Art comes in different forms, shapes, sizes and colours. Art connects people that haven’t met, or don’t speak the same language. When you look at a good work of art, you interact with it through your senses, your body and your mind. The history of art is so remarkable that you could write a whole book on just one painting.
My taste in art is eclectic, but no single artist or work of art has stood out for me, until a few months ago, when I saw a fascinating piece of art on social media that caught my attention. I discovered that the artist is called Alexey Shahov, that he was born in Kyrgyzstan and emigrated to the Czech Republic about 20 years ago. I decided to meet him and discuss his reasons for becoming an artist.
When did you decide to follow your own path and become an artist?
I had always loved drawing and creating things with my hands, even as a child. I wanted to go to the University for the Creative Arts. I tried twice, but failed. Later I realised that my portfolio was not professional or serious enough. So, I tried to find my own style. It has begun to take shape in the last five years. I recently started working on Photoshop. I like traditional painting, with acrylic colours on canvas and I have done some works on canvas. But digital tools have made me realise that I can start with an idea and go much further. I create pieces in Photoshop, using really simple tools. It’s all inside my head!
Is this your full time job?
No, I work in a studio that makes cornices. My own art is my “second job”. It’s actually what I want to do for a living, and it is now expanding. I think of it as a snowball that keeps growing. I believe and hope that one day I will be able to do only what I want to.
In what way does modern technology contribute to your work?
Through something called post-internet art. It’s very interesting because the image is still digital, though not exclusively. You can create different compositions in a really short space of time. I personally like sculpture, something you can perhaps see in my works. I make the images look three-dimensional, and they end up looking like classical sculptures.
“I love it when artists stay young at heart, no matter how old they are.”
If you had the chance to work with an artist from the past, who would it be?
It would be Picasso or Da Vinci. I have recently discovered Keith Haring, so I might also choose him. I read his book “Journals of Keith Haring”, a diary he kept over many years. He was so open-minded! He celebrated life, while working hard at the same time. He died when he was only 32. You know, there are many people who feel old, even at such a young age. But I love it when artists stay young at heart, no matter how old they are! Haring was always like a 14 year old boy. And although he had a difficult life, he was always friendly and he never become arrogant.
Why do young generations prefer modern art to traditional?
Every generation wants something new, right? I think this is how it’s always been. Young generations don’t want to listen to the older ones, they see things differently. There is new information and new technology. Everything is new!
What has inspired you most?
Be on the move constantly and you will be inspired. Inspiration is everywhere! You won’t find it by staying still. If you want inspiration, you have to keep moving.
Do you have any advice for young artists?
Stay hungry for something new! It doesn’t matter if you don’t know what you want. Don’t waste your time! Try and learn to fly again after a fall. Be friends with yourself! If you are friends with yourself, everything is possible! A work of art can overcome differences between people. It brings them together to discuss and share things. The words of Alexey Shahov made me even more interested in his art and I am determined to visit his studio in the Czech Republic as soon as possible!