International. Contemporary. Art.
GREGORY EMVY (real name Grigory Maslennikov) started on the path of pursuing a career in art in his very early childhood. His grandfather was a talented artist, and seeing the boy’s apparent inherited talent and interest for painting, Emvy’s parents sent him to art school. In 2001 Gregory graduated from Foundation Painting Program Arts School of Nizhny Novgorod at the age of sixteen and in 2004 from Fine Art Program, Arts School of Nizhny Novgorod. At the age of twenty-four he decided to dedicate himself to painting full-time.
Gregory Emvy is part of a new wave of artists emerging from Russia. He represents the new generation of avant-garde. Gregory Emvy works and lives in London and Moscow. Currently Gregory is established at the epicentre of design and brand identity, as part of his work for Beluga Russia brand and has already received much acclaim for his conceptualized projects which include: the recent Manifesta 10 in St Petersburg (2014), Fair Enough at Venice Biennale (2014) and at The Golden Age of Russian AvantGarde at Manege in Moscow.
To date Gregory Emvy has developed two conceptual collections of artworks: The Moment. True Faces and Human Souls.
In October 2014, Gregory had his first successful art exhibition, Human Souls, held during the prestigious Frieze Week in London.
This is an interview with Gregory Emvy…
How would you describe yourself…?
I think I would describe myself as a journeyman, a someone who is searching for himself, his destiny, and who is revealing the depths of his consciousness step by step. I am not a fan of crowded places. It is very important for an artist to accumulate energy, which will then give birth to new projects. At the same time, I like people as objects, because watching those around you is an eternal source of inspiration.
And your artwork…?
My works reflect myself, and they are also the product of my sub-consciousness. I act as a conductor, who merely brings the thin energy from within on to the canvas. Sometimes it is difficult to explain what is it I do, because it happens on a whim, as if everything is exactly as it should be, and not otherwise.
What drives you..?
It is difficult to answer this question in a word. I think I am driven by the sense of the beautiful, by the curiosity and the hunger for new emotions, which live inside me. The sense of vagueness and not disclosing certain subjects, which live in my head. If I don’t work for, say, three-four days, then I am literally in pain, because my inner “me” is breaking out.
What is your definition of art…?
In order to have the foundation for creating, you need to make sure your life is meaningful. For me, art is like nature. If I don’t let it in through the door, it will get in through the window. The beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and art is always subjective: what may seem beautiful for one, may seem ugly for another. For me, art is life, the engine of progress, because it touches the hearts and the brains of people, prompts for new achievements and seeking the answers for the questions we are often trying to avoid dealing with.
Where do you see your art going in ten years…?
I will have created a studio and be creating not just the classical art, but also manufacturing with elements of art. Art is multifaceted, it penetrates various areas of the daily life, and has many shapes and forms in can come to life in. I don’t want to limit myself, when there is so much interesting in the world.
What is your biggest dream…?
Becoming an accomplished artist, gaining knowledge in the best universities, bringing my dream project into life and founding the Institute of Art in Moscow, in order to nurture the new generation of artists. Russia is rich with talents, but unfortunately at the moment I can’t see people, who would help to bring them all together and put them on the right path for the better development. The avant garde era has long since gone, yet we are still milking it, and not creating anything new. This must be changed. And I will try to do it.
You can see Gregory’s work and meet him at the Amsterdam International Art Fair 28-29 August 2015 at the Beurs van Berlage.