Interview with Rostislav Romanov
I am a Russian artist that captures the beautiful strangeness of the world around me. I can be found in the salty lands of the United Kingdom to the Motherland of Russia when I need to connect to my soul. I have a Russian Soul wrapped in clothes of an English Gentlemen.
Could you please introduce yourself and tell us how you started in the arts? and your first experience in art making?
My name is Rostislav Romanov I am around the mid 30 marks of life keep forgetting the exact age. Always working and thinking of new art ideas and trying to keep my life as a flavoured saltiness. I fell into art! I lost my father when I was 13 years old. I was talking to my art teacher about his death when I was 15 years old trying to process it all and trying to find the meaning of it. She instructed me to go and paint my feelings. I remember that painting so well! It was truly horrible it involved green Indian ink and blowing on a staw and atrocious penmanship.
My Art teacher saw something and showed me Kandinsky's paintings and that is when I made my first relationship with art where I felt something inside of me. My first memory of art. God goes back when I was a kid around 8-10 years old sitting in an art lesson in an attic at school and, the teacher told us to paint something, and I started to cry because I knew I could not do it. Back then I never thought in any amount of years that I would be here today writing as an artist. Shows that life is strangely poetic and I must capture that offbeat strangeness.
How would you describe yourself and your artwork?
Russian soul wrapped in English gentleman clothing. Today I am sober. An artist with so much family history. Works in my studio that is my personal temple every day and lives in the UK with his chocolate labrador on the coast. My art I use it as a means to soothe my soul and mind also at the same time it allows me to understand what is going on around me, it develops that thought that is hard to come by. So in short my therapy and my language to the world.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I have battled with this question for years ask many people that question. In simple terms I get my fire to paint to battle against the darkness from the shadow of life. When I was a child, I was in therapy, and the counsellor told me that I am genuinely a negative person which means when some pay me a compliment I do not take it, but when I get a negative remark, I take it with all my heart and try to be better. So with that inside of me, I take all the things that annoy and piss me off in the world and try to create something beautiful to show and communicate that no matter what beauty is everywhere or at least just around the corner of the grain of salt.
What emotions do you hope the viewers experience when looking at your art?
Simple I want people to have there owned experience with my art their moment like I had my moments when I created them.
When do you know that an artwork is finished ?
Just an offbeat serenity of abstract, when I have given it my all my heart body soul and blood of the painting where I did not cut any corners. For the art to continue to sing on its own to have its voice.
What has been the most exciting moment in your art career so far?
First is when I got my artwork taken on by Mason D'Art gallery in Monaco. They showed my work at the Art Fair in Monaco around 2016. I got to hang in the same box room as Dali, Renoir and Chagall and in the whole hall was Picasso, Frank Auerbach, Matisse and many more! I thought my artwork would not hold a candle to these grandmasters of the Artworld, but somehow my paintings did!
Second: My first commission with the publishing house of Rare Books of St Petersburg, this for me is a significant step of respect as an artist the fact this prestigious publishing house trusted my art to work together and make a Rare Book. Also, the fact that they have pushed me and my art to new salter levels!
Third, for me it is simple, but the most important one is standing and making friends in the art world where they see me as an equal. My friends, I look up to them and admire their work which helps me to become a better salter artist. For them, I am genuinely grateful.
Plus the rest: To be honest to get to show my artwork around the world and with friends all this drives me and pushes me to be better as an artist and person, even being part of this book 100 artists to look out for is my fuel for my art to create more!
How long does it take to produce one work?
I find this question hard to answer as there are so many different factors, and each takes the timing to different levels. But to put it simple terms shortest and hour and the most extended to 4 years and what is left in-between is how long I create art. It is getting longer and longer though.
What exciting projects are you working on right now?
This question is why I do art! I am working on illustrations for a book project with Rare books of St Petersburg with another artist called Daria Fursey. We are Illustrating an old Russia folk story, and there is only going to be 25 books made. To be trusted and respected to work in a great company like this is fantastic!
Do you have any upcoming events or exhibitions we should know about?
I have three shows coming up! First is in London at the Russian cultural centre on the 27th September with another artist that keeps me going and a friend of mine his name is Dan Feit, the next is with him in India Mumbai dates are unknown, and the last is a ceramic vase that I am painting with Dan and another artist called Maria Susarenko. I do have a few pies in the oven for the future one in Au Point Rouge centre in St Petersburg and one in Moscow.