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Natalya Voroshylova

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Please tell us about institutions that helped you to become masterful in painting? 

- If a person is not able to hear and see something all by himself, intuitively, all efforts are in vain. Institutions are just sets of basic rules. People helped me. I consider Alexey Alexeevich Kleidins as my main mentor in art. He was not my educator at the institute but my teacher at the «Rainbow» art studio where I was studying when I was a kid, from the 5th to the 11th grade.  He’s the reason I’ve made the most important choice in my life – to become an artist. But first I went to Moscow Pedagogical State University. Though it was not completely an art department we got really wide creative base. And subjects related to pedagogy and psychology still help me to study and move forward.

- As far as we are concerned, when you graduated from Moscow Pedagogical State University your thesis topic was related to jewelry art. Why didn’t you move further in this direction? 

- ​In addition to painting, graphics and drawing our faculty offered different workshops on artistic treatment of wood, metal, textile and other materials. My love for the jewelry and a chance to create it by myself inspired me for the coursework and then for the thesis. I understood that I would become an artist anyway, but at that moment I had only one opportunity to work with metals, and it was my university’s workshop. That was not the kind of opportunity you can just say no to.

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Natalya Voroshylova,

Дизайн для фабрики "Красный Октябрь", 1998

 When did you succeed for the first time in your life? 

Success is in the details, in personal feelings and internal goals. I’ve been painting for more than 20 years and I’m still happy that something has happened for the first time in my life. I sold my first picture when I was a university student. That feeling of a tiny bit of success turned out to be a positive sign of my movement in the right direction. In 1998 the «Red October» factory produced caramel and chocolate candy wrappers based on my paintings. I felt incredibly happy when I visited somebody and brought a bucket of those candies. In 2003 I started the series of paintings called «Reflections». I sold my first work much later but it was Saatchi Art Gallery who bought it. In 2011 my work «Belorussky Railway Station» was added to the Museum of Moscow paintings collection. It was my first painting included to the museum’s collection. I had a feeling of overwhelming triumph. 


- You also created the series called «Buy!» where you quote the leading brands of fashion industry. Are you trying to please the customer or to draw attention of any fashion brands?

- Neither. I wanted to talk to the customers about emotions of buying desired things. Fashion brands items illustrated it the best way possible. Even people who have never dreamt of having a handbag from Chanel can easily imagine the feelings of those who buy such a fashionable thing. Why am I interested in these emotions? Because they are extremely close to the ones that the buyers of my pictures have. And I wanted to share these feelings, to visualize them, to immortalize on the canvas a moment of pleasure, a dream and euphoria.

Natalya Voroshylova, works from the series "Buy!"

- Your interest in the beauty ideals of our days evident in the series called «The Portrait of a Tree» is really fascinating. You told that you decided to deal with this problem with the help of depicting the life of a tree because you are primarily a landscape artist. Did you attempted to ensure a response from modern youth?

- The ideal of beauty is like an speculative image. It arises not from the reality but from its creative redefining by a single individual or a group of people bound by some common features, such as age, gender, nationality or education… The artist does the same. He doesn’t impose his views to the others but just guides the way of thinking. So I wanted to reflect on the essence of our face – what it is? A means of interacting with the world around you that you should maintain or a diary of the years you left behind where every wrinkle reflects a happy or sad story. As you pointed out, I’m a landscape artist, not a portrait painter, that’s why I searched for the plastic material for my thoughts in nature. And the best option was a tree with its branches, bark texture, trunk bends and marks like broken limbs or scratches resembling human scars. Did I seek for response from the youth of today? I never cared about my spectator’s age. It doesn’t matter. What is really important here is the desire to think, to feel, to empathize. The desire that is spiritually close to me. I know such people exist among all ages. Art has no limits and conventions.