Sergei Sviatchenko a le vent en poupe, ça c’est certain. Sergei Nielsen également. Sviatchenko est celui qui livre photo sur photo, création sur création, chaque jour sur son blog Close Up and Private. Nielsen, c’est le même, sauf que sous ce pseudo, l’unique Sergei recrée ses collages de matières, de tissus, de motifs, au pinceau. L’exposition qui se termine aujourd’hui après une semaine de franc succès lors de la Hamburg Art Week est bien la preuve que Sergei n’est pas un de ses joyeux fanfarons qui montent un blog pour prendre ses potes hipsters en photo à la sortie du Social Club. L’homme est un artiste, pur et dur, avec des idées derrière la tête, et encore plus devant lui. J’ai eu la chance de le rencontrer ici, à Hambourg, pour cette première mondiale, accompagné de Jason Jules du blog Garmsville, journaliste et ami. En complément de l’interview très complète de l’ami Laurent sur WITC, voici donc l’interview spéciale « exposition ».
When did you start the project Close Up and Private, and why?
I started CUAP in April 2009 when I noticed the culture of blogging and wanted to participate, but I am not a writer and far too focused on myself to post the works of the others, so I came up with the idea to post details of the men clothing. I love photography as an art media and wanted to have a run of the images as you have in a big city, when you sit in the pavement café. The images had to be less styled, calmer in their expression.
Your very first exhibition about CUAP started on the 17th of June in Hamburg. What kind of work can we see at this exhibition?
For the exhibition I made the paintings – it is a media I work most in my art life – and photographic prints of the images from CUAP, limited editions. I am an old school and still think when I do something; I shall show it at the exhibition.
Germany is probably not the best-dressed country in the world. So, why starting your first exhibition in Hamburg?
I do not agree with the 1st part – the definition of “the best dressed country” is very diffuse.
But the exhibition happened because of the interest from Dennis Reinhardt and Johann Christian von Donner at CCA&A, they liked the idea of taking down some parts of the blog and materialised it at the exhibition space.
CUAP became famous on internet and is now in a gallery. It’s an unconventional way for an artist, who normally starts in a gallery. What brings you the internet more than a gallery?
The project started as a one way communication – at least that is what I thought in the beginning. I did not expect to get such a large audience on the internet – and different audience than I meet at the opening of my exhibition. I started to post sometimes my other works – rather random works- my collages and photography, but I missed to link CUAP to my work as a painter. And than I paint a few images for CUAP, but posted them under name Sergey Nielsen – just to separate it from my classical paintings.
At the vernissage, I’ve met a lot of young people (just like me) who are fascinated by the same things you like (Ivy style, Beatles, …) Probably much more than people of your age. How do you explain that 25/30 years old people can be so much interested in a style which’s 50 years old?
There are very good things to gather around.
You’re fascinated by the 1960’s and 50 years later, our attitudes and reactions to clothes are pretty different. What do you like and hate in our way of thinking about clothes and style in the 21st century, compared to the 1960’s?
I always think about what I like, I do not have time to think about what I don’t. But now, when I have to think about it – I do not like to talk about the clothes as it is astrophysics. It is not.
But what I am thinking – having a blog about the details of the clothing. People are strange.
You show everyday on CUAP a lot of clothes of your own really impressive collection. But could you tell the readers just ONE outfit, which is timeless and would fit everyone in every season?
A smile? And a friend.
We talked together about some projects you’ll have this summer and in the near future. Would you like to tell us more about them?
I have an exhibition in July in Cork, Ireland “Mirror by mirror” Homage to Andrei Tarkovsky and two collaborations in the next year, where I show my large scale collages. And I will try to find out in the near future this just ONE outfit to wear with the smile.
Thank you very much Sergei (for the interview, the pictures and the great moments we had at your exhibition). We are waiting for this perfect outfit. Maybe it’s already on CUAP…