Q+Art: Painter Dimitri Kozyrev Travels Through Real and Imagined Spaces in a Peri-Pandemic Landscape
Russian-American artist Dimitri Kozyrev paints deconstructed landscapes by applying geometric swatches of color onto the canvas. These distorted views of urban environments and sprawling scenery capture the meandering freeways, open skies, and flat patches of greenery one might spy on a cross-country road trip. As a result, each canvas vibrates with a rigid yet dynamic feel.
Kozyrev developed the paintings in his Lost Landscapes series when the coronavirus pandemic reached American shores. During this time, he used travel images posted by friends and family to social media as subject material for his paintings. “These paintings reclaimed these half-remembered journeys through a mixture of actual and imagined space,” writes Kozyrev in his artist statement.
Like the rest of us, Kozyrev is stuck inside during the pandemic, obliged to interpret the outside world through second-hand photographs. His arrangement of vibrant shapes creates a landscape as familiar as it is alienating. Each work pulsates with the anticipation of a road yet to be traveled.
In Today’s Q+Art Interview…
Dimitri Kozyrev discusses controlling the uncontrollable, Russian miniature folk paintings, and the allure of seeing art up close and personal. Scroll down to see more amazing images of his work.
What one book belongs on every artist’s shelf?
Dimitri Kozyrev: The Magus by John Fawles
If you could have dinner with any artist, living or dead, who would it be?
DK: Kazimir Malevich. I have some questions for him.
What are you trying to express with your art?
DK: Control of the uncontrollable.
Do you prefer New York or Chicago-style pizza?
Would you work for free in exchange for exposure?
DK: I always do!
What do you consider your greatest artistic achievement?
DK: The Lost Landscape Series.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
DK: Get a sponsor.
What is one thing you would like to change about the art world?
DK: Stop pretending that it is a show biz.
Would you rather be a historically significant or commercially successful artist?
DK: Both would be nice!
What are you listening to in the studio right now?
DK: FM Indie Radio.
How do you think the coronavirus pandemic will impact the art world in the long term?
DK: With fear I am watching the proliferation of online exhibitions. I want to look at art objects in real life.
What are you working on right now that you’re excited about?
DK: I am working on a set of small paintings that are inspired by Russian folk miniature paintings from the small village Palekh.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity. All photos published with permission of the artist.
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