Anatoly Popov

Born in:Novorossiysk
Lives in: Tbilisi, Georgia
Describe your art in three words: For fine-art connoisseurs 
See More Work:

The Venetian Story - Bronze, plastics, wood, 35 x 80 x 25 cm, $4000

"I perceive each new sculpture as a step forward in my artistic development. I keep pushing the limits of my abilities and artistic skills. Each new sculpture must be finer, more impactful and captivating than the previous one. This is an indispensable part of my artistic path."

What themes does your work involve?
Most of my works are dedicated to historical or mythological images and personalities, which is an eternal topic reinterpreted from generation to generation. They are the blueprints of a human beauty and power, and I always keep returning to the eternal images of heroism, strength and love, incorporated into ancient and mythological heroes. My soul is also touched by depth of nature and wildlife. Its wonderful relationships are often much closer to our feelings than we are used to thinking. Some of my sculptures represent animals in their touching relations, and I make them more lively with the help of dynamic composition and vivid coloring. And exactly now I am in the project of creating fine decorative reliefs dedicated to nature.
Describe your creative process.
In any work I devote much attention to its plastic component: aesthetics and dynamics of the composition, the harmony of visual rhythms. I strongly believe that the composition is the core of the whole creation, allowing to convey the feeling and mood of sculpture. This is the first and the most demanding part of my creative process. After defining a composition, I start its detalization, and keep refining it until the end of the process. I believe that the viewer must be able to find a lot of fine details, that catch the eye and invite to examine the sculpture. In some of my works, decorative elements can even reveal the whole story – for