Damir Krivenko: "Painting is my language of beauty"
I met Damir Krivenko at the recent opening day of the Krasnodar artist Olga Trapitsyna at the White Square art gallery. He stood out among the guests not only for his belonging to the workshop of artists. I felt a clear involvement in this event.
Our dialogue with Damir in his spacious workshop is enlivened by the real owners of the apartment, the red cat Mosya and the dachshund Dylan. I consider pictorial parables - so different in plots, technique of execution, bizarre interweaving from different times and styles. I carefully look at every centimeter of the canvas worked out in detail, miniature, sharpened figures, densely written celestial overflows. And suddenly I freeze in front of a small mountain landscape. Nothing unusual. Feather grass sprinkled with snow in the foreground. High sky. A line of mountains with scattered houses along the slope. And such a gray haze, a haze, is akin to a folk lingering song, that it pinches the soul.
- Damir, you are a successful, recognizable, demanded master with your established admirers. Your life-affirming pictures are a hymn to the Creator, Beauty, Man.
"Aksay gorge" is somewhat out of this series. Soft tonal transitions, restrained brushstroke, blurred contours fill the canvas with air and sound especially reverent and lyrical. And such emotionality! Where? It is unlikely that a person who has never experienced such a state could convey it to the viewer ...
- This picture is special. A whole story can be written about the fate of this canvas. The canvas was lost during transportation, a local resident found it, found me and returned it. I painted this landscape in difficult years, before leaving Almaty. Then it was not only the wanderlust that forced my family to leave this city. And now, thanks to this work, we can see our dear favorite places every day.
My parents: my mother is an art critic, my father is an artist and an architect, at the call of the Motherland they came to Alma-Ata from St. Petersburg and together with my colleagues practically built this city, shaped its originality. The work of my parents was noted and became famous after the commissioning of the Medeo sports complex. For me, then Prague became home, then St. Petersburg, and now I have been in Anapa for almost 8 years. But even here, when circumstances do not allow me to carry out a socially significant business, when I cannot reach out to the people who are able to enrich the cultural life of the city, this state of a certain dissatisfaction comes back to me again and again.
- Your works on religious subjects are noticeably distinguished by the freshness of perception of traditional canons. You must be a deeply religious person?
- This matter is purely personal, sacred, and does not tolerate public discussion. I came to faith through a long spiritual search and respect people outside of their belonging to any confession.
- I will not ask about what Anapa has become in your life and work - this is clearly reflected in the paintings. Almost all of your creations are not complete without a warm sunspot, sea, and characteristic coastline. Even in the painting "Presence" in the panorama of the Savior, Anapa motives are guessed. In an amazing way, you managed to generalize the characteristic details and create an artistic image that, without losing concreteness, turns into a symbol. You have written a huge amount of work. Has quantity grown into quality?
- You have to work a lot. But, as you know, not a single significant victory can be achieved without a well-organized rear. This is my family: my wife Tatyana Zavizionnaya is a wonderful artist, assistant and wise critic, my son Daniil is a student at the Sholokhov Moscow State University, and my daughter Alina is a high school student.
- How do you find time for community work with such a busy schedule? For many years, despite all the obstacles, you have been fighting the idea of uniting the artists of Anapa and everyone who is not indifferent to spirituality, the fate of culture and, ultimately, the fate of the country. Is this your credo?
- More like nature. I grew up in a museum, among rarities, daily discussion of artistic trends, searching for ways to embody the worldview. I miss this air here. What extraordinary drawings do children in the art schools of Anapa! Many of the guys will not become professionals, but the artistic taste, the desire to touch the beauty will remain in their hearts. I remember the grateful eyes of the audience at my personal exhibition at the Valentina Hotel. It is a pity that there are not enough places where such a category of citizens could meet.
- But what about the conventional wisdom about the mystery of creating a work of art alone?
- Of course, impressions, knowledge, skills are accumulated in each person deep inside. But without friendly criticism, material support and simple human participation, it is difficult, and sometimes impossible, to realize what was conceived.
- You have collected a solid collection of works by Anapa artists and you are not hiding it, but are trying to display it for all to see. What for?
- These wonderful canvases are the property not so much of Anapa, but of the whole of Russia. Social epochs, rulers, customs, fashion change, but works of art remain. Painting is the language of beauty!
- I wish you continued creative success. I believe that the vanity of everyday life will not extinguish the flame of indifference in your soul.
God is with you.
Source: Anapa, Vityazevo, Dzhemete rest on the Black Sea (rus)