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A creative experiment? Why not…

The goal of creativity is self-giving,

Not hype, not success ...

Boris Pasternak


It may seem to some that humanity at the beginning of the 3rd millennium has exhausted the potential of traditional creative self-expression ... that music, painting, choreography, literature, poetry have fully manifested themselves. And now a kind of "running in a circle" begins - a repetition of what has been passed, however, at a different aesthetic, technical or technological level, taking into account modern achievements in various areas of the human spirit. The thesis may be dubious, but if you investigate it further, you gradually come to an understanding of the origins of a new creative reality - a certain symbiosis or synthesis of previously independent and self-sufficient types of art. It is noteworthy that the Greek word συμβίωση (symbiosis) means a form of relationship in which both partners (or one of them) benefit from the other ...

Someone will ask why symbiosis? Well, let's call it co-creation, commonwealth, even a kind of germination or interweaving of one or several directions and types of art. By the way, examples of such an innovation are on the surface. Thus, the amazing harmonious combination of jazz, classical or ethno music in live performance or sand installations based on the paintings of famous artists cannot leave indifferent ... The birth on glass of sharpened images of Roerich's or Monet's paintings on glass with the help of a picturesque palette of colored sand is complemented by exquisite sounds of organ, saxophone or Armenian duduk ... Or here's another example of unexpected unity. The high art of Russian ballet, the sounds of modern music and ... the skill of rhythmic gymnastics, when a technically perfect performance of a sports program emphasizes the plasticity and spirituality of ballet steps ...

Presented on the pages of this site and the next almanac “Metropolis. 2018-2020 ”, a joint project of photographer Alexander Yakovets and artist Vladimir Lazarenko-Manevich aroused considerable interest in the Metropolis League community, which gradually transformed into a correspondence discussion about the creative meanings of this experiment.




Natalia Kuznetsova,

member of the Union of Journalists of Russia:

- Expressive mix, mutual multiplication of the object in the photographs of Alexander Yakovets surprisingly and naturally corresponds to the modern trend of all performative arts, unfolding in real life, in real time. The further, the more they try to combine genre and aesthetically independent. Such emotions visit the viewer when he gets acquainted with the works of the photographer, made in the style of contemporary art. Obviously, the author is preoccupied with the search for the innermost meaning of the image, the desire to get to the very essence of events, objects, life itself ...

Indeed, contemporary art is a synthesis of different types, genres, techniques and technologies. To do this, all available means and opportunities are involved: paints, music, poetry, film projection, graphic design, animation ... This is how the artist Vladimir Lazarenko-Manevich, who is in a state of permanent creative search for new forms of self-expression, manifests himself.

Apparently, it is no coincidence that both authors - the photo artist Alexander Yakovets and the artist Vladimir Lazarenko-Manevich - undertook an experience, unexpected, perhaps for themselves, of a creative community, based not only on the unity of the philosophical worldview, but also on the desire and desire to know oneself and the surrounding world through the prism of modern, so to speak, theme-rhematic art ...

And here we have the result of this artistic interaction: the work of modern painting by Lazarenko-Manevich, made using the capabilities of computer graphics, enters into some mystical relationship with the photograph of Alexander Yakovets, and reveals to the public a new reality - a virtual interpretation of the creative originality of the two artists.


Vladimir Lazarenko-Manevich, artist, designer:

- What do I consider to be the main thing in the fine arts? Search for beauty ... Beauty of light, color, lines, composition, visual harmony in itself, and if you're lucky, with the eternal meanings of this life.

For the first time I got acquainted with the term “computer graphics” in 1984, while doing science at that time. A little later he entered the Physics Department of Moscow State University, wishing to get another education. There I was already completely immersed in programming and the world, as they called it, of computing. The first attempts to create an image on the machine display began. As my senior colleague used to say: "The main thing is to put an end to the screen, the rest is easier." After graduating from art school, all his free time he continuously painted, wrote, running to Stroganovka for sketches, working at home or disappearing in a friend's workshop.

A few years later, by a lucky chance, I ended up in the animation studio "Classic", I had to part with science, and computer graphics became my profession (which I have never regretted). The arsenal of digital graphics tools in the early 90s was very modest: limited to machine performance, Photoshop was version 2.5. The first steps were taken by three-dimensional graphics. At the same time, I saw for the first time on the computer screen pictures completely drawn, written by the now famous animation artist. It was overwhelming ... great ... unexpected ... and I immediately wanted to do something like that. Since then, this instrument has completely taken possession of me, although oil and tempera, of course, lie somewhere in the cherished bag. Such is the story ...


Natalia Kuznetsova:

- English physicist and chemist, one of the inventors of photography, William Henry Fox Talbot once remarked that “the artist's eye often stops at what ordinary people do not see anything remarkable. An accidental spot of sunshine or a shadow crossing the road, an old oak tree or a stone covered with moss are able to awaken a whole chain of thoughts, feelings and imagery. "

These words, I think, can be attributed to the bold attempts of Alexander Yakovets and Vladimir Lazarenko-Manevich to break out of the usual circle of creative self-expression and throw themselves into the uncontrollable element of the search for new horizons, their own handwriting and the true "I" of a real master ...

