VISUAL VOICES: AN INTERVIEW WITH IRINA GORYUNOVA

What are the core and fundamental themes and concepts of your art?

The starting point in the formation of the concept of my painting is the fundamental thesis that the picture is a separate self-sufficient essence. The essence that can pull the feelings out of the viewer, depicting scenes that are not technically there. To exist in accordance with its rules, in its independent reality, it evoked emotions, questions, provoked reflection.


On my canvases, I try to achieve the essence of abstraction - a mixture of deep, honest emotions, on the one hand, and a grandiose form of exclusion, on the other.

How closely do these ideas relate to your creative process and the actual act of creating the art itself?

By implementing the sensory conception of one's experience in a work, I have a certain arsenal of means. However, for this there are no firm rules. Laws when working on a single work are created based on the task.


My paintings always consist of several layers, separated by time intervals, energy content and picturesque technique. The first layer, as a rule, is a background. Its smooth, calm texture with soft transitions can be considered an already completed picture. With the only proviso that everything here is too fondled by the sight, everything is quiet and understandable. And, means, there comes the time of the next stage, in which I create an idea, laying the oil on the canvas with the architecture of the idea of ​​this work. I repeatedly address to work, something removing, something adding. This process goes much longer, with time intervals, when I just look at the work or avoid looking, depending on the moment. This lasts until one day I realize that the image on the canvas is now a separate, self-sufficient entity. Now the picture exists autonomously.

Which artists, designers, creators (past or present) are you inspired and influenced by?




- Vasily Kandinsky (as the founder of the aesthetic philosophy of abstraction)


- Henri Matisse (simplification of shape in favor of color intensity)


- Vincent Van Gogh (a colossal energy force, when the smear itself is already a story and impression)


- Hieronymus Bosch (as an artist of the unconscious)


- Jan Wai Eyk (turning points in painting and mystery, coupled with deep meanings in addition to the main plot)


- Marc Chagall (a unique style with the preservation of his own identity)




Which of your work/works stands out as a highlight, a favorite, or a significant point in your creative growth and development? and why?

For example, the following works are singled out as an important point in the development:


A series of paintings "Traps for Humans" (Paintings:  "Red Dwarf. Trap # 1", "Saigon. Reed Wall. Trap # 2", "Invention of lies. Trap # 3", "The Mechanism of Joy. Trap # 4") - became an innovator in the interpretation and role of the invoice in the work.


The picture "Overture" - the application of the technique of "mutual penetration of colors through" to display a harmonious balance of frozen music, sensation, action on the canvas, to enhance sensual pleasure from contemplation.


The series "Africa" ​​(the painting "Serengeti. After the rain. An Elephant."), where the animal component of the world literally emerged from the canvas, with the chosen tools in the absence of arbitrary camera angles, sometimes lacerating our view.

An artist of powerful creative voice and message, what do you wish to communicate to your audience? 


As an abstract artist, I insist that a deep contact between the author and the viewer does not take place through the projection of reality, but through lines, stains and brush strokes - so the art gets rid of the need to depict something, offering the viewer an uncanny joy from interaction with color, shape and texture.


I offer a visual experience, not burdened with objectivity, thereby making it easier for the viewer to not let him distract himself to the objects depicted in the picture, and helping to immediately immerse himself in emotional experience.

Creatively, professionally and in all aspects of being an artist, what are your goals for your upcoming works and art?

In my works I try to achieve a deep contact with the viewer through the energy of lines and colors, through the thirst for solving the rebuses, through the concentration of tension on the canvas. My desire is for my abstract painting to create its own reality, addressing the public not only as an entertaining component, but also entering into an intellectually meaningful dialogue, both at the level of consciousness and with the unconscious. And that this reality created in the picture, being in its coordinate system, would not exist static, but in dynamics - intriguing, changing, entering into energy exchange as a result of interaction with experience, memory, knowledge and spiritual experiences of the spectators in front of it.

In our previous questions you touched on what is integral to your work as an artist- can you elaborate further on how has your practice change over time in relation to this?

My very first works, very pasty, palette knives and occasional brushes are my tools of that period. Gradually, the technique changed, and the nature of these changes is mostly intuitive. At some point, I stopped using brushes. They were replaced by a variety of artistic knives. Feeling of freedom and harmony when working with a palette knife brings an inescapable pleasure. Later, according to my inner feelings, I began to miss personal contact, the energy exchange of the skin with a supple-elastic oil. So, I came to a painstaking application of colors, layer by layer, mainly through the fingers. As I said, my work consists of several layers. The application of each new layer in this technique, the way of combining and applying colors, allows creating a unique texture on the canvas that prevails today in my works.

What has been your scariest experience as a creative?

This experience is a certain stage in the work on paintings. This experience was not one-time, it is repeated with each work and its approach is disgusting in sensations, but this is a landmark moment. Over time, I learned to understand and interpret it constructively. There are such moments, each artist is waiting for them by and large, when there is a mystical feeling that something is directing both the imagination and the hand. Only in contrast to positive associations with magic and a fairy tale, here everything is the opposite. It is necessary to go through global devastation - from the state of mind to physical well-being.


What is your artistic outlook on life?

As an abstractionist, I am inspired, first of all, not by events, the surrounding world and external circumstances, but by the state of mind in which I am at a certain moment. Indirectly it has to do with what is around, but it is always a synthesis, a complex of what is happening.


Real art acts as a breath and exhale: life is inhaled - the form is exhausted.


As Picasso once said: "In fact, everything depends on you, from the sun with a thousand rays inside you, everything else is nothing. Matisse because Matisse that he has this sun inside ... ".

What memorable responses have you had to your work

Reviews are not always remembered, there is, rather, a feeling, aftertaste. From what comes to mind - the words of one of my friends - "... her work is not similar to anything, she does not imitate anyone." To hear this from another artist, said about you, but not to you personally, for me - it's valuable.

Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?

Yes, it is lonely, as a whole, and the life of most thinking people, in my opinion. I do not struggle with loneliness. Moreover, I often look for it. To feel something interesting, striking, sometimes frightening, you must first clear the brain, stop taking information and plunge into a vacuum state. And through this state of devastation find a state of illumination and harmony. After all, an artistic act is not only an oil painting, but also those complex processes in the head and soul of the artist that precede it

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given (that relates to your art)?

 Protect your individuality.

What research to you do for your pieces?

Studies are not only before the beginning of each new work, they do not stop in its process and even after. Now I'm very interested in reason, because it is a boundless ocean of discoveries.


Previously, the classical artist had an opponent: the world of science. From it new discoveries brought new knowledge, which led to the emergence of new trends in art. But at some point the classical physics ended, and art in a classical form ended. Postmodernism appeared precisely because the person found incredible reflexive tools due to the presence of modern technologies.


Today, a person has approached the border, for which he can not step with his physical body. This is where mysticism begins, because the desire to convey a speculative image tries to realize it in the space of the possibilities of the human concept. And only the artist manages to make his work vibrate with magical devices, and this vibration is transmitted to the viewer, if he is tuned to the same frequency.


But it's also true that it's incredibly difficult to perform on stage, which has seen the achievements of outstanding artists for more than a hundred years, given that the global changes in this era brought along, along with incredible technological possibilities, also tectonic shifts in religious confrontations, terrorism, lost orientation, depression and confusion. What is there to show in order to express the nerve of our time so that the opponents and admirers would appreciate this project?


In my opinion, art is a way of expressing life not in forms identical to life, without clinging to the point of being, showing life distanced in a zone that is called a zone of art. The artist always seeks to express his own experiences, ideas and desires with new means. In general, the artist is a philosopher, only his texts are visual.

Do you feel pressure or a need to comply with visual trends and market demands at all- if so how do you handle this?

Market dictates the rules. There are too much commerce, vanity, race for success, epatage in the art. But the noise and scandal is another specialty. I think that as a whole the question whether to feel this to the artist as pressure, as a necessity to correspond to trends - today, as, indeed, always, the personal choice of everyone. After all, for example, even seriously discussing many of the current trends and phenomena in art sometimes makes no sense, time will put everything in its place. For myself, I see, in my opinion, the only working benchmark against "short-term" trends - this is the quality of what I do. The importance of the contribution of this or that artist to art will be indicated only after many years. People are engaged in art, and people are also looking at it, which means that the pictures themselves, the installations do not mean anything, they are important as communication objects creating phantom illusions. They do not argue about objects, but about images!

What is your dream project?

Any goals, in my opinion, should be directed to absolute records, as in sports.


Real art has many levels and layers: it must simultaneously enlighten, anger, predict the future, raise important questions, it must be spiritual and sharply political - all together. And every society will already take what it needs. So having these levels is the most important thing: the more levels, the longer the art lives. This, however, is rather a strategic concept than a project.


I do not like to tell you about specific projects, I think it's better when the work is done speaks for itself. I would like to see my works remembered in the future, like the Russian avant-garde - for "cool art", for records in the field of color and form.

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