Igor Kudelin is an artist from Ukraine, the city of Dnipro (Dnepropetrovsk). For five years he collaborated with the Museum of Ukrainian Painting in the city of Dnipro, where he was the leading artist and curator of three contemporary art festivals. At the beginning of 2020, he decided to do one of his individual projects that was not related to his patrons in the museum. He used to be fond of portraits in modern styles, but he decided to make this project like a burlesque opera, where his heroes are, this is a synthesis of the libretto and the rhythms of music.
The image above is from Igor's Burlesque opera "Million Dollars" project
Harry Pye: How are you? Are you feeling happy and healthy?
Igor: "I am far from home now, and I can’t fully and calmly make the art that I like at the moment and have to do some things that I probably wouldn’t do in my studio, so now I’m not in the best shape. There is a feeling of some apathy and nervousness. Of course I try to pull myself by the ears, I force myself to work and sometimes I explore the local art scene."
What can you tell me about your life in the Ukraine? Did you have a happy childhood?
"I don't like to talk about my childhood, it was a long time ago. I will say a few words. Childhood in the USSR was quite normal and predictable. From childhood I loved to draw, but I did not like the Soviet academic school, it did not find a response in my heart, there was no mystery and experiment in it.
I studied at the Faculty of Architecture of the Institute and in my third year I realized that architecture was a boring subject for me and then transferred to the Art and Graphic Faculty of the Pedagogical Institute. Dnepropetrovsk is a city with a million inhabitants, but in terms of art and culture, the city was very archaic. I set myself the goal of being the most extraordinary artist in order to try to bring the population out of a long hibernation and, in addition to painting, I began to develop disciplines that were not previously present on the Dnepropetrovsk art scene - performance, installation, action. I hope I managed to influence the state of contemporary art in my city a little."
In what ways are you a bad man? What aspects of your character need to improve?
"I am not a very sociable person, in the sense that if you consider that art is not only creativity, but also business, then I often lose in promoting myself. I don’t have enough time or I’m just too lazy to engage in self-promotion. I am 60 years old and it is unlikely that I can improve myself in this regard."
In what ways are you a bad artist? In what ways does your work need to improve?
"It is unlikely that any artist will say honestly about himself that he is bad. Like any person, I am not perfect and can be both a good and a bad artist, especially since it is too late for me to correct anything, and this quality in this case acts as a correlate. Modern visual art is very different from the rest of the arts, it has many contradictions and unprovable formulas and as a rule you have to be a little aggressive and have confidence in your actions. You just need to believe that you are right for yourself, if you believe in yourself, then others will believe too."
What films have meant a lot to you? Which films have you seen more than once? Are there any directors you see as being artists?
"My favorite directors are Dziga Vertov, Bunuel, Fellini, Tarkovsky, Jarmusch, Godard, Antonioni, Lynch. I don't watch the latest directors anymore. All of these directors are artists for me. Most of all I reviewed the films of Tarkovsky, Jarmusch and Antonioni. I watched Amarcord and Eight and a Half three times, Tarkovsky - Solaris and Andrey Rublev, three times each, Antonioni - Night, Adventure, Zoom, I am a reporter, three or four times. Jarmusch - The Limits of Control, watched ten times. David Lynch - Lost Highway and Mulholland, watched three times each."
Who are your heroes?
"The question is a little unclear, I know English very poorly (this question is in the field of art or global) I like people of science and art, politicians are not very clear creatures for me. Of the artists, I would single out two stages in my age-old development. The first are De Kooning, Pollak and Bacon, the second are Lucio Fontana, Rothko, Malevich, Agnes Martin, Robert Ryman and Roman Opalka. With age, you are not very aggressive and become a little wiser. Therefore, I am close to more subtle artists who, as it were, worked at the level of quantum theory."
What do you feel most passionate about?
"Now for myself I have made some axioms that used to be quite illusory. I've burned my hydrogen like the stars and I'm starting to use helium to reconnect with eternity. I no longer want to narrate, tell and convince about anything, only to convey the subtle changes that occur in my mind with minimal means on canvas. There is a desire to simply contemplate a pure, transparent stream disappearing into eternity."
What are you working on next - what is your next project?
"I brought with me to London a series of portraits of the burlesque opera "Million Dollars", where my heroes are a synthesis of the libretto and rhythms of music. As rhythms, I used different areas of contemporary art. Whether I will continue this series is unlikely, but I would like to put them in a gallery.
At the moment, I am interested in the direction that I started in 2020 and 2022. This is minimalism or something else, I do not undertake to give a definition. I have already said before that I want art with calm, smooth rhythms, when you think philosophically about the world without fuss, realizing that you cannot change the order of things and just as calmly, without excessive fuss, apply paint without going into details about certain qualities and values acquired humanity. Therefore, I will continue, with some changes, my series of works - "Dharma", "Treatises on Modern Art" - text and vertical white stripes, "Treats on Color", "Treats on Physics and Mathematics" - an abstract straightforward text and very difficult to define , where is a treatise, they are indicated only in the text to the work. The distinction of visual art differs from the public social arts of film and music in that it can remain personal and self-contained.
A small clarification, I would like to continue, but alas, without a materials studio, it is still impossible to continue my story."
To find out more about Igor and his projects e-mail: and his work e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org