OCA PEOPLE: ALEXANDER YUSHKEVICH

Interview

 

Alexander is a sculptor, artist, and teacher. He has been working as an artist-sculptor. He gives preference to the social genre in sculpture. The sculptor is concerned about a person and his place in society, his values, his thoughts and deeds, his feelings and attitude to what is happening. He is the winner of the “ART SESSIO” Exhibition-Competition of Visual Arts for Art Students ”(Vitebsk, Republic of Belarus). His sculpture “Mother” was awarded the Grand Prix. Alexander is a scholar of the special fund of the President of the Republic of Belarus to support talented youth. In 2005, the young sculptor was awarded the Talents of Belarus medal.

OCA: Tell us about yourself and your creative activity?
AY: My name is Alexander Yushkevich. I’m an artist, sculptor, teacher. I studied at an arts secondary school with a decorative and applied bias. After graduation I entered the Minsk Art College. I studied in the sculpture department, which predetermined my choice of profession as a sculptor. After graduating from college, I realized that I did not have enough skills in my profession. That’s why I have decided to improve my skills at the Belarusian State Academy of Arts. Later on, I came to BGAMT to work as a graphic designer. As a sculptor, I always had work to do in the studio. However, I realized that this wasn’t enough for me, and I began to combine work in the studio with teaching. In my free time, I work as a sculptor as well.

OCA: What style do you paint in? What influenced your style?
AY: Everything starts with an idea, and sculpture in my hands is a way of expressing this idea. I think it’s not right to put ourselves in some kind of stylistic framework, and not to go beyond them, because only in art are we free. The last thing you think about is when you are ready to work and you analyze what style it belongs to. In most cases, I relate my work to Dadaism because I use the Redi-Maid technique. If the viewers understand your message, your idea, then everything has worked out.

OCA: What are your favourite artists?
AY: I cannot single out one, I admire everyone and always take inspiration. And again, my choice is determined by my own preferences. I admire ancient Greek sculptures, it is the Homeric period of small plastic works, the period of classics. It is a series of sculptors such as Polyclet, Miron, Skopas, Praxiteles, Lysippos – I just love them. On my shelves, I have albums of my favourite artists, among them – Lucian Freud, Giacomo Manzu as well as Alexander Rukavishnikov.

OCA: What is your favorite piece of art and why?
AY: My favourite work is the sculpture “Mother”. This is an image of a mother sitting with a ball of thread in her hands. The ball symbolizes the planet Earth and the thread is the path to the house. For a long time, the work stood on my shelf (since 2002) in plasticine, it has passed the test of time and in 2018 I remade it in bronze.

OCA: Have you taken part in the events of the Eurasian Creative Guild (London)?
AY: Yes, I was a member of the ‘Art in English’ project and ’Plein Air’ in London in 2018. Our collective exhibition “living and dreaming” includes a five based gallery which was held in London.

OCA: What is “Eurasianism” for you?
AY: This is a geopolitical concept. For me, this is a cultural bridge that did not exist before, it is an opportunity to communicate, speak and be heard. I thank the Eurasian Creative Guild for that opportunity.

OCA: What projects have you participated in and in which do you plan to participate?
AY: In the future, I’m going to cast several works in bronze, among them will be a sketch of a park sculpture in a scale of 1:10.

OCA: What would you advise the members of the Guild, who’re just starting their career?
AY: If you have already chosen this path, then I would advise you to be patient. Do your favourite thing that gives you pleasure, improve your capabilities. Don’t chase popularity and money, first of all, think about where you are running, with whom you are running, where you need to go, maybe you can just walk there . Be self-critical, ask yourself questions and find answers to them. The main thing is that you should love what you create, because if you like it, then someone else will like it too. Do everything for yourself, because it’s difficult to deceive yourself. Be ready for criticism: remember that any person perceives everything through his/her perspective. Good luck!