Interview with Alexey Klimov
Could you please introduce yourself and tell us how you started in the arts? and your first experience in art making?
I am a Russian born American artist. My father was a second-generation architect and a good artist. He introduced me to the great museums in Moscow and St. Petersburg since I was 5 years old. The house was packed with art books of all kinds. When I was 10 I made my first clay sculpture of a nude mimicking one illustration. Father was stunned. “I could never sculpt something as good, as this. Don’t have enough talent”, he told me.
How would you describe yourself and your artwork?
I think I’ve become artist when I stopped being inspired by art created by others. Instead I gathered all the things I am made of myself, coralled them in and then gladly confined myself into this space and work out of it. Always. This space didn’t exist before. I created it. It is me.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Ironically this word “inspiration” is rapidly fading away from the Art Talk. To me –– inspiration does exist. What you elaborate on –– is design. But when something effortlessly dawns on you –– that’s inspiration. I know, I am an architect and an artist. I’ve done both.
My historical roots stem from Russian and European avant-garde and American art phenomenon of the 20th Century.
What emotions do you hope the viewers experience when looking at your art?
I wish they think: “Wow!!! I’ve never seen anything like that before”.
When do you know that an artwork is finished ?
There is this God–given guideline for an artist: Don’t fight the feeling! I follow it religiously. It never fails me.
Give you an example: A few years ago I was finishing a free-standing piece. Everything is paint–sprayed and assembled...except for one last part to go into place yet. And it strikes me: The sculpture looks great as is. This last peace would ruin it. And…I didn’t fight the feeling.
In most cases it feels like between finished / unfinished –– there is no space at all. And yet, the difference is stunning sometimes. Truly, the beauty is in the eyes of a beholder. Besides, who is to judge?
What has been the most exciting moment in your art career so far?
Years ago I sent a presentation to Ivan Karp, a legendary art dealer, the one who discovered Andy Warhol among others. He wrote me a letter offering to look at my work. I arranged a little private show in a friend’s studio. He comes in and spends good 10 minutes just looking. Then he turns around: “These are good. Your sculptures are first class. You do know that of course, don’t you?”
My reply: “They are OK”. My wife still criticize me for being so dumb.
How long does it take to produce one work?
It depends. I am both, a sculptor and a painter. One of the reasons I like to paint is because the process is both, so spontaneous and quick; feels like flying. I can finish a piece in just a few hours. Don’t like it –– throw it away, start a new one and enjoy the good outcome because it was so effortless.
With sculptures –– totally different. A large complex piece might take a couple of months of real hard labor, and the most difficult goal always is –– not to lose the spontaneity; don’t let the sweat show, make it look effortless. Not easy.
.What exciting projects are you working on right now? Can you share some of the future plans for your artworks?
Right now I have two ideas pending. One, is my mega–size 3-d installation proposal for the DIA:Beacon museum.
Another, less ambitious, I am trying to develop some never seen before 3-d paintings.
Do you have any upcoming events or exhibitions we should know about?
No. I’ve been so busy with that last couple of years. Time to take a creative working vacations. Too many ideas to work out.