Artist of the Month - Vlad Zorin
A year ago
- what was the first photography book you bought?
One by Helmut Newton. I have always admired the way he worked with the female body, how much power there was in it. In a sense, my works are a refraction of his vision of the body, the male body. And I, like him, strive to overcome stereotypes about what sexuality should be.
- what is your favourite colour?
Sky blue. Growing up in very grey and industrial Chelyabinsk, it was the blue sky that fascinated and inspired me.
- who are your photographic influences?
Desperate pursuit to the goal and sensitivity to sexuality of Robert Mapplethorpe and the dramatic romanticism of Arthur Rimbaud.
- what is your favourite museum?
To be honest, all of the galleries I’ve been to are the same to me, I can’t really remember them. But I do remember Damien Hirst's A Thousand Years (1990) at the Fondazione Prada in Milan - that’s how I first got acquainted with the feeling of death.
- if you could buy any photograph which would it be?
Robert Mapplethorpe's "Two Tulips" (1984). The sexiest flowers I have ever seen and could look at every day for the rest of my life. Also, his "Self Portrait with Whip" (1978), as important a work for the history of art as "Origin of the World” (1868) by Gustave Courbet, only more on my topic.
- if there is one living person you could photograph who would it be?
Arthur Rimbaud. He was such a genius, and I think I'm a little in love with his image. And my best photography results are usually with people I’m in love with.
- what is your guilty pleasure?
I love masturbating and can do it quite often. Thanks to my childhood and teenage years in Chelyabinsk a love-affair was nearly impossible, so I had to dream of these and sex.
- what is your favourite city?
My hometown Chelyabinsk - I can’t and I will never forget the blue sky of my childhood. And Paris. When I stepped out onto the Gare de l’Est at the age of 18, I breathed in the air so deeply and joyfully, I smelled my home that I never had before and probably never will.
- which charities do you support?
My work from my Hare project was included in the Phillips Charity Auction in Moscow. At that time it was a discovery for me that the power of art lies not only in the message it conveys and aesthetic ideals, but in tangible help. Works from the Hare project were also included in the BOYS! BOYS! BOYS! book with all royalties going to the Elton John AIDS Foundation. My latest Soft Power project coincided dramatically with the start of the war. A flag was hung at the exhibition saying “We don’t want war, We want love”. I've carried this manifesto with me through the events of 2020 in Belarus and I’m carrying it today. Soft Power has become a charitable project: we transfer 40% of the sale of each work to volunteer organizations that help to cope with the consequences of the war in Ukraine. I know from my own experience how important the support is and I am grateful to the people who helped me to leave Russia. Therefore, out of my faith in a better world that we can build with our own hands, I strive to help and do this with my art.