What is the best thing that I love about my work?
For me, being an art critic is an opportunity to exchange ideas with the artists I admire. When I’m writing an article, or conducting an interview with an artist, it’s an immersion into another reality. All my collaborations with the artists are the quest into the spiritual liberty which I share with the others in my texts.
What is my idea of perfect happiness?
I think the happiness is the state of your mind. If you want to be happy, just be happy! It doesn’t depend on any material things or people.
What is my greatest fear?
I try not to think about it, because I believe that if we are afraid of something, it happens to us.
What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?
I always want to do many things in the same period of time, and often the incompatible things. I’m doing academic research about Art & Science, but at the same time, I’m writing about outsider art, art brut for Raw Vision Magazine. I’m reading five books at the same time, from anthropological research of symbols and shamanism to the books about art of new technologies. I don’t like to choose and sometimes it’s difficult to do many things simultaneously.
Which living persons in my profession do I most admire?
I was never inspired by an art critic ( with the exception of Charles Baudelaire, his texts about art are timeless), but I really admire some people with whom I collaborate, such as Laurent Courau, the creator of a well-known webzine about sub cultures and underground art which has existed for more than 20 years, John Maizels, who founded the Raw Vision magazine in 1989 to promote the unknown geniuses, which is now the most important magazine of outsider art in the world. Today these people continue their long battle and they really created a new page in the history of alternative culture. I’m really happy that I’ve collaborated with them.
What is my greatest eccentricity?
Hahaha, I really don’t know! I’m used to being surrounded by eccentric people, I think it’s just my way of life.
On what occasion would I lie?
I hate to lie, and I hate when somebody lies to me. It’s such a disgusting feeling in both cases…
What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work?
Refusing to write articles about some artists. I write only if it is interesting to me and if an artist really inspires me to write. But we all have different perceptions, and if I refuse to write it doesn’t mean that he’s a bad artist.
When and where was I the happiest, in my work?
Every time when my article or a book with my text appears, I feel happy. But when I give a conference and after that people come to thank me and ask me questions, it’s really great because I can discuss my research with them.
If I could, what would I change about myself?
When I need to change something, I do it.
What is my greatest achievement at work?
To express myself in writing and to be recognized by the public. Speaking about some particular achievements, I was really pleased to give the conference at Louvre-Lens Museum, at Istanbul Biennial and to organise the conference at Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature in Paris by myself. I was very surprised and happy when my text about Erik Bulatov’s painting «Three Surfaces» was chosen among the texts of the world-famous art historians for Saatchi Gallery website. I never wanted to be an artist’s agent but circumstances brought me together with a young artist, Randolphe Dutrieux, I fell in love with his paintings and organised four exhibitions of his works. Passion can do incredible things!
Where would I most like to live?
Paris. But I think I could move to California
What is my most treasured possession?
My personal library! I don’t have many books in my apartment in Paris (maybe 500 books or so), a few thousand are stored at my parents’ flat in Odessa. But I brought the most precious books for me to Paris, mostly about art. I buy 1-2 new books every week, so my library is growing!
What is my most remarkable characteristic?
Hardships make me stronger. When I have to overcome something, I feel the strength that I don’t feel in everyday life. I think it always helped me to survive.
What is my most inspirational location, in my city?
All the museums. And artists’ studios…I like to see their work in progress.
What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city?
PIGALLE COUNRTY CLUB
What books influenced my life and how?
All the art books of course, but as a personality I was influenced by Henry Miller, Charles Bukowski and the Beat Generation writers such as Kerouac, William S. Burroughs. They gave me their thirst for freedom, the desire to resist the routine of life and create my own world.
Who are my favorite writers?
I’ve already mentioned them in the previous questions. But there are so many others, such as Antonin Artaud, Jorge Luis Borges, Carlos Castaneda, Mircea Eliade (most important researcher of shamanism in XX th century), Mikhail Boulgakov, Fedor Dostoyevsky, Jules Barbey d’Aurevilly, E.A. Poe, Kafka, Alexandro Jodorowsky (I like his books a much as his films).
You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day?
I listen to psychedelic rock bands every day, so I think I will not change the music on my last day.
Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?
I don’t have any heroes or heroines. I like strong personalities who can inspire me to write or with whom I can create something together.
Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime?
2 films (because I don’t like to choose): Andrei Rublev by Andrei Tarkovsky and Lucifer Rising by Kenneth Anger.
What role does art play in my life and work?
All the roles.
Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime?
I don’t know my fans, and I don’t have any sponsors. But the person who supported me the most is Olga Kisseleva, the artist and one of the directors of my PhD thesis. She made me discover the new fields of art, which helped me to find my way in the art research. We published a lot of articles in Plastik art & science (magazine of Sorbonne University founded by Olga Kisseleva) and we are working on other publications now.
Who would I like to work with in 2017?
New artists I’ve yet to discover.
Which people in my profession would I love to meet in 2017?
For me, it’s always the magic of the encounter! I like meeting new personalities who give me inspiration for the new projects.
What project in 2017, am I looking forward to working on?
Now I’m waiting for the publishing of No.5 of the Plastik art & science which I directed. It was my first experience as a director of the whole issue of the academic magazine. The other projects are in progress.
Where can you see me or my work in 2017?
Raw Vision Magazine
Plastik art & science (new site will appear soon)
Saatchi Gallery: “Three surface”: http://www.saatchigallery.com/artists/erik_bulatov.htm?section_name=breaking_the_ice
La Spirale: http://laspirale.org/photo-485-david-sphaer-os-entretien-galerie.html http://laspirale.org/texte-484-stephane-blanquet-labyrinthe-d-organes.html http://laspirale.org/texte-474-anne-van-der-linden.html http://laspirale.org/photo-488-gael-depauw-entretien-portfolio-par-gilles-berquet.html
My text for the conference at Louvre-Lens Museum: http://www.publications-sorbonne.fr/fr/livre/?GCOI=28405100779480
My texts about Erik Bulatov: https://www.wienand-koeln.de/titel/Erik-Bulatov-Paintings-1956-2011-Werkverzeichnis-catalogue-raisonne.asp
What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me?
It’s not completely true. Sometimes we have periods when we lack inspiration. But when we find it again, it’s like a rebirth. Life is a spiral, not a straight line…
How can you contact me? firstname.lastname@example.org or facebook