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Yuriy Ushakov: The Question of Completeness


The Russian Ark  Do you remember your first encounter with art? 

Yuriy Ushakov  I don’t remember my first encounter but at home there were always paintings by my parents, books on artists with beautiful reproductions. I grew up with a special attachment to a volume on Pieter Bruegel.

RA  Where did you spend your childhood? Did it influence your artistic practice? 

YU  I spent my childhood on the move around the Irkutsk region. I remember Lake Baikal very well, even now I go there often. There are so many cool shades of colour in Siberian nature, and I might have absorbed them unconsciously. 

RA  What excites you the most in the painting process?

YU  What is fascinating in the painting process is the process itself: from preparing the tools to cleaning the palette at the end of the session. Nothing compares to the excitement of that first hour in front of the easel: you are so carried away by the motive (or model) that you hardly even look at your canvas. This is when you either make it or break it.