Nikas Safronov, the artist is ambiguous, and it gives him a chance to stay in the history of art forever. Nikas Safronov, the artist of fashion, and that’s what makes it popular, popular, interesting many. But “trendy” is not the only thing that characterizes Nikas. He, of course, still welcome. Here Mireille Mathieu, which can hardly be accused of following the Russian fashion, orders him — and only him! — the portrait of his mother. And the king of Bahrain wants the image of the brush of this artist. Flattering? Of course.
Well, in Russia? Oh, here Nikas Safronov knows literally every. Someone at his work, and someone — and thanks to the “yellow press”.
On the eve of the birthday today of the national heritage of the country we talked with Nikas Safronov about his work, about the envy of his contemporaries, about the rumors and, of course, about love. And also learned that Nikas all ready to start in life again. And you will be surprised! not an artist, and a sailor who is always ready to give the face of the scoundrel.
photo: Natalia Muslinkina
The date of birth usually take stock of the past year. What has delighted you?
— It took another three dozen exhibitions throughout Russia and around the world. Was an exhibition in Vienna with the support of the Embassy was an exhibition in Bahrain with the support of the government. The reception was opened by the king of Bahrain. Incidentally, he acquired the Bahraini state Museum several paintings, and I got the order: to make a portrait of him on horseback.
Just recently, I received the title of people’s artist of Dagestan. Ramazan Abdulatipov praised my contribution to the Republic where I was doing shows in the big cities, and they were a great success. Their Museum also acquired a few of my works. Now preparing the opening of my Museum in Vladimir.
— You painted the portrait of Ramazan Abdulatipov?
— I drew his father’s small black-and-white photos and made him a gift. It turned out collective image that I did in color, I hope he accurately showed the character of this remarkable man, the father of a great son of Dagestan people. In General, I am closely associated with this region, and in gratitude for introducing me to the creative contribution and was awarded the honor of national artist title.
This year I received the title of honorary citizen of the Kemerovo region. In Rostov-on-don I was nominated as goodwill Ambassador of the city-hero, along with Sergey Gorban. I’m grateful man, I always try to pay attention for the job: constantly making exhibitions in Russia, conduct workshops, support the creative youth and deed and example.
— Why don’t you have the title of people’s artist of Russia? Underestimated? Something even today give these titles?
— I’m honored artist of Russia, in fact, the national. At some stage of the creative life I was it doesn’t matter, it seemed to me, enough that I know it all, but now I came to the conclusion that formal recognition is also necessary for the artist.
I academician of the Academy of fine arts, I’m honored artist of Russia, honorary artist, and that is the designation my professional quality. Although in the 90-ies, according to the survey “Levada-Center” and two other institutions, it became clear that I know 100 percent of Russians.
— You happy with it? You vain?
— No, not conceited. Maybe vanity could be in any 80’s, when only came to my recognition. Today it is necessary for a workshop for museums who purchase my work, for those children who look up to me. Not important to me the title, and for my audience. Official recognition gives help for the good organization of exhibitions, which I do for many years.
If I were vain, would, most likely, the national title in the 90-ies, when he wrote, say, a portrait of Boris Yeltsin. He could me on his knee to sign the order about assignment of a rank, but I never had such ambitions, even thought to ask, based on cronyism or high Dating. But now I have the title of advanced Academy, and it is quite another. This recognition of excellence in art.
— Admit it, you regret now that I had taken a moment and asked regalia, the first President of Russia?
— No, as is in life that you are preoccupied with work. And each title must be tested by time and your inner state. People — 50 thousand people that attend my exhibition — it makes me popular. But your fame gives rise to the envy of some colleagues, jealousy, resentment. To guard against this is sometimes only an official recognition. And we often, only when the artist has already left, he gets the recognition, begin to analyze his creative past, and the artist becomes a national treasure.
— And you feel like a national treasure?
— There may be more talented, but nobody knows them. Any talent must be accompanied by frantic hard work, and that gives rise to fame. It gives you the hope that you will remain in the world history of art.
