"Each artist must bring his Eurydice from the underworld.
And let him did not fear the barking of civilization".
At the beginning of my walk of life I remember many artists of my generation stepping on the road of creative work. We were moving along it cheerfully and thought it would be always so. But life goes on and in its fuss the noon of life has gone. The road is still there but I don’t see the people I was beginning with. And the road looks different – it’s a beautiful way of your young dream, where you started your movement. And especially pleases the fact that all my efforts to preserve my own way were not in vain. Looking back, I suddenly found that my destiny was benevolent to me, inspiring me for good deeds and rejecting all evil ones. I was lucky to get into the hands of Vera Pestel. All the ideas I took from her are the ideas of “Makovets”, association of Russian painters and graphic artists active in Moscow from 1921 to 1926, the remarkable phenomenon of Russian culture. These ideas became consonant with my attitude to the world. “Makovets” the most fully expressed all Russian tendencies: from life-school observation to moral languish. I loved these ideas and tried to continue their realization as far as possible. I kept some distance from the state and never considered venality to be a virtue. I was just doing my work and I didn’t care what other people thought about it, what saved me from spiritual destruction. I was lucky when Yevgeny Teis brought me to Nivinsky Studio. There I felt the proper scale of my creativity and freedom of incarnation of the images populating my imagination.
I’m walking along the road, which saw countless generations of artists who were lucky to get on it. And those who will live after me also may choose it. That’s a big and beautiful road of human culture. Here one finds a happiness of silence and the bliss of fulfillment.
In distant post-war times (Historical museum period) I acquired a very simple maxim, which became a kind of frame for my representational ideas. Many years passed by and I found that unlike many others I was so taken up with that maxim as an obsession, a rule and a limit not to be crossed. The essence of that maxim: follow your imagination, accompanied by your fantasies, and you shouldn’t let yourself go to illusionist tricks, because art is not just a recreation of everyday reality but, first of all, a sphere of spiritual life. On the other hand, no need to resemble stylists and custodians of dead forms forgetting about life of their own soul. All that is simple and evident but almost impossible to achieve.
Imagination is an animated time, where an artist can exist and move about. When you master it, your feelings become harmonious and your images – vivid.
Looking back at my whole creative work I found that I always followed (and still do it now) the flight of my imagination. From the birth of all forms of art only the artist’s capacity to imagine and picture all that lives in his soul will exist forever. It’s like the first breath of soul. It’s an obvious evidence of soul’s eternity.
The language of art in the perfect incarnation is an individual artistic alphabet, characteristic of every more or less significant artist. It’s a flesh of his works. It forms images and compositions. It’s an alive and developing language of creative work.
Falsehood in art emerges, when one tries to recreate so called objective reality surrounding us. Such persistence kills every human feeling. In that way every time we get only replica of mortified life.