Blog: Artist Focus | Studio Interview | Andrei Protsouk
Celebrating Love & Life: The Art of Andrei Protsouk
Classically trained at the world-renowned Russian Academy of Arts in St Petersburg, Andrei Protsouk creates vibrant paintings depicting themes of love and relationships which exude energy and expression. Influenced by the avant-garde styles of his tutors' contemporaries, which included artists such as Pablo Picasso and Marc Chagall, Andrei has developed his own pictorial language to celebrate people and the freedoms of life.
This week we have an insightful chat with Andrei to discover more about those inspirations.
How did you come to be an artist?
My parents always wanted me to become an artist. They saw my talent from a young age and they always encouraged me to pursue them. When I was in school as a young man I always wanted to draw and became very good at it. My teachers all saw my potential and they wanted me to develop my skills further. After grammar school the Soviet Union provided an unprecedented art education with the greatest artists as teachers that made me feel destined to become a great artist. It was just the right training and the right environment for me to pursue my dreams.
Describe your work in three words
Idea, composition and colour
What draws you to work with your chosen medium/s ?
It was all based on my classical training that I learned in all my art schools from my upbringing. In the Repin academy I was classically trained in Italian and Spanish baroque painting techniques. I have developed them since and was especially inspired by the work of Spanish artist Diego Velasquez. I was always drawn to his work and made many copies in the Hermitage when I was a young artist.
Does the area in which you live or other places influence your work?
I live in a quaint town in the United States, Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. It's close to New York City that has always been one of my favorite cities. I love traveling there on the weekends and seeing all the people. Living here gives me the opportunity to be creative in my studio and gallery. I always love when people can stop in and see what I am working on. It's always good to get the feedback from the people who stop in.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
People, love and relationships. I love seeing people interacting and I am always trying to convey these feelings in my artwork. I think human emotion from relationships is the strongest bond we have that makes us feel human.
Do you listen to any favourite music, radio or podcasts while working in the studio?
Music is the only thing that keeps me going in the studio. I listen to positive music always something that is upbeat that can replicate the rhythm in my work.
If you could invite three artists or art influencers (living or deceased) to dinner who would they be and why?
I think Picasso or Matisse because they're drawings have always inspired me. The clean lines in their work can convey so much feeling that I am always trying to replicate in a lot of my work. I think it would be a great conversation to be had with them about drawing and how to make the most precise gestures that can evoke some sort of feeling.
What drew you to exhibit at the Watergate Street Gallery – do you have a criteria for choosing the galleries where you would like to show your work?
I am drawn to anyone who can represent my work and understand what I am trying to do. I really just want to share with people my passion that I put on the canvas. Above all I have found that the galleries that truly believe in my work are the ones that can convey that to my collectors.
What are you most excited about artistically in 2020?
I think starting fresh with new ideas and inspiration. This has really been a trying time and I think people are starting to realize how important it is to have great relationships with people. I really want to capture these feelings, these ideas and share it with the world.
Take a look at the footage of Andrei describing his art and creating one of his large-scale paintings.
To view our full gallery collection including limited editions, please click here.