The 'Unforeseen Circumstances' group show took place from November, 11 till December, 5 at RuArts, a prominent Moscow gallery. It was 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, Alexey Luka and Dmitri Aske, 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.
Alexey Luka is one of the most progressive Russian artists who started his artistic career from painting graffiti. Alexey has been making art for some 15 years using different media and techniques. He paints canvases, creates collages and assemblages from wood and other materials, as well as make digital illustrations. What is essential is that his style is always easy to recognize. Since 2008, Alexey's works have been exhibited at two-man and group shows in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Amsterdam, Lyon, Paris, Portland, Rotterdam, and San Francisco. He also ofter takes part in street art festivals in Russia and Europe. In 2014, as part of the Moscow 'Artmossphere' Street Art Biennale, he had a two-man show 'The Long Tomorrow' with Dmitri Aske, and in 2015, Luka had a successful solo show at Wunderkammern Gallery in Rome.
What kind of art do you like? What's the most important thing for you in an artwork?
For me, the visual image has been always a priority because the first impression the artwork makes on a person is through the visual contact; the ideas and associations come later. Definitely, the artwork can't be just a colour blot; it must make you think and question, and, first of all, question yourself.
I like the art of the Russian avant-garde artists. I also like Gabriel Godar and Frank Stella. Recently, I've discovered Sven Lukin's art. I've also started paying more and more attention to minimalists.
What's the main difference for you between creating a mural and an artwork for a gallery show?
The main difference is the space you have to work with. In most cases, working in a gallery confines you a little, puts certain limits; there is a space you have to adjust to. The only restriction when you work in the street is your skills and abilities. And, of course, outdoors I work with the surroundings more to make the work look well in the context around it, for it to add something to its surroundings, and not to be out of place.
Does the city where you create works for a show influence you?
In general, it doesn't. But the image of the city, its individuality, and the local flavour influence me a lot. Lately, I've worked mainly with wood, and very often my work depends on what I can find in the street. I was lucky in Rome; there was a lot of thrown away furniture in the streets there, and it later was used as the main part of the assemblages, each piece with its own story, atmosphere, and colour.
What do you think is the key thing for a successful group show?
The concept of the exhibition, the line-up, and relations among the artists; I think that it's important that their views on some general themes coincide.
What do you want to translate to the viewers through your work? How do your works for this show reflect the name of the exhibition 'Unforeseen Circumstances'?
My works are like mosaics consisting of different small elements. These can be just simple geometric shapes, or people's silhouettes, combined into one story; or some recognizable objects along with abstract lines. All this, any object or situation, can turn out to be an unforeseen circumstance in one's life.
In the near future, I'm planning to finish two series of canvases, and to make a few projects in the street while it's still not very cold. I'll keep developing my skills of working with wood, and would like to create more assemblages and installations.
You can learn more about Alexey Luka by visiting his site, and his pages on Facebook and Instagram. You can also read our interviews with Finsta, SatOne, and Dmitri Aske in English. We'll publish a recap of the show soon. Stay tuned!