To exacerbate the inevitable discussion around this creative experiment, I will allow myself an obvious provocative message: if computer graphics open up for an advanced user (painter, graphic artist, photo artist, etc.) truly unlimited possibilities in terms of the author's own interpretation of the original source, how authentic will it be " digital canvas "? Strictly speaking, this is a philosophical problem, and reasoning on the topic of what is genuine art and what is craft has long roots. Let's just remember that only 150 years ago, light painting - the forerunner of modern photography was perceived exclusively as something applied, very far from the world of pure art. True, now no one doubts the art of author photography ...


Vladimir Lazarenko-Manevich:

- Of course, everything moves in a circle. 7 notes and several dozen letters remain unchanged. Our organs of perception have not increased. Everything around has already been, everything has already been composed, performed, thought out and put on its granite pedestals. Old song. How many times have been proclaimed "The Decline of Europe", the death of theater, cinema and so on. and so on.

Nevertheless, everything flows, everything changes, and no matter how worn the phrase is, it moves in a spiral, repeating itself on a new round of it. And walking along this path, a person, having all the accumulated baggage (here I mean the necessary education), turns out to be one step higher, where there is still no one, takes steps in directions that have not yet become a tradition. Thorny winds of criticism and misunderstanding blow there. And such a reaction to innovation follows the same spiral, being an obstacle, a brake, a barrier, an obstacle to the unrestrained development of everything and everyone. I am ready to agree that it is even useful, that it helps later (later!) To define the “present”, that without overcoming difficulties there will be nothing worthwhile, precious.

Indeed, at present, significant breakthroughs in social development occur at the intersection of sciences: psychology and mathematics, biology and computer science, genetics and theology (just kidding), physics and medicine, etc. Art, as a field of human activity, is present in all aspects of progress, accompanying, and often outstripping, the perception of everything new by civilization. It is this "junction" of modern computer-graphic technologies and traditional photography that Alexander Yakovets and I tried to implement in our project. Frankly, similar, previously unknown technological combinations - "symbiosis", as the respected Natalia Kuznetsova calls it, there are still a great many waiting for us ahead. In sculpture, for example, the widespread introduction of 3D modeling and 3D printing from any material is coming.

I apologize for the banality, a work of art is a unity of form and content. And it doesn't matter whether the creator worked with a jackhammer or the thinnest brush, it was done with a real instrument or a virtual one. The skill of using a palette knife, chisel, brush is no more "real" than the skill of drawing with a brush in Photoshop, the skill of building a three-dimensional model, working with tone, color, light in virtual space.

Yes, of course, computer graphics have much more possibilities. Take the infinite Undo. What? Now you have to apologize for this? There is simply a solo performance of Music, and there is an orchestral performance, there are electric musical instruments and there are acoustic ones, and no one opposes them to each other. Acrylic paints do not negate traditional mineral pigments, and the airbrush does not conflict with the brush.

So it is here. An image on a canvas, created in a traditional way or with the use of modern digital technologies, still remains an Image - I mean an actual work of art.

You just need to go through the student stage of computer graphics, which, incidentally, overcame the cinema at the beginning of its formation, and fill, figuratively speaking, the abyss separating the first Lumière exercises and, for example, Cameron's Avatar.

As for the "authenticity" of such a work of authorship, here you can act as, for example, when replicating prints, etchings, etc. That is, a limited number of equivalent copies - prints (about ten) with the author's mark and number, everything else - ordinary inexpensive reproductions, posters, etc.

I would like to emphasize that “digital” is not a dirty word to denote something that is not natural, not true, not authentic, and even if you like, not legal. Not at all. While this concept for modern society is a kind of know-how, but I assure you: we will not even notice how soon this "new" will become just as traditional, generally accepted, and gradually gaining academicism, it will begin to designate the scope of what is already allowed for the next generations of seekers beauty and harmony - extraordinary and daring. But it is necessary to devote life to this, as the poet said - at least one.


Natalia Kuznetsova:

- In conclusion, let me note that I in no way question the artist's right to use certain traditional or, on the contrary, unexpected methods of perception and artistic comprehension of reality in the embodiment of his own idea. It seemed to me apologetic for the audacious attempt at deliberately provocative extrapolation of possible responses and reactions to a creative experiment on the pages of the Metropolis almanac. This became a kind of invitation to think about what art is in the postmodern time of rejection of any authorities and generally accepted views ...

In general, we live in a very interesting historical time, when the boundaries of both professions and specialties are being erased. Now you can hardly meet in pure form "physicists" and "lyricists", now every person, as in the Renaissance, flourishes with all facets of his talents and begins to feel himself a creator and creator of "his own world, his own universe" ...


Alexander Yakovets, Photographer, President of the Moscow League of Culture and Art Workers "Metropolis":

- The synthesis, to which the authors of the project were striving, does not yet have a name, and all kinds of explanations for the visible result of any creative work are often doomed to failure. Moreover, if these works do not fit into traditional forms. Meanwhile, in our project we see not just the "addition - unification" of two types of arts. Photography and painting complement and develop each other. Here we see both a highly artistic rethinking of the world of objects and the semantic depths of plot twists.

The creative result of our experiment is just one of many potential options for the original work. This is a photograph and, as it were, its reflection, only refracted through new features, features, details ... The light flux directed inside the object passes through the imagination of the authors, and a new wonderful world is born. In any case, an idea is given of how this world, this life is reflected in the creative consciousness of the authors.

... We can say that our joint works with Vladimir Lazarenko-Manevich are a cast of reality, refracted through the soul, where these components of the philosophical and artistic generalization must certainly be present.