August 24th, 1991, I was born in Perm, Russia. Relinquished from my original parents, I was placed in a Siberian orphanage. 2 years later I had the fortune of being adopted by a heartfelt couple. As I look back and imagine myself boarding my first sky machine to take me to my new home across the Atlantic I wonder if perhaps my fascination with flying machines began then. From then onward, I had my head turned skywards. I wanted so badly to mimic those giant metals birds that cradled me. With several sheets of paper and mark making utensils I did the best I could to have what was in the sky to right in front of me.
For years I firmly took to drawing until I discovered sculpture. My mid-teens offered a road of enlightenment as I discovered exciting new materials, among them, the materials that planes themselves are made of: aluminum, steel, fabric, wax, and wood. While still nurturing an interest within aviation, the ancient idea of protective body armor caught my eye. Both airplanes and armor share similar forms and purposes. They are both a means of human achievement to overcome a block. In such terms a block is defined as an inconvenience to overcome much like a writers block. Such a breakthrough could be conquering a distance in record time or advancement in society. I was so captivated by the idea of flight and the objects that make it possible. Body armor and certain airplane forms are similar in the way that they are fabricated out of metal.
My initial interest with body armor was ignited when I began working with copper. This material presented plenty of potential to me. Body armor is something that not only offers physical protection but also emotional protection. Earlier in my life I didn’t know who I was so I decided to create copper casts to protect my emotional identity and a cocoon to preserve my curiosity and inspiration. Most of the armor I create is cold smithed meaning that I use no heat to shape the metal. I connect my metal the same way that airplanes are fabricated; with rivets. My current collection consists of two full suits of armor and several fantastical helmets. Each suit I build allows me to grow up just a little bit more.
I have delved into several other mediums including wood, glass, clay, marble, and, especially, a way of drawing with masking tape that I've developed myself. With a single panel or wall, I lay down a full layer of masking tape, from edge to edge. Then I draw out my design. Using an X-Acto© knife, I cut out some pieces and leave others, to create a strong contrast image. To prevent tape decay, I spray the finished work with a polyurethane coating. I suppose examining this process could be similar to a medical operation with the tape serving as skin and the removing of the tape representing the exposed anatomy. Many of my tape drawings have been anatomically based and inspired by the Renaissance with a similar style to that of the Pop Art Movement.
I have much to learn and an incredible amount of territory to cover mentally, physically, and spiritually. With that in mind, in order to achieve my purpose, whatever that may be, I must continue to learn and gain as many skills as possible. The future will be exciting since the sky is the limit.