"The world created by God is beautiful. Its mountains, trees, etc. But the world created by man- of what is left of the mountains, trees... cannot be called beautiful. And only works of art created by man are as beautiful as nature."
Dmitry Plotnikov (born in 1965), is from Moscow, Russia. He is a painter, sculptor, and graphic artist; however, he devotes most of his time to painting. It cannot be said that since childhood he wanted to be exclusively an artist, his childhood dreams were different. He dreamed of being a sailor or a zoologist.
Dmitry Plotnikov has been exhibiting since 1986. Some of the highlights of his artistic career were the project 'Calaverada,' which was made with the support of the Embassy of Mexico in the Russian Federation and the Russian Fund of Culture, where he was a curator and participant of this project in 1998-99. The exhibition was dedicated to the Mexican festival known as ''Day of the Dead." In addition to the Russian authors, the works of José Guadalupe Posada and Pedro Coronel were exhibited, as granted by the Mexican Embassy. His personal exhibition "Ave, Avis," which was held in the Gallery of the Moscow International University is also a highlight to his career. An article on this exhibition and his artistic work by the famous art critic Nikita Makhov was published in the Moscow art magazine DI (Dialogue of the arts). Participation in exhibitions "Artists of the DI Circle"and above all, participation in the project "Painting of two capitals" in Moscow and St. Petersburg (curated by S. Gusarova) where he was one of the four authors who represented the Moscow painting. In addition, the project "The triumph of Bacchus" dedicated to Velásquez (his favorite artist) and his great work and exhibitions in Moscow and Lipetsk.
Another important highlight of his artistic career was his personal exhibition, "Experience of Color" in the State Gallery of paintings of Astrakhan. The quite large exhibition has passed as one of the best artistic Russian museums. He took the title for the exhibition from "Color experience" -a text of his friend, the Petersburg painter Anatoly Zaslavsky on the Venetian Renaissance: "Then the experience of color has been complicated to the limit, it was recognized as the profoundly intimate experience of the person and he made the language of plastic art." Furthermore, he has had some exhibitions at the Institute of Cervantes in Moscow that he cured in the company of Tatiana Pigareva from 2012 to 2015. In a nutshell, Dmitry Plotnikov has exhibited his work in Russia and abroad.
Dmitry's works of art offers us a realization that nothing is guaranteed. He reminds us that life is composed of individual moments that build up a whole. And that whole, whether good or bad is determined by your own inner strengths and determination to live each moment. Dmitry exposes us to a sense of reassurance whether we want to or not. It's that intricate moment between known and unknown, rooted and ungrounded, real or not. That moment that exposes you to the real you that often times remains unrevealed, but now you have no choice but to face all that there is. Just like in everyday life, Dmitry's works of art provides us with clarity despite any dark episodes that are encountered. Simply reassuring us there is always something positive to look forward to.
Q. Do you remember the first work of art you did? What was it and how old were you? How has your artistic journey since then evolved?
A. It was during my childhood. Often as a child, I tried to create a model of the world, trying to understand it. In this sense, I probably have not changed. For me, painting is still a way of knowing the world.
Q. How and when did you first become seriously interested in art?
A. When I started, the Soviet Union still existed. Art was either official and authorized by the communist party or it was clandestine art. At that time, I wanted to do clandestine art. I was young and wanted to rebel. But then the professional, superficial problems became more interesting. Since then, I probably became an artist.
Q. What does your art aim to express?
A. In my opinion, the ability to perceive painting, to enjoy painting, is a talent. A rare talent. Such people are less than, for example, those who can enjoy classical music. And these people do not need to explain what my work means.
Q. Who are your biggest influences? Are you inspired by the work of your peers or anyone else in particular?
A. My childhood favorite books were the album with reproductions of Giotto and "Fabulous Alphabet" by Russian artist Tatiana Mavrina. They probably influenced me, but seriously, of course, the "old masters." Andrei Rublev, Velasquez, Titian, Veronese, Vermeer, Poussin. Additionally, Klee, Larionov and Matisse are also for me the "old masters" who have something to teach.
Q. Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?
A. I am an introvert. I lack loneliness.
Q. Apart from art, what do you love doing?
A. Read books, walk with my dog, travel ...
Q. What is your philosophy in matters of art?
A. For me, painting is a way of knowing the world.
Q. What do you not like about the art world?
A. The monotony and primitiveness of superficial decisions in the works of contemporary artists. I'm bored by modern art fairs, but in museums, with old masterpieces, I don't get bored. In my opinion, in the twentieth century, the main criterion for evaluation was novelty. I think the cause is commercial. A new product that appears in the art market must be different from another product to be obvious to the layman. Quality of work, talent is less important. For some reason, it is not customary to talk about the beauty of work. But the novelty at all costs is a false novelty. This should lead to a simplification of the superficial language and to less variability of the superficial decisions in paintings. The difference between, for example, Velázquez and today's best author, such as between a chess player and a three-in-a-row player. I am not talking about talent. I mean that no matter if you are a great chess player, how can you show your genius on nine squares of three in lightning? And more. If you saw a work by Velásquez, Picasso, Matisse, this does not mean that you have a complete picture of the artistic work of these authors. But today, unfortunately, there are many artists who, if you saw a work by this author, do not need to see the rest. They are exactly the same.
Q. What does 'success' mean to you?
A. Nothing. This is something that is not interesting. Gilbert Keith Chesterton wrote an essay, "The Fallacy of Success." I recommend it. Written a long time ago, but still relevant.
Q. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given, and by who?
A. I did not meet "the wise oriental" who donated me a universal maxim, which I continued with for all my life. I appreciate the concrete advice in specific situations.
Q. What advice would you give to the next generation?
A. Study the old teachers, talk to them, try to overcome them. Do not imitate the style. You live today, not five hundred years ago. Do your thing, but be equal to the best that has been done before.