Interview with Daria Vorobyeva
Daria Vorobyeva is a photo artist based in Moscow, Russia. She was born in 1994. In 2018, Daria graduated from Lomonosov Moscow State University. In 2018, Daria completed intensive course on art business at Synergy Art Academy, in 2019 - on history of arts, contemporary art and contemporary cultural process at the Higher School of design. In 2018, Daria won several awards including American Art Awards and honorable mentions in International Photography Awards and New York Center for Photographic Arts Awards; started her collaboration with the Art Espaces gallery (Brussels, Belgium) and joined the Creative Artists’ Union of Russia (Moscow, Russia). In 2018 and 2019, Daria participated in several international art fairs and exhibitions. In 2019, Daria was included in the rating Top 100 young Russian artists (InArt).
Daria’s first project is dedicated to the role of shape in photography. By creating and examining black and white geometrical photography, Daria explores semiotics of photography and it’s connection to subconscious. Daria’s later projects further show her interest in psychology. They are related to the inner world and trauma and use the means of color and texture.
Could you please introduce yourself and tell us how you started in the arts? and your first experience in art making?
My name is Daria Vorobyeva, I am a photo artist based in Moscow. My start in art depends on what is called art. So the question is: when does the art start? This was a gradual process, at school I sometimes took and edited photos. Was it art? I don’t know, but sometimes these works were funny and “very contemporary” (even though I didn’t know what contemporary art was). At school, I learnt Chinese and it explains my later interest to art as a visual language. After school I went deeper into drawing (I started drawing in my childhood) and had some successful experience. I redrew photos into graphics and it helped me to detach myself from the whole picture and see it like an abstract set of shapes and spots - then I used this approach in my photography. Then my parents gifted me my first DSLR and I started with portraits, flowers etc. In 2017, I bought a wide angle lens and visited an exhibition on avant-garde Soviet photography. These two events gave a new direction to my style. So, as a whole artist I started to form myself in 2017, I think.
And my art career started in the middle of 2018, when I won some awards and started my collaboration with the Art Espaces gallery. There were several events that triggered my development in the art world. First, it was my
study at the Moscow State University and my work at the Laboratory of atherothrombosis in Moscow – I am a biologist. It made me more goal-seeking and looking into the heart of things folllowing the example of my supervisors Helena Vasilieva and Leonid Margolis. Then, in spring last year it was a painful period of my life which made me start working with my psychologist. So, I became interested in psychology, sorted myself out and became a stronger person. And what was absolutely important for me was the help and support of my family, both moral and financial, which made it possible for me to participate in my first art fair and start collaboration with my gallery.
How would you describe yourself and your artwork?
Talking about visual part of my art, I started from exploring shape (these are my black and white geometrical works) and then added color and texture to my later projects. The content of my photography consists of two parts: emotional and “analytical”. Emotional part ranges from very distant to shrill and painful, it usually tells about trauma and trauma-related feelings and states. “Analytical” part is predominantly about semiotics of art and in particular photography and it’s connection to subconscious.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Art, psychology, books, music, nature, travel. Sometimes it brings me sadness and sometimes happiness, and both these states I use to create my art.
What emotions do you hope the viewers experience when looking at
I have some series which I hope cause the feeling of pacification and the state of contemplation. Some of my artworks are directed to the feeling of interest and intellectual satisfaction. Some of them (a big part of my art, I think) aim to raise some kind of unclear anxiety and premonition. Going further, I have artworks which reflect my doubts and old pain.
When do you know that an artwork is finished ?
I don’t feel any discomfort that something needs to be cropped, rotated, retouched. But the thing is that I can return to this work later to see something new in it, or I can change the title, or include this photo into a new project. Honestly, this is a continious process and it’s not always easy to say when it starts and when it finishes.
What has been the most exciting moment in your art career so far?
One day last autumn I was going to sleep, I took my mobile phone and saw an email starting with “You are the winner of the American Art Awards”. I was so
excited, I couldn’t believe my eyes and I was crying of excitement the whole night and the next morning. This was my first award and everything started from it: collaboration with Belgian gallery Art Espaces, participation in my first art fair and further art fairs and exhibitions. So, this was the real start of my
career. Recently I was included in the Top 100 young Russian artists (InArt.ru), less than one year after my first award.
How long does it take to produce one work?
Sometimes it takes several hours to take a photo, to retouch and to analyze it. Sometimes it takes a month or even a year to fully understand my work, sometimes I change the title after a while.
What exciting projects are you working on right now? Can you share some of the future plans for your artworks?
Recently I have finished my “Memories” project. It is devoted to the topic of feelings caused by painful memories and trauma. This project is very personal and emotional, very metaphorical. It needs to be studied in detail by the spectator. I continue working on my project “Shape” which I started in 2017. It is about semiotics of photography and now I am working more on theoretical foundation. The third project consists of large-scale works and tells about anxiety and panic. This large-scale format (as well as diptych and triptych) is new for me and I’m looking forward to printing and showing it, I feel that it will
have a strong effect. And the forth project is about the journey inside yourself and what you can find there: devastation, uncertainty, complicatedness, but also a shelter, some order and hints about your future path. All these projects I want to show at the gallery spaces, for some of them I want to perform accompanying events such as lectures and artist talks. I am now looking for possibilities and I will give announcements on my website and Instagram account.
Do you have any upcoming events or exhibitions we should know about?
With a group of artists we prepare a project about anxiety and panics which we are going to show in August 2019. It includes my large-scale diptychs and triptychs. In October-November 2019 I am going to participate in the Anima Mundi international art festival in Venice - the festival aims to discover multiple
forms of hidden connections between the soul and the body, the mankind and the nature. The organizer of the festival, ITSLIQUID Group, will run a charity initiative aimed to support no-profit organizations that are internationally involved in the environmental protection. With the Art Espaces gallery, we will continue international project “Flower power” which includes my artwork “Orchid”. This project is a composition of artworks with flowers created by many artists (you can see photos of this project on my website). This project will be shown during Art Shopping Carrousel du Louvre art fair in Paris in October 2019 and then at the Art Espaces space in Brussels. Other projects are now under discussion, I will announce them on my website and Instagram
Where do you see your art going in five years?
First of all, I want more exposure, both in Russia and worldwide; want to participate in big events such as Biennale – this would be a great and new experience. Another important point is to save my art for the future. And, talking about my art itself and my theoretical work, I will continue studying (this is a life-long process) and this will further transform my art.