe. In 2011, Dmitri invented his own technique and began creating multilayer plywood artworks in his recognizable style; and in 2013 he started painting murals. Aske's works have been showcased at exhibitions in Moscow, Antwerp, Cancun, London, and San Francisco, as well as featured in books and magazines dedicated to graffiti, typography, illustration, and contemporary art. In 2014, as part of the Moscow 'Artmossphere' Street Art Biennale, he had a two-man show 'The Long Tomorrow' with Alexey Luka.
What kind of art do you like? What's the most important thing for you in an artwork?
For now, I'm more interested in visual arts; this year I started to self-study the Art History. I also try not to limit myself and to keep broadening my horizons. I like very different kinds of art starting from Botticelli to Gauguin to Kandinsky to Wesselman to Mark Jenkins to Eltono. Of course, I like what the rest of the artists of the 'Unforeseen Circumstances' show do. Alexey Luka, SatOne, and Finsta are among the artists whose progress I constantly follow.
I judge an artworks by the first impression it makes on my, by its history, sometimes by the artist's biography, and the concept the author had put into their work. When I learn more about the artist, I start to perceive their works differently. But still, the main thing for me is the general impression, which consists of the composition, the colour scheme, and the idea.
What's the main difference for you between creating a mural and an artwork for a gallery show?
The main difference is in the atmosphere and the viewers. People who go to galleries are usually more into art, while in the street anyone can see your work. When you paint outdoors you should be ready for different kinds of questions and comments from the passers-by. Nevertheless, in both cases the process of work can become a meditation of some sort, when you get totally absorbed in what you are doing.
What do you think is the key thing for a successful group show?
The number of interesting artworks must exceed 50%. Also, it's important that the artists take the preparation for the exhibition seriously. Sometimes, it happens that the artists have very busy schedules and have to work really fast so they start to repeat themselves and don't have enough time to thoroughly think their artworks over. I hope that at this show we'll be able to please the viewers with our works.
Does the city where you create works for a show influence you?
No, because I always make all the sketches at home beforehand in a calm atmosphere. So, at the end of the day, the place where I create the works doesn't matter.
What do you want to translate to the viewers through your work?
It's a difficult question. My way of working suggests that the meaning and message of the image come while I sketch. Moreover, I'm now searching for what I want to translate to the viewers as an artist, what is the better way to do it, and how people perceive my works. My new series of works for the 'Unforeseen Circumstances' show reflects the atmosphere of our modern life. Maybe, some viewers will recognize themselves in these characters or will imagine themselves in similar situations.
How do your works for this show reflect the name of the exhibition 'Unforeseen Circumstances'?
I've tried to depict the characters of my artworks as people who met with unforeseen circumstances, so that the viewers could think for themselves and imagine a story behind each work.
What are your plans for the future?
I'd like to prepare a solo show, so I'll need a studio. Sometime soon I hope to find a space, where I'll be able work with spray paint and store my works. Besides, next year I'll be giving a course of lectures in Moscow on graffiti and street art, so I have a lot on my plate.
You can learn more about Dmitri Aske by visiting his site, and his pages on Facebook and Instagram. You can also read our interviews with Finsta and SatOne in English. We'll publish an interview with Alexey Luka soon. Stay tuned!