"THE MISSION OF A REAL ARTIST (THEIR MAIN ROLE) IS TO IMPROVE THE HUMAN ABILITY TO FEEL AND THINK, AND NOT DESTROY IT"
Guennadi Ulibin is an artist, philosopher, and poet who was born in 1973 in the Soviet Union. From early childhood, he loved to draw and wanted to become an artist. When he was 11 years old, he began his studies at an art school, where thanks to his first teachers, his path to the world of art began - the path leading to his passion and career.
As a child, he often traveled to the countryside on holidays, where he often drew sketches and painted. Learning the variety of manifestations of beauty and harmony in nature and ultimately, portraying it.
After graduating art school, he entered the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts. He successfully completed it and this led him to move to Spain. At the end of the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts, Guennadi Ulibin was awarded the State Scholarship of the Ministry of Culture of Russia for his diploma work “Pieta." In his student years, Guennadi Ulibin was acquired by The Finley Collection of Russian Art in the United States of America. Guennadi Ulibin was awarded the Lorenzo Medici Prize at the International Biennale of Contemporary Art in Florence.
The paintings of Guennadi Ulibin are in the European Museum of Modern Art in Barcelona (MEAM). Guennadi Ulibin works with prestigious galleries, and he participates in international contemporary art fairs and exhibitions in many countries of the world. He created an extensive gallery of portraits of his contemporaries. His works are published in numerous catalogs and publications on contemporary art.
Guennadi Ulibin is able to display before us an unexpected gift of perfect beauty. Through his works of art, he is able to convey an essence of clarity entangled with a pureness only a naked heart can perceive. What the eyes may not capture, the soul may understand. He brings us to an unparalleled comparison to a replica of some magical world that exists within the intricacies of his existence. And he delivers a master piece that leaves you in complete awe, realizing that what stands before you is not real, but is only as tangible as the imagination can offer.
Q. What role does the artist have in society?
A. Today, those who call themselves artists are very different, and the motivation for their activities is also different, and the roles they play in society are also different. Therefore, to characterize the role of the artist in society can only be said about what role the artist should play in society and what role most artists play in society. The artist, as a representative of art, has a mission of knowing reality by depicting it to identify and understand the principles of beauty and harmony in nature. Thus, a pictorial language is formed, which may not necessarily be realistic, but must necessarily carry the principles of beauty and harmony. With the help of this pictorial language (the ability to draw), the artist embodies their ideas in their works, making them accessible to other people, thus giving an impetus to the development of the human ability to feel and think. This is the mission of a true artist in society.
Q. How and when did you first become seriously interested in art. Tell us about your beginnings, how were your first steps in the art world?
A. Seriously and professionally, I began to master the technique of fine art from the age of 11. The first steps in the art world were made towards understanding the principles of beauty and harmony, which I studied, depicting reality. I wrote a lot of still lives, landscapes, portraits, did a lot of sketches and sketches. It was also interesting to me to master a variety of visual materials, such as watercolor, charcoal, pencil, pastel, sanguine, and, of course, oil.
Q. What have you had to sacrifice for this career?
A. “Art requires sacrifice,” there is such a famous phrase. I don’t think I can completely agree with it, at least I never had to feel that when I was doing art I was sacrificing something — on the contrary, I was gaining. Being engaged in art, I get the opportunity to improve my ability to feel and think and can help other people do the same. This opens up new horizons for understanding. This is very important for the development of society and it cannot be called a sacrifice.
Q. Tell us about your particular style and how you came to it?
A. I want to say right away that my style has nothing to do with hyperrealism because hyperrealism (photorealism) is a superficial imitation of painting that arose due to the appearance of high-quality photographs. Hyperrealism is a copy of a photograph that cannot exist without it.
My painting style is a classic realistic painting technique that allows me to create images as generalized as possible and as detailed as possible, depending on my specific goals in a particular work.
In the process of studying reality from early childhood, I knew and understood that I want to be able to portray everything in order to be free to portray anything — I must be universal in order to apply this knowledge and skills to realize my creative ideas. In the formation of my style, a significant role was played by the study of the painting techniques of the old masters, especially Russian and European artists of the second half of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries.
Q. Who are your biggest influences? Are you inspired by the work of your peers or anyone else in particular?
A. In the process of my formation as an artist, I was beneficially influenced by the work of old masters such as, Rembrandt, Velazquez, Repin, Serov, and many other talented artists of the past, from whom I studied, examining their paintings in museums in order to understand their technique execution and thus, enrich and improve my own painting technique.
I know that my work affects many artists who want to learn from me, and I am pleased because I like to share my experience with those who want to master the art of painting.
