Artists  •  Featured

Interview with artist Tatiana Rezvaya

On the occasion of our charity auction in collaboration with Doctors of the World, we spoke with artist Tatiana Rezvaya regarding her work and why she felt passionate about participating in this important event. Tatiana is an experienced artist, though based in the United Kingdom her works are widely exhibited in Russia and Ukraine. Tatiana’s artworks take a figurative artistic approach.

When did you know you wanted to be an artist? 

I was born in 1943 – during the war. Our neighbours, knew that my mother was an artist, so they would come to her with tiny soldiers’ photographs of their sons, fathers, husbands, literally overwhelming my kind mother with requests to draw portraits of their missing loved ones. For as long as I can remember, I watched my mother at her easel or paint box with a brush in her hand. She was an exceptionally talented and passionate artist. 

Naturally, through my observations, I began to draw from a early age. I drew with pleasure, but I did not consider my artworks to be an indication of my future career. I went to university to study Romano-Germanic languages ​​and World Literature. But my hands were constantly drawing, all my notebooks and lecture notes were filled with drawings.

Later I had an interesting and prestigious job, meeting with extraordinary people and travelling widely. I became full of impressions that I wanted to share not only with words.  By that time, I was already quite well versed in Art History. However I recognised that as a professional artist I would benefit from a academic understanding of the arts. So, it was then that I took the decision to change my profession and life, to go “back to school” and become an artist.

If you were not an artist, what would you be?

As I mentioned, I already had experienced another profession – I taught at an Institute, and later worked as an interpreter.
But if I did not have the ability to draw, I would become an archaeologist, astronomer or doctor : these are the professions of real wizards who discover the secrets of time, space and human nature.

Dancings with Cranes (2015), Tatiana Rezvaya
Painting selected for the Charity Sale with Doctors of the World

What is your creative process?

I can compare this process with the birth of a child. I treat my works like children. Firstly, I fall in love with each of them in advance. You conceive an idea, nurture it, and only when it is fully fledged in your imagination do you get ready to deliver it. A painting starts to take shape when I am drawing on canvas. I draw with charcoal.

To me, this is the most intense moment, the stage of absolute concentration. When the drawing is ready, I already see the finished picture in my imagination. And then, everything is simple, all that remains is to transfer my imagination to the canvas.

How do you connect art to activism and causes such as universal healthcare?

The ancient philosophers said: “In a healthy body, a healthy mind. However, not everything is in order on our planet regarding both physical and spiritual health. Doctors are at the forefront of healing mankind. But the object of their attention is mainly physical health.

Whether consciously or not, art has always been and is still a healer and educator of moral and spiritual health, and I feel we: artists, musicians, poets and actors can also be included in this group who care and contribute to the health of the world.

Do you believe that art can be a means for peace?

Yes, I do. Unfortunately, we must admit that the world is still governed by money. While art is the territory of love and peace, it contains a great power of creation : the antipode to the destructive power of war. I gain hope from the statement that “Art knows no boundaries” something I believe to be true.

An understanding of the universal human values: beauty, goodness and morality can be conveyed ​​through art. Art allows for an understanding of other diverse cultures and a realisation of how beautiful and fragile our Earth is. This is a worthy mission for art, in the pursuit of peace and something that every artist can contribute to it. For example – the wonderful message in the lyrics of the song “We Are the World“.

Autumn Reflections (2019)

What motivated you to participate in this auction?

Participation in this auction is my modest tribute to doctors: an expression of admiration and respect for their dedication to their profession. It is a sincere desire to support them and the opportunity to say “THANK YOU!” in the language of an artist.

How are current events in the world influencing your art?

An artist’s works reflects their vision of the outer world, passing through the prism of the inner world, their feelings, thoughts, emotions, philosophy, built by their life experiences. And mine has already settled down.

I confess that nothing of what is happening in the world now has affected or influenced my work. My attitude – according to the inscription on the ring of King Solomon: “Everything passes. This will also pass”.

Dancing with Peacoks / Sergey Polunin, (2019)

What is your favourite artist of all time?

I adore the Russian artist Zinaida Serebryakova, I am also mesmerised by the paintings of Modigliani. I study stroke by stroke the technique of Cezanne’s artworks, but above all there is an unsurpassed giant, the ingenious Michelangelo Buonarroti.

Which advice would you give to young artists starting out?

  • Learn constantly. Read, go to museums, learn from the old masters, thoroughly  examine their works, try to understand “how they did it.” Learn from good teachers. Draw how you feel. Feelings alone are not enough, you still need to know how to embody them on canvas. 
  • Learn the basics. Train your eye – for example, if you observe an interesting colour, think what paints might be required to obtain such a hue. Study anatomy, this is a must, learn to see the internal structure of an object so that the external one has a realistic foundation.
  • And work, be curious, think, experiment, and you will be rewarded by getting your own “handwriting”, you will come to your individual, unique style. Good luck!

Acquire an artwork and make a donation

Participate in Singulart’s Charity Sale for Doctors of the World

From October 8th to 12th, Singulart is launching its first charity auction for the international NGO Doctors of the World.

Discover the works of the all 40 selected artists and participate in the sale of this significant collection!