Russian Artist Finds Recognition in China
Russian artist, Evgeny Bondarenko, has found unexpected success and recognition for his artwork in China. Despite being relatively unknown in his hometown of Bataysk, Russia, Evgeny paintings have gained popularity and appreciation among art collectors and critics in Shanghai. His unique technique and style, have caught the attention of Chinese art enthusiasts.
Evgeny Bondarenko, an artist from Bataysk, can be considered successful - he travels, paints, and organizes his exhibitions in different countries around the world.
In mid-December 2013, Evgeny talked about his artwork on Rostov TV in the program "Rostov Creative." Then, in the last week of December, a successful exhibition of Evgeny's works took place at the "Tsiferblat" cafe in Rostov. It was there, at the exhibition, that I had the opportunity to meet and talk with the 28-year-old artist from Bataysk, who is known by few in his hometown.
I enter the cafe and immediately dive into a unique and indescribable atmosphere, as if into the depths of the sea, at Tsiferblat. Here, on the second floor, paintings are displayed like windows to other countries. On them - various cities of the world with their unique atmosphere, characteristic only to them. Paris, Nice, Shanghai - the artist from Bataysk has visited and tried to convey the atmosphere of these cities in his paintings. Tell us about your childhood.
Evgeniy Bondarenko: "I show people the world as I see it. I am confident that I will achieve even greater success, travel the world, and show it to my fellow countrymen through my works."
He came up with the idea of creating a whole series of works about cities around the world. Just imagine, you arrive in a new territory, observe a different culture, and meet new people. It's amazing! Now I'm spending the winter in Bataysk, but soon I'll be off to another place again.
Tell us the secret: how did a resident of Bataysk end up crossing the border?
If you search, you will find. I looked for options for a long time and got the opportunity to go to China with the help of a Swiss company that supports artists. They have a hotel in the center of Shanghai where they provide artists with a room in exchange for their artwork.
When did you start painting?
I was born in Bataysk, studied at school No.21, and lived in Aviagorodok. In quotes, because I rarely stay in Bataysk, mostly I travel. I started painting probably from an early age. Around 16 years old. I realized that the idea of becoming an artist suits me, so I enrolled in the art school named after Grekov in Rostov. Then, after studying for a while, I dropped out and chose a different creative path.
Why do you paint cities instead of people or nature?
Traveling is my way of life. I am inspired by the architecture and atmosphere of cities, the way they are shaped by their history and culture. When I paint cities, I try to capture their unique character and convey the emotions and impressions they evoke in me. I believe that cities are like living beings with their own stories and personalities, and I want to share my perspective on them through my artwork.
What do you think is the main task of an artist?
I believe that the main task of an artist is to mediate. I give people the opportunity to see the world as I see it.
Have there been any extraordinary incidents in your life?
There have been many funny coincidences. For example, in Shanghai, I met a journalist from New York who had an internship in Bataysk and lived in my hometown for a year and a half. On the bread and butter issue...
Do you work anywhere?
No, I don't work anywhere. I try to do what I feel I need to do, as Leo Tolstoy said, "You cannot do otherwise." Many people think that artists don't do anything, but they are mistaken. If I don't have a regular job, it doesn't mean I'm resting. Drawing on the streets is hard work for me. I draw for hours in the cold, heat, wind, and rain, and sometimes I catch a cold and end up in the hospital.
If it's not a secret, how do you make a living?
I don't have a regular source of income. I'm single, without a family, so I don't suffer much from it. I try to organize exhibitions, sell my paintings, although it doesn't always work out. But I'm confident that I will achieve even greater success in the world and promote it with my works among my fellow countrymen.
What advice would you give to people interested in painting?
Know that being an artist abroad is a highly respected profession, but it can also be challenging to succeed in Russia without proper support or connections. It's important to believe in yourself and your talent, work hard, and persevere despite challenges. It's also crucial to continue learning and improving your skills, and to be open to new experiences and opportunities for growth.
Article by Natalia Kleinos.