A drawing for the one who draws is an instrument of cognition and explanation. For the cognition there is hardly a better way than drawing. As a way of explaining, the drawing is not inferior to any other means of communication.
In my work I don’t want the drawing to be an instrument and to serve any tasks … When imaging something (mostly architecture), I try to ask “the drawing” (as the method itself), what does it want? How does it want this or that object to be drawn (real or imaginary, not important, the main thing is spatial -one for which relations with space are key). That’s probably why I draw architecture. Because architecture most effectively depicts the work of “a drawing method”. Because architecture, from all that exists, has the closest relationship with space. I think that architecture was the main impetus for the development of “the drawing method” into an independent unit.
“The drawing method” has it’s own look. It can say what the imaging object should be, which point it is better to look from, and so on, so that the possibilities drawing gives are realized as fully as possible. My task is to understand and do what it want an how it want, to the extent that I can. Thus, the main thing in my works is not so much the object itself, but the method of its imaging.
Anyone who learns to draw understands that there are laws and rules of the imaging objects on paper (all these rules in the aggregate – is what I call “the drawing method”). But I don’t want just to dwell my relationship with the “drawing” only on the understanding of it’s rules. In most cases, the one who draws uses all these rules to represent something. I, on the contrary, want to try to comply with the drawing, as if it was endowed with an independent will. Laws of perspective, all sorts of projections, shape modeling, etc. – the whole “suite” of the drawing. In my works I try to make them speak of what they want and on the language they can. As the result, my work may seem pointless, and in most cases this is true, but even if a small semantic “scurf” is present, the main goal in them remains a simple service to “the drawing will” as I see it.
Why do all these things seem important to me? Because now, when the question, “Do we really need a drawing as a kind of activity?” arises, I would say that we really need it, and answering the question “why is it needed?”, I would say that simply because it exists.
Who influences you graphically?
I am very keen on everything that concerns the architectural drawing and drawing in the whole of all times, but if I highlight my main starting points, the most important is the work of the French architect of the 18th century Jean Jacques Lequeu. It occupies a special place in my mind.
Quite a strong influence on me was the graphic creativity of Soviet architects of the 1920s-1930s, both classical and avant-garde.
Could you talk us through your work process and the development of a drawing?
At first I reflect. Much or little, it depends on the complexity of the task. When I decided what and how I would do, I begin to think about the composition. I try to make as much as possible in my head. Therefore, I do not too much sketches. Most often, this is a one single sketch. Then I take a large sheet of paper, drawing tools, a brush, ink and I proceed to the longest stage – the actual implementation of the drawing itself.
Is there an initial element of research? If yes how is then translated and processed through the drawing method?
Yes, the starting point of research is most often determined by the drawing method. Thus, research becomes an instrument for realizing the potential of the method itself.
What are your main tools when drawing?
Pencil, brush, ink, paper. All my works are done in the classical technique of architectural washing.
In the event of the Architecture Biennale of 2016, how and to what extent did the biennale format have an impact on the drawing itself?
To better answer this question, I think that we must imagine what these works would be like if I did not do them for the Biennale. I think they would be exactly the same.
What were your main concerns when trying to draw the VDNH?
When drawing VDNH-the main exhibition of the Soviet economy, I did not depart from my principle of studying the method. In fact, I was occupied with the form as it is, in isolation from the historical context in which these monuments were created, as French and English young architects once made studies of Ancient Rome. This was the main difficulty, both mine, and the creators of the exposition of the Russian pavilion at the time. We realized that the Soviet past is not the Ancient Rome. This “past” is what in many ways shapes us today, people in the post-Soviet space, whether we like it or not. And this determines the living perception of that time, which the young architects of 18th-19th century did not have with regard to Ancient Rome. Therefore, the study of the Soviet architecture , as a form of itself, is quite controversial task.
On the other hand, many of the pavilions of this exhibition, especially those related to the branches of the economy, are made in the style of the speaking architecture, the so called “architecture parlante”. This helped me to look for abstracts that were separated from the historical context, architectural and artistic in their meaning.
What is your take on colour?
The color in my drawings does not play the most important role. Many of them I can easily imagine performed in other colors, in other shades. Often striking bright orange or red color, which I paint over the plane of sections, formed by rather complicated constructions of architectural cuts. So I strain these areas, emphasizing its unnatural being.
What are your biggest concerns when constructing an image?
In constructing a composition, the biggest challenge for me is to combine two “drawings” : drawing as a science and drawing as an art.
If drawing is the process, what is the relationship between the final outcome and the starting concept?
The final result is always as close as possible to what I originally planned. The process of work for me is not the development of the thought itself, but an opportunity to convey it to others, to make it visible.