Artist Victor Cuzmenco’s mixed media Ontologic Painting is inspired by spiritual and philosophical concepts. Learn more about his approach.
I was the 11th kid born in an ordinary provincial family unfamiliar with art. My father was a construction worker and my mother was a housewife. When I was five, I helped my sister with a drawing for a homework assignment. Since that time I dreamed about the career of an artist.
My parents did not understand or support my artistic aspirations. My mom wanted me to become a mechanic, which was in high demand at that time in the USSR. However, I decided to follow a career path as an artist.
All on my own, with no one’s guidance, I found an art college. I prepared documents, applied and successfully graduated without any financial assistance. This story was repeated with my further education at the Moscow Art Institute named after V. Surikov. Never in my life have I doubted my choice and destiny.
Still today, I am happy to be able to create art. Each day I can’t wait for the morning to come so I can spend all day in my studio working – after a compulsory coffee to start, of course. I strongly believe that an artist should be an innovator. I always find inspiration in scientific breakthroughs, philosophic ideas, architecture, literature and new discoveries.
An idea for an artwork usually comes out of the blue, quite often from a fleeting impression. Sometimes, a physiological or tactile sensation fuels the concept as well. I then construct a clear plan that includes the structure and layout of the future artwork in my mind and make a rough sketch on paper. Sometimes, I make a smaller version of a painting with the intention of reproducing it on a larger canvas. I carefully select media and colors for the main elements beforehand.
When I create mixed media paintings, I not only use traditional oil and acrylic paints, but also include ground sand of various colors, finely grated shell limestone and clay. These natural mediums require special handling. Traditional mediums need to be mixed with water, while the other mediums need to be dried and sifted to achieve a granulated structure. My technique of including natural media in my work does not allow for corrections and alterations. In other words, I have no room for error. That is why the structure of each artwork must be as clear as possible at the sketching stage.
I refer to my art as, which comprises the idea of fundamental philosophical questions studied by ontology. Through my art for the last thirty years, I have explored and expressed spiritual rather than sensational perception, “being” rather than simply existing. Just as eternal philosophical questions have no one definite answer, my paintings have no definite plot or narrative. They are open to interpretation. I always leave room for the viewer’s personal perception. I title my work in general terms only, to provide a broad framework for multiple interpretations. In the future, I plan to broaden the borders of to introduce figurative forms. This will be my next challenge.