Q. What does your art aim to say?
A. By my creativity I want to make people develop their ability to feel and think - this is the mission in Art.
In my work, there are two main lines, which, despite their external differences, are united by a common philosophical concept. The first line is a series of paintings that show the post-historical world - the result of human activities based on the principle of reckless consumption and exploitation. The paintings in this series show the traces of civilization, which was on the path of self-destruction, reached its goal and left behind itself piles of metal, which had previously been high-tech machines. Now, these are the defeated idols of the technogenic system.
In this series, the women depicted personify the future of mankind. They are hope and inspiration, as well as a symbol of love and beauty - the beginning for the creation of a new beautiful world based on the principle of knowledge and understanding of an infinite universe. This is the beginning of a new era in harmony with nature and the disclosure of intellectual and creative potential.
This series also suggests that technological progress, despite its attractiveness and obvious ability to facilitate the solution of the routine tasks of everyday life, is a tool that frees a person from having to use his own brain, and this is fraught with intellectual degradation, which, in fact, we observe in modern society.
The second line in my work also has a deep philosophical content. Most of the works in this series are made in the schedule - coal on paper. They are united by the theme of the meaning of life, knowledge of the fundamental principles of being and evolutionary development.
These works were created over the years, so the process of comprehending my ideas for expressing them in the form of graphic or pictorial compositions has gone far beyond the visual arts and has become a philosophical method for studying reality. This led to the fact that it became possible to implement my creative ideas in large multi-figured paintings that carry a philosophical concept that can influence the worldview of people. So the picture “The Apocalypse Riders Diaries” appeared.
In this picture, the Apocalypse, as an emergency intervention in the course of the evolutionary-historical process, is not the end of the world, but its beginning.
The Apocalypse is a moment of spiritual and intellectual enlightenment - understanding the true mission of mankind, as the embodiment of the mind on earth with the goal of cognition and understanding of the infinite Universe. The existing civilization, its history and meaning are based on the principle of consumption (use), which is a key factor for its own degradation and self-destruction. Therefore, to arrange the Apocalypse with the aim of destroying what is already being destroyed itself makes no sense, which means that emergency intervention in the course of events for radical changes in the evolutionary historical process on planet Earth can only be for the purpose of saving humanity.
Apocalypse is the restoration of harmony in the development of mankind by transferring the priority of its existence to the first fundamental principle of being - knowledge.
Q. Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?
A. Loneliness is a necessary condition for creative work. In the process of this work, I discover for myself what I can share with others, creating my paintings. Thus, being alone, I am not alone. In addition, the artist’s life is full of exhibitions, various art fairs, where there is a storm of communication with spectators, and other artists. Therefore, I have no problems with loneliness.
Q. Apart from art, what do you love doing?
A. Apart from art, I do philosophy and poetry.
Q. What is your philosophy in matters of art?
A. Art is knowing reality based on a sensory level. The purpose of which is to understand the principles of beauty and harmony for their embodiment in works of art, which in their highest manifestations carry a philosophical meaning and contribute to intellectual and spiritual enlightenment.
Q. What does 'success' mean to you?
A. The meaning of my activity as an artist, philosopher and poet is to make people rise to a higher level of my ability to feel and think - to improve intellectually and spiritually. If I succeed, it means success.
Q. What’s something about yourself or your life that might surprise others to learn?
A. I often see the surprise in the rounded eyes of a not very educated audience who cannot believe that my paintings are not photographs, but paintings. For me, the most realistic image is not a goal, but a means of expressing my creative ideas.
Q. What you think about investing in art?
A. In most cases, investments in art occur as investments in objects created by artists. However, one must understand that these objects are not art, but works of art - the result of a creative process. Art is the ability to create and the process of creativity itself, so real investment in art is an investment in the creative process for the development of the artist’s creative potential, and not the acquisition of a finished object. Investing in an item is a thirst for material gain and nothing more. They mainly invest in works of art created by already deceased artists who can no longer create anything. This is speculation about their life and work. You need to invest in the living, talented and ingenious - these will be investments in the creative process - creating opportunities for the realization of creative potential, which contributes to the intellectual and spiritual development of all mankind. Therefore, collectors and philanthropists must understand that the results of creativity - the objects that they acquire could not have appeared without a creative ability and creative process. So, you need to invest in the development of creative abilities to obtain new results. As I said, I have a huge number of large-scale creative projects that require investments for their implementation.
Q. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given, and by who?
A. One must always learn from nature, because she is the best teacher. This is the best advice I received from my first teacher.
Q. What advice would you give to the next generation?
A. Learn to feel and think, and remember that there is no limit to perfection. The mission of mankind, as the bearer of the mind on Earth, is the knowledge and understanding of the infinite Universe. And if the object of cognition is infinite, then the process of cognition will also be infinite, and the evolution of the tool of knowledge, which is the human brain, is also infinite. Each new stage of evolutionary development occurs due to the achievements of the previous stage. The future of humanity is in your hands. If you do not want to return to the monkey past - turn on the brain.