St. Petersburg, Russia
"Sergey was born in 1961 in Russia. In 1983 finished the Far Eastern State University in Vladivostok with a degree in Japanese language and culture. Started learning photography some 10 years ago, now works as a digital artist and a photographer. Have sold some works in USA, Japan, China and Russia"
At least this is how I am represented on Tribe magazine, being a correspondent of which is a real honor for me. Also I do my best to run a project aiming to promote artists and their works. The project includes an online Alberta Gallery, an educational platform Art Coaching, which is being run in Russian, supporting accounts in social media, etc.
When was the first time you knew you were an artist?
When I got my first digital camera and started taking pics. I mentioned that the compositions I wanted, the angles I took, the focuses I chose were different from what other people do. I also realized on this very first level that the idea I was trying to catch were interesting to others.
Please let us all know about your art.
Artist's personal style... A theme to be discussed in a thick book :-)
For my "internal use" I figured out a definition for photographer style as a combination of preferences and choices. It is not that important how I name it. What matters is how I describe what are my choices and will such description be of a help to those who see my works. There're basic choices as well as temporary ones in this list, so I'll just pick up some of them not to be too boring.
- I prefer color over black and white
- I use digital camera
- I use digital processing
- I try to avoid blurs
- I believe that it is possible to create a great work totally unplanned
- I like any urban subjects
- I don't photograph people posing
- I like large formats
- All my works are square
I SQUARE THE WORLD
And of course those preferences' combination is like a drop of mercury - it never is static.
What musical taste do you have when creating art?
Only the music I know well - Mozart, Deep Purple, Maler
What never works when I'm working - Shostakovich, Queen, operas
How do you find inspiration?
I have a simple construction so I simply change the biochemical status of my brain doing physical exercises.
What do you do in your spare time besides creating art?
Most of all I like
a). playing tennis
b). being in theater for Italian opera
What artwork are you working on most recently?
My usual routine is working on what I've brought from recent trips. The last one was France, but unfortunately I don't see any decent drafts so far...
Do you have a favorite photograph?
The best one was a black and white portrait of my son (though I don't do portraits and don't particularly like black and white). Half shaded, his face was so calm and the eyes so deep and expressive that it seemed impossible to detach the view...
What role do artists play in society?
Real art does not belong to time or moral. It can reflect them but should not be limited by them. So is the artist, in terms of the creation process. His role is to use his talent to show how beautiful though complicated is the world.
Have you sold many of your photographs?
I only sold a few, all to my insistent partners and business clients. In my circle people pay for artworks "certain" amounts of money, so I was paid weigh too much for these works. I'm proud to know there're places in Tokyo and San Francisco where my modest photographs neighbor with some really established artists' works.
What are your favorite ways of promoting your photography online?
Communicating with people in Twitter and Facebook
Who are your influences?
Pieter Bruegel The Elder - his sharpness and simplicity
Jan Vermeer - his style, his special gift of giving the details. And, of course, his yellow
Joan Miro - his overwhelming desire to be free
Can you tell us about another contemporary artist?
I gladly recommend Alex Andreev, an artist from Saint Petersburg. His style and technique are just brilliant and his works is a unique mix of reality and dreams.
Also just recently I opened for myself Rod Craig from Woodstock, UK. His technique looks sort of traditional but the works create an incredible impression, they are deep, full of unexpected color combinations...
Please tell us an interesting story or event in your life.
I always bring stories from my trips. Some very short, some longer - they rarely meet paper, I'm a good story teller, but lazy writer. But, of course, I would love to share at least some them, so I publish them in my blogs, partly in Russian. Here's the translation of one. Very short.
I love museums. I visit museums whenever I go, I found a contemporary art museum in Wellington, New Zealand. I even plan our trips so that they have special art theme - we spent once a month in Europe visiting the cities where my beloved Jan Vermeer's work were presented, from Delft to Dresden. Another trip was to Vienna, it was totally dedicated to Pieter Bruegel The Elder. The world's best collection of his paintings were gathered there by Austrian Habsburgers.
And I also like 'another" museums - not classical ones. In Vienna within the entire hour I was sleeping on a coach (that coach!) in Sigmund Freud museum. It was so grey outside and the Hitchcock movie I tried to watch was a real masterpiece. I mean it took just five minutes for me to fell asleep. My wife says people thought I was an exhibit.
There I realized museums are a great place to have a nap - it is quiet there, people would never bother you.
Next time I decided to have a little rest was in Helsinki. There was an exhibition of Africa modern art, lots of installations, media art resources, etc. Again my wife said I definitely looked like exhibit. Chinese tourists made pictures. But most active was a couple from Kansas. An attractive blond woman in her 30th laid along with me, her husband, willing to make a good shot, loudly instructed her - get closer, Rachel, get even more..
I took the deepest breath I could doing my best not to scare her to death.
(find pic here http://sergeykireev.livejournal.com/23810.html)
There're few more articles in my blog, no fun, just some thoughts and impressions.
Would you like to leave some advice for other photographers and artists?
Work. Don't be sorry for yourself and work hard.