What brought me to this project? In my past life I'm a failed artist (with an academic background), so this topic has been relevant for me for 15 years, ever since I got an art education. Plenty of books have been written about artists; philosophers and psychologists have been interpreting the phenomenon of the artist’s consciousness in their attempts to understand it.
As for me, I believe myself to have found one of the ways to understand humans. This project led me to my personal discovery, even to a revelation, because it helped me to find the answers to those questions that had been worrying me for quite a long time.
What is going on in the artist’s inner world? What is it that makes him create his works throughout his whole life? What are his underlying goals? What motivates him?
This project has helped me to find the answers to these questions. It is a conventional wisdom – they believe, the artist is always la very lonely person, who lives in poverty and doesn’t even understand fully what he creates and for whom he does it.
It’s a common misconception: to be an artist means to be a recluse, to be immersed in creative work and ready for any job to make ends meet. That was the popular definition of an artist I heard in early 2000s and since then I have been asking the same question again and again: "Who is he, the artist?"
The simplicity of my technical approach is due to using the simplest camera to implement the project. The main challenge for me was to try not to interfere in the performance, not to intrude, but giving the artist the opportunity to be himself. From my point of view, is very important.
Camera for me is like a microscope, which I use to study the surrounding reality, and my art is my way of communicating with the world through photography. Using the camera as a media tool, I capture and create a new reality. At first glance when you look at the photograph, it may seem to us to be a regular photo not much different from a passport one, but is true? While studying the shot more carefully we start decrypting what we see.
For me it is a kind of transition from the zone of something forbidden and unattainable into the area where everything is perfect and open to the world. It's like teleporting from one world to another. Researching the social background is important for me, because I'm interested in the psychological aspect. If you want to understand it, it’s not enough to see the work of an artist; you must get to know his personality. The art workshops where they create are like their psychological diaries. Probably it could be even more interesting to study the artist’s workshop first, to imagine what he and his works could be like – it is kind of “Art from the opposite site” – and only afterwards be able to see what he creates. And there would the culmination come, and everything would suddenly fall into place. The more discoveries I make, the more interesting I find this way of understanding the world around me. Those are the moments, when I feel really happy, because there was time, 15 years ago, when I could only dream about it!