From Russia to the world
Gregory Emvy is part of a new wave of artists emerging from Russia, who step away from politics and the past. He represents the new generation of avant-garde.
How did you discover your passion for painting?
My attitude to art, especially to visual and fine art, has always been a very intimate issue. That’s why I’ve always found it hard to talk about art – be it works by my favourites Picasso, Freud or Dumas – to my friends.
Words are powerful but they are intangible. I find visual objects much more powerful, pushing humans to emote. That’s how it works for me, anyway. As I was learning about art and the legacy of fine art, I understood that it resonates with me, brining out some deep emotions – and I needed those emotions to be unleashed. When I am painting, my thoughts, anxieties, a part of me is transferred from inside myself into the canvas, clearing up some space for new ideas.
An artist is a wanderer, someone who creates something new, influenced by his or her knowledge and feelings – and getting pleasure out of it. He or she is always striving for perfection but the judgment should come from within, and not from the outside world. He or she sees beauty and harmony in everything that surrounds us.
I personally paint not because I have to, but because it’s one of the basic human activities for me. I express myself through my works.
What brings you now to Mexico and what are your plans here?
I won an international competition and get a place in a residency in Puebla. I studied there for 2 months but during my educational process I realized that wanna to know Mexico and the local culture deeper. So My plans are to stay for a couple of years and to know that country better. I have already the influence and I’m sure that my artworks will change definitely.
What do you think about our culture and how does it influence in your art?
I love your culture. It’s a super reach and full of different changes. I mean you were able to keep your own style but at the same time I see the influence of Europe. I’m a big fan of Jose Orozco, Diego Rivera, Mendes and of Course Frida Calo. I love the brightness and originality of colors and of course the plot. It’s an indefatigable struggle and searching for yourself.
Most of your art reflects the emotional attitude of experiencing severe distress.
My paintings are mirror image of myself. For example The metamorphoses exhibition are about all happened to me. Each painting is a story from my life. We are all people with our feelings, dreams and fears. We are influenced by different movements, ideas, we reflect.
I was originally interested in the 1920s’ Paris School but then I turned to the writings of Rothko, Richter, Victor Dumas and others. I am consumed by works by Anselm Kiefer, I almost find myself inside his works sometimes. I can spend hours staring at his paintings, imagining him and his technique in details. I have always been curious about palimpsest. This is a multi-layered delaminated surface comprising layers of paint, other materials, writings, and
the wider it grows, the wider the reading can become. Going back to “Metamorphoses”, for a long time I’ve been trying to find an answer to my own questions about what life is and how it can be perceived visually.
But I’m changing. For example my new collection of work Architectural constructions are totally different.
Architecture is the language of giants, the greatest system of visual elements that was ever created by the humankind. Just like artists, architects are not inclined to talk much, because they are aiming to create tangible objects. Each creative professional has their own tools for communicating their thoughts and feelings.
For me, the most complicated yet essential element of architecture and art is simplicity. Simple forms require perfect proportions and measurements that result in visual harmony. To achieve that in my works I experi- ment with texture and colours.
Are they personal emotions or how can you express them with such reality?
Yes all my paintings are result of showing my internal world and thoughts.
Describe yourself in 3 words
-In the eternal search
-Hungry for new knowledges
Name your favorite fashion Brand
Boris bidjan Saberi, off white, Yohji Yamamoto
Where do you see yourself in short and long term?
In Mexico and in London.
I will work with several galleries, will create a lot of new works, will start creating a public art (sculptures) and I want to have a collaboration with several brands.