He is not among the “usual suspects” of the psychedelic art scene, but the variety of his work is simply stunning – and of truly mind-bending beauty: Meet Russian artist Andrey Balandin.
Your work is extremely versatile, covering almost all materials and mediums. What are you working with right now?
Indeed, I work with a great variety of mediums such as paintings, graphic arts, sculptures, clothes, décor, or interior and with the most unusual materials . Yesterday I have designed a cuckoo clock, in my own style. And now I’m working on jewellery: Easter eggs (just like Faberge) dedicated to 18 Russian Tsars, the Romanovs. Every egg is an Emperor! The collection will be cast in gold and silver and will be decorated with precious stones from the Urals. These eggs will be the gifts for crowned heads and presidents.
We heard that there is an ancient magic mushroom culture in your home country Russia. Can you tell us a little about it?
Different nations have their own mythical totem characters who have engendered life on Earth and who have taught people everything. For example in Australia it’s a kangaroo who caught two pieces of meat in the Ocean. One of those pieces he threw into the grass and a woman came out of it. The other piece he threw into the sand – and there was a man. In the Urals we have The Chelotagr (Cellotager) – a mutant, a hybrid of human, mushroom and cockroach. Its story is described in detail and illustrated in my new book that recently was published in Germany.
Please tell us about 3 of your personal highlights of the last year!
1. This year I haven’t drunk a single drop of alcohol and I haven’t smoked any cigarette!
2. I’ve drawn and presented my new graphic project “Kontrollgänge Entlang Parallelwelten” in the “Green-T-Room” gallery, Hamburg!
3. I’ve visited the incredible exhibition and I’ve seen the originals made by the great Friedensreich Hundertwasser!
Please complete this sentence: I love being an artist because…
…I can astonish and bring joy and positive emotions to the hearts of people by my creativity, and I can travel in time and space, I can fly…
Please complete this sentence: Sometimes I hate being an artist because…
…I permanently need to move and carry all those heavy frames, glasses, cardboards etc. Damn! Why am I not a manager who can put his notebook into a small briefcase and go forth!?
You are not one of the usual artists from the Psytrance scene. What is your impression of this culture?
3 years ago I’ve drawn some pictures for a grandiose project named “Transurfers”, with lasers, UV lights, music and with places for relaxation. For this, I had to deeply plunge into the Psytrance culture and to hear much music, to read tons of books. It was a stunning project! Maybe I’ll touch this subject more than once again, with pleasure!
Interview by Roberdo Raval