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Retro Kolkata Exclusive : Interview with Photorealistic Artist Elizaveta Poluyanskaya from Russia

Poluyanskaya Elizaveta is a Russian artist who specializes in photorealistic art. Photorealism is a movement that heavily depends on using photographs as a reference for the work. Artists use the photographs of real-life places or structures and recreate them onto a canvas with exceptional accuracy and precision. Through her art, Elizaveta portrays how truly beautiful this world is as well as the people who reside in it.

Retro Kolkata : First of all, thanks a lot for accepting our invitation for an interview. it’s a great pleasure to have you as our Guest. Let’s start from the first question… Let's jump into the past. Do you remember your first interaction with art? When did you decide you wanted to become an artist?

Elizaveta : I got acquainted with art in childhood when I saw a painting (landscape) in the apartment where I lived, and it inspired me to become an artist. And it was an adult, conscious decision, which I recall vividly even though I was only three years old at the time.

Retro Kolkata : What role does drawing have in your creative process and what’s in your sketching “toolkit” right now?

Elizaveta : I use the drawing to think about a new picture, as well as at the beginning of drawing a large hyper-realistic picture. I always first thoroughly draw all the details of the picture with a pencil. I use either black graphite or charcoal pencils for sketching.

Retro Kolkata : What do you consider to be the ingredients for a strong composition?

Elizaveta : For a complete composition, the compositional center should always be highlighted in the drawing - what will attract the viewer in the picture in the first place. But at the same time, all the other parts of the picture should be balanced with each other, there should be harmony in the picture.

Retro Kolkata : How has the public reception been for Realist art?

Elizaveta : I think that the public likes realistic art, because it is very clear and pleasing to the eye, because it reflects reality, and can also show what an artist is capable of in his skill.

Retro Kolkata : Your pieces are incredibly detailed. How long does it take to create a single piece and what is the process like?

Elizaveta : Thank you. Yes, I like detail in my work, one big job takes from two weeks to two months. I love this process of detailing, for me it's a kind of meditation, I seem to disappear from the real world at these moments.

Retro Kolkata : Can you tell us about some of your great paintings like ‘Pleasure’, ‘Temptation, ‘Magnificence’ that looks more real than a photograph?

Elizaveta : My first (namely, a large) realistic charcoal painting is called Magnificence. This painting means a lot to me, because it showed me that I am capable of more, I stepped to a new level in my skill and found my technique. And then I drew pictures of Temptation and Pleasure in the same technique. For me, these paintings are not so much about the mastery of realistic technique, but more about the emotions they evoke in the viewer. These emotions reflect the names of these paintings.

Retro Kolkata : Hyperrealism certainly has made a comeback over the last couple of years. What would you attribute this to? Where do you see the position of Hyperrealism in the art world in the next 5 years? 10 years?

Elizaveta : Hyperrealism is developing now and will develop further and better in the next 5-10 years, because it shows what a person can be capable of, how much I can develop human skills and capabilities in mastery. And we now live in such a time - a time of rapid development in the world.

Retro Kolkata : Artists and art lovers often have one painting by a great artist that has especially influenced them or holds special meaning. What is the one painting that had the biggest impact on you as you were beginning your career, and why?

Elizaveta : I have a favourite painting - "The Demon Seated" by Russian artist Mikhail Vrubel. This is a very deep and beautiful picture, looking at it, I understand that it is about me, about my inner world and the eternal search for beauty in the external world. I am also very inspired by the works of the contemporary American artist Casey Baugh, he is an amazing realist artist.

Retro Kolkata : What feelings or reactions do you hope to arouse in people who view your work? Are you surprised by the reactions that you get?

Elizaveta : Yes, I am always very surprised when people write to me in comments and messages that I am the best artist, because I don't think that about myself. But I am very pleased that they write to me like this. And also, most of all, I am pleased when aspiring artists say that my work inspires them, it is very nice to be useful to people and to hear such feedback. I hope that looking at my paintings people get the emotions that I wanted to convey in the paintings, and I also want my works to inspire people to be creative too, because there is nothing more beautiful than to create.

Retro Kolkata : Any words of wisdom to aspiring artists who want to pursue a similar career?

Elizaveta : For novice artists, I will give this advice: do not copy someone else's style of craftsmanship, look for your own way, experiment with different materials and ideas and eventually you will find your own, your own style. And in this world, everything is possible, the main thing is to love what you do and practice a lot.


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We are thrilled to announce the upcoming 'AURA 2024 - The International Photography & Art Exhibition and Grand Felicitation Ceremony', following the resounding success of last year's event. This prestigious gathering will be held at Kolkata's renowned 'Nazrul Tirtha' Art Gallery (Action Area I, Newtown, Kolkata 700156) from January 13 to January 21, 2024. The event promises an international stage for artists and photographers handpicked globally to display their masterpieces alongside the mesmerizing works of esteemed artists from over 25 participating countries, all under the spotlight of national media.

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Step into the boundless world of art with Retro Kolkata Magazine - The Global Edition. Beyond a magazine, it's a collectible tome celebrating the global tapestry of creativity. Delve into seven chapters unveiling the wonders of artistry across different mediums, uniting readers in a rich conversation that transcends borders. Embrace this cherished keepsake, a luminous narrative of human expression and interconnected art forms.

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