Turning to art

by Samar Al-Montser

New technologies have brought sculptors with ideas of new stories to tell. Russian artist, Vasily Klyukin, tells us those stories through his architecture designs and unique 3D sculptors.

Sculpting may have been the oldest form of art, long before people painted or designed but it’s still as significant as ever. Purposes of these creations and expressions are many but the creativity and use of technology to produce this artwork are what’s aweing the world.

Vasily Klyukin, Russian businessman and co-founder of Sovcombank, a commercial bank, has recently become more keen on making sculptures. As an artist and sculptor, Vasily says he’s not a commercially successful artist, but his creations have his audience thinking otherwise. Vasily is also the author of Designing Legends and founder of The Design Prize statuette presented at Milano Design Week.

Besides having been a businessman in his earlier years, and co-owner of one of Russia’s top banks, he also took up real estate projects. With a background in finance, Vasily doesn’t really fit into a typical profile of an artist. He shifted to architecture and sculpture making because he wanted to focus entirely on his artistic creations. He wanted to move away from the hectic city life and race to make more money. He now designs towers, yachts, creates sculptures and writes. ‘I decided to move to Monaco to be far from business opportunities. This year, I’m in between Moscow and Monaco,’ he says.

Vasily and his fragmented sculpture Albert Einstein

His shift from business to art allowed him to explore more about his fascination with form. His interest in engineering also helped him create his first sculptor which represented Albert Einstein’s life and work. He made it out of 64 pages of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity with stainless steel, etching and acrylic. These metal panels were then arranged and carefully-shaped to create wonderful figures of different sizes.

Inspired by philosophy, beauty, music and nature, Vasily goes through an interesting process to make his unique 3D sculptures. He first imagines the piece, drawing, modelling, correcting, creating the 2D technical prints, laser cutting them, then finally assembling the metal panels accordingly to create the desired 3D form. In the beginning phase of the creative process, while drawing and modelling, he uses software like 3ds Max, Sketchfab and Cappasity to help turn his imagination into a reality.

Architecture vs sculpture
Almost four years ago, before Vasily started sculpting, he designed concepts of architectural buildings. Though he doesn’t see himself as an architect, his first designed concept of a building will be built this year in an open-air sculpture museum in Switzerland. ‘It will be a gift shop shaped as lips in La Collection’Air Sculpture Park, Gütsch, Lucerne,’ he notes.

Vasily’s lips shaped gift shop

The Sculpture Park project is going to be up and running this year but his architectural concepts were not always his main focus. He says they are very costly and time-consuming. Turning his ideas into buildings was very costly and would require a lot of effort taking about two to six years to accomplish. ‘To turn your imagination into the first rap object[sculpture] takes only about two to 12 weeks. Plus, in sculptures, you have no boards, impressions are the only target, you shouldn’t care about physics, engineering or utility,’ he adds. With his imagination and feelings depicted in his sculptures, he wants to create a dream city to inspire people.

Vasily does most of his sculptures for charities and not for profit. On July 26, 2017, Vasily’s three-metre long live tiger piece was showcased at the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation Gala which drew attention to the environmental issues and protection projects around the world.

His recent live sculpture series was presented at the benefit event for HIV/AIDS research at the 2017 amfAR Charity Gala in Cannes. At the event, his sculpture, Dancing Fairy, 2016, made from sectional, non-interconnected pieces of coloured stainless steel and lacquer, was auctioned and sold for EUR300,000. He believes in devaluing money and that the only way to do that is to live every day as his last.

Dancing Fairy – Muses series

Last words
Vasily also puts his mind on paper as an author of the book Collective Minds, a thriller about the fight between good and evil. ‘It’s a must-read for futurists and sci-fi lovers. It’s an anti-utopian story about the future,’ he says. He tells of a new artificial intelligence that can unite several people’s brains together. Interestingly enough, in his book, he warns against technology’s violation of human lives because of its potential to steal humans’ creativity. Technology is not far away from being able to do that and that’s exactly what artist may be afraid of.

30 Apr 2018
Last modified: 16 Jul 2018
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