Of course, you can say: “No, you?! I’m still far from that realization!” But when you are already a unit when you already have a great heritage, open in the profession that you’re fully correspond to this classical notion of “artist” and fashion was in life, and Rubens, van Dyck and Raphael…
You can silent about his place in history, let you say about him other, but there is an objective evidence that you already have your place under the sun as an artist. And, therefore, have their right to a verbal definition of this place. Today not many modern artists, which visibly manifested itself in art.
— Do you have work for which you are ashamed?
— Of course. A lot of the work was exploratory, experimental, that appear when you have not so professional. Let’s say you work in new technology, such as cubism, and at first you think perfectly formed story in the colored blocks. But when you master this technique, you can see what was done wrong.
I tried myself in many ways and did different kinds of installations, even worked in the abstract, but returned to the classics. Studying different creative techs, I opened a new direction — the technique of Dream Vision: it is like fixing sleep when you reproduce on the canvas what I remember, the first 15 minutes after waking up, or the last 15 minutes dreaming. It is for this new technique I’m not ashamed.
— Are you someone jealous?
— Probably not. Once one student told me: “When I grow up a great artist, I want to be like you,” and I replied: “Young man, when I was your age, I wanted to be Leonardo da Vinci.” What is the point of envy? Work harder and do better! Well, maybe I’m a little jealous Brueghel, the elder Memling — they were so deep into the creativity that turned out great masterpieces. Although the children of Bruegel was not as great as their father, they were good craftsmen, but no more.
photo: From personal archive
— You can afford to say that some artist with a big name you don’t like, and Vice versa?
— I don’t like talking bad about the artists. But great was the Picasso — he was constantly in search of himself, burning with creativity. Dali was an amazing artist, and he has a lot of wonderful work, and he just made. Although it is not my favorite artist, he was a genius of the twentieth century.
In any case, I want a professional art, and especially that which carries something new and interesting. Here Bruegel abused during his life and another hundred years after his death, spoke the word, “Well, you how this “idiot” Bruegel”, and only in the nineteenth century recognized that he was a genius. In General, subjected to blasphemy many great creators, but they all remained in the history as individual innovators.
As for me, my work has not always been unequivocal, but always attracted the attention of the viewer.
— Do you through a great number of exhibitions — if you can call your work commercial?
— All art is commercial. It is not a priori to be non-commercial if is designed for people who want to buy, and on the viewer. And that commercialization underlines the level of your creativity, because you’re not doing this only for yourself — you’re writing to someone for the viewer to judge. Gogol could leave to posterity the second volume of “Dead souls”, but he was afraid that after the first, perfect, this will be worse and criticism of his sweep.
Commerce in art can be seen in different ways: speaking of “fashion artist”, we forget about what the fashion was and Raphael, and Michelangelo!
And the madness of van Gogh entirely invented: it was never a poor painter, as written about him by critics. He thought of all this promotion with his brother Theo, he had dozens of figures from the art. And Theodorus van Gogh gave decent money, he was paying him as a good engineer, and he kept his mistress and her family, and generally spend a lot on booze with friends. Were simply invented a convenient story that he was crazy and during the madness, writes the furious picture. And in fact, he had nothing to do in this state, and was sick only a year before his death, and all his short creative life was left to chance.
Theodorus first advised him to write a sad painting, then light work, hence the Sunflowers. And he was the best canvas and paint, they still do not drip and does not crumble. He did not have time to enjoy his fame, not enough for a few months. We ingest created his art history and I think art should be so, but it is a historical deception. Here Leonardo da Vinci was really hard, he sued the family of their uncle, attended in 20 years, and he rightfully left him a legacy, and then appeared abandoned at the time of the father of the children and sued his money through bribes in their favor. But then the world reacted calmly to this story.
Today’s dealers from the art looking for new names, make a lot of money, and these names have become iconic, and then a cult.
— And you need to bouts of fury, to write?
— No! I usually sit down at the canvas as an artisan, but always finish the work as an artist. But in the process there is this wildness when it appears in the picture an element which later forces the viewer to look into the work and discover something new.
— Work causes stress?
— Every job brings a different pulse and stressful, but always positive; when you after a hard day sit down at work and forget about everything. Stress enters the burning, in this time you forget about eating, about drinking, and here you get good stress.
— Are you afraid of critics? Can destroy the ready in fear of them?..
Not from fear, but can. If I think that the work is imperfect. I’m not every work hate to the audience. When there is one already recognized, a different picture you don’t want to expose. There is objective criticism, which you, of course, “uidet”, but there are also subjective when it is clear that it is biased. And every time I decide what to do with it: to change something in the work or not paying attention.
And then you have for yourself to the most severe critic — and I’m strict and I can see the flaws of others, but their too…
— Life goes on — what are you sorry for?
— So much! For example, the fact that I did not many the education of their children that spent a lot of time on unnecessary fuss and unnecessary to me. We always try to do are wooing of unnecessary people, and then to see that wasting time on them. We had little contact with his parents while they are alive, relatives, friends, because busy making money, building their image. And not live for myself, because a huge amount of time was spent in vain. And we find ourselves in an adventure of history and lose their hard-earned money. And not be next to at this time wise men, who would have suggested how to do it properly. And I regret that, maybe I would be living some kind of villain to give the face, but I didn’t…
In General, I would now love to go back to childhood, right into 1st grade, and then, perhaps, you have lived life differently.
— Would refuse the path of the artist?..
— Maybe I would not mind at all, but left, say, in Sergiev Posad to study the painting and to do it all my life. Maybe would have gone to study in the merchant Navy, started to learn seamanship. And so on. But I know that would lose time, not saying a lot of nothing, never would hurt the loved ones — although I’m non-confrontational person, but sometimes it happens. And I want to collect all their mistakes and avoid making them in such numbers, and to make them just a little bit. In General, I regret many follies committed by me in this life.
— “There lived-was the artist one, the house had and canvases…” — it’s about you song?
— This is quite possible, but still not really my thing. The artist was still blessed. Yes, sometimes I’m willing to sacrifice something for someone or something, but not all. I have some consciousness of the extent to which it is possible to be mad. Maybe in the work — Yes, but not in terms of madness: could not cut off his ear, to sell all the canvas and slinging money down the drain. …Yes, when it comes to your family, parents, we can do a lot for them. And I have an analytical mind, a life practicality.
I lived a pretty hard life in childhood — in the barracks, and, then, enough to eat… I saw destinies, disappear individuals, as they have ceased to be the one I look up to, lost in the soup of this life, fading in a judicial showdown… And I’m responsible for all of their loved ones, when you have a sister, three brothers, children — you don’t belong only to themselves. To give a girl a million scarlet roses!.. I think very few people ready, especially those who took place as the person himself. When you leave a large inheritance, you’re less aware of it than when you’re all that I have earned myself. Everything in life must be justified.
— A year ago you said you ready for a new relationship to be born a child who would you were raised. Something moved in this direction?
— I have a girlfriend, but we have not decided in a serious relationship. I even once said about her on the show, but she said softly that we’re just friends, and thus put an end. We’re just friends with her.
Today I am so tormented sexual affection as, say, young. Today still prevails more rational, analytical approach to life. And I no longer want to have a companion with whom pleasant to talk and chat, go out sometimes in the light.
I’m ready to change at any time, but, on the other hand, it is not distracting me from work. Everything should be on time: in 20 can be madly in love, 30 — a personality, a 40 — to have a worthy name to bear in favor of peace. Perhaps you’re 90 years old to have a baby, and that’s probably OK, but on the other hand, give birth to children in this age without thinking how they will grow, who will educate them, and for what? It is necessary never to see which child will turn out, how it grew, what let’s go, dear, you must have sufficient time at his upbringing, at least raise it to 18 years. Today, I am one, and I have no really close person, and I’m not particularly eager to such serious family relations. Of course, there are moments when you, for example, can become “a glass of water no one will be served”, and then you remember that you have friends who are always ready to help and make you feel better.
— Your children are adults — you are not afraid to be a grandfather?
— Not afraid. This is a normal process. It is important not to focus on what you should feel old. Children is always great, grandchildren — even better. The more you can finally to correct his youthful mistakes, when you have little time for their children and really and life experience to help in the upbringing of grandchildren. I’m totally okay with it. When you’re 40 years old, think you’re a very old man and 60 feel you 25.
— And you cut in the passion of Vienna?
— It was a different life, and that, too, but today — without it; you become wiser, so the same flash and light up, but all give in creativity, in art. I already is not able to, although, who knows what else may await you in life. Because life is truly just beginning…