Denis Sarazhin was born in Nikopol, Ukraine in 1982 . He attended the Kharkov Art and Design Academy, graduating in 2008. He specialized in painting and was a pupil of Ganozkiy V. L., Chaus V. N., and Vintayev V. N.. Sarazhin was awarded with the 1st Degree Diploma Award for Excellence in Painting from the Ukrainian Art Academy. Since 2007 he has been a member of Kharkov’s section of the association of Ukraine’s Artists’ Alliance.
Denis Sarazhin is Represented by:
– Arcadia Contemporary – Culver City CA, USA
The way you paint hands gives me the feeling that there is more to the story than just the human figure? Could you say more about them?
Hands are a very important part of the human body. They are taking part in the expression of emotions and feelings. This is one of the ways of non-verbal communication. In addition, in the anatomical sense, it is one of the most plastically demanding, interesting and expressive elements. So when I’m depicting hands I set a task, not only to display correctly and truthfully, but also try to express by them a certain emotional and nonverbal value.
Your painting style is rather unique with the virtuosity of the brushwork, how did your style evolve into this?
The style and manner of performance for any artist depends on many factors. It’s like – the environment in which he was born and lived, the people around him while studying at art school, what he sees in magazines and reproductions, or in museums and exhibition halls.
Because of this, it’s difficult to identify anything specific, clear. In every artist you can find something that will inspire and influence you. In addition to this, over time tastes are changing, what I like today, tomorrow may already seem dull and unsightly.
It is difficult to single out a certain style and the era that influenced me. Something I like in the style of «Modern” but at the same time, there is a lot I do not understand in it.
What are your main sources of inspiration beside your field of work?
Stories for my compositions are born from my observations of life. They can be seen by me anywhere, in unexpected situations and places. Some compositions are a reflection and understanding of what I saw or heard. I can say this is my experience of life.
Have you had a low point yet, when you wanted to give it all up?
As much as I do not want it, it sometimes comes to me. Especially when I see unfair assessment of something really talented and interesting. I am quite critical to my work, because the level of assessment is always high, being satisfied with good results is not a necessity to me. But I believe in the power of art, it gives me strength and faith that if you constantly study and work on yourself, you can achieve all you want.
Is there a source online that you found especially useful in your artistic evolution?
First of all this of course Facebook and instagram. These resources make it possible to see so many interesting artists and works of art, so it is difficult to imagine how much time it would take for that to explore with all this material, traveling around the world and looking at museums and galleries. In addition, it is even possible to have a virtual dialogue with artists whom I like, and which I would hardly have met without it.
The variations of warm and cold colors are so great in your work, how do you manage them so amazingly?
With regard to technical methods, I can say that everything comes with practice and experimentation. I am constantly looking for better ways and painting techniques that maximize and could express what I had in mind. I can say that the language of art that I use, appeared over time, such methods were not taught in the art academy. Especially in the Art Academy, I trained in a good traditional “Soviet” artistic school. Due to the emergence of new trends “contemporary art”, this school will be forgotten. Which is really sad.
Your Pantomime series show a figure in various poses on plain background that gives them a feeling of space without gravity yet there is some tension in them, was that your intent?
Pantomime – the kind of performing arts, in which the primary means of creating an artistic image is the human body and action without words as a means of expression. This definition is my main idea in create a series of “pantomime”. In the works is laid-shaped relationship between people and the search for themselves.
But at the same time because of the vagueness and abstractness of space, viewers are given the opportunity of free interpretation of what they saw in the image, it including from their own worldview and life experience.
While we are at it, what value do you give to naming artworks? Do you think it is an important part of the painting?
I think most artists would agree that it is not the easiest step in the work. But sometimes when I am creating titles for one work, I come to the idea to do a new work. Therefore it can be a very productive action
You have lovely open air landscapes, what is the difference in your opinion in painting in the studio or outside?
To work on the open air, I got accustomed to during my studies at the art academy. And since then, it has become my habit. Working with nature on the open air, is a very good way to «clean» the colors of the artists palette. For the artist it is very important to work with nature, whether it is a human figure or a still life or landscape. Nature teaches the artist to perceive the shape and color, perspective and rhythms.
When I work in the open air, anyway there is a dialogue with people. For me it is a lasting impression for my ideas in the future compositions. Traveling to different countries and localities I always find something new in people and their lifestyle, and in their stories. It gives me an impulse to the create new works in the workshop.
What can I say about the bad sides of work outdoors, this of course often struggle with the elements: wind, rain, cold, heat and sun, and of course, flies and mosquitoes. But this has its own charm and romance, besides you feel it and experience for yourself. And of course, people are very different. Sometimes I was meeting with such people of such character you couldn’t see in any movie. Well, about the funny things that have happened in the open air I could write a whole adventure book.
We are all human after all, so tell us something interesting about yourself that is not art related yet you find it important or interesting. Is there a project you wanted to do but for some reason could not?
I really like the black and white photography. And this is my dream. Especially the photo with a long exposure. And it means frequent traveling along the shores of seas and islands. I had started doing it, and it carried me very much, but at the moment I do not have time for this.
Do you have any final words, or something you would like to share with the readers?
This is the most difficult – the final word, where I need to write something very clever and witty. But I would just like to wish to all the readers more strength and confidence in what they are doing or want to achieve.
In Art we trust!
Art: Denis Sarazhin