In the era of Instagram, live streaming, and fast moving society, it’s necessary to take the time to know more those artists that continue to work with ancient paintings techniques, to create authentic piece of arts. This is the case of Andrey Remnev, a Russian artist that took his inspiration from the Russian art of 18th century and that use natural pigments to create his paintings.
1. Your paintings convey a sense of antiquity and modernism. Could you tell us what your painting studies were and how you developed this kind of style?
My style formed from my technical capabilities, which I gained during my university years in the Academy of Arts in Moscow. When I graduated, I understood that the predominate features in a painting are the thought and the idea. These are the aspects that the spectator finds interesting and expects from the artist. The technical realization can vary. I choose to use the technique that I had already acquired by that time, rather than to start seeking for new ways. I embody relevant and important conceptions by using the traditional approach.
- Could you tell us which historic period influenced your work in a much deeper way?
I discover many techniques in old masters’ works, which I find more advanced than those used by artists today. I learn delicacy of drawing from Ancient Greeks, I take originality and suddenness of the composition from Japanese masters of engraving; in colour I am inspired by artists of the Italian Trecento and Quattrocento, the Great Venetians, and the Dutch painting of the 17th century. I care a lot for Russian art of the 18th century.
I take suddenness and strength of the composition from the Russian icon and the Russian Constructivism of the 1920s. When I find the idea of my painting, I start looking at other artists that I mentioned before. I verify the accuracy of my idea by comparing it to the other artists.
- Could you give us some basic tips on how to set a painting?
A painting can have different sources. The main push is the “plastic intrigue”. For instance, an unusual gesture, overseen in life, a state of nature, a landscape – it can be anything. In such cases, I only search for a meaning in order to explain the context to the spectator. If I find a connection between plastic and meaning, then the picture comes of it.
Other sources are literary works or myths, for which I seek new plastiс content.
- I’ve noticed that you use natural pigments for your paintings. What are the most important characteristics and benefits in using natural pigments on a painting?
Natural pigments that have been used by artists through nearly 2000 years are the same pigments. Fairly recently new bright colors appeared, which derived from the basic colors that have always existed. The advantage of natural pigments is that they carry their beauty even in their clear, unmixed state.
- Which magazines and books do you consider important for a painter?
Each artist himself chooses what to watch – his mastery and experience determine his needs in various books. My indispensable guides are Piero Della Francesca monographs, Van Eyck, a Russian artist Alexander Ivanov, the Nabis artists, Pierre Bonnard in particular. Painting technology books, “The Book Of The Art Of Cennino Cennini: A Contemporary Practical Treatise On Quattrocento Painting”.
- Can you share with us some hints on your future projects?
I am now working on a new series of paintings, devoted to ballet. I have broad interest to the period of the “Russian seasons” in Paris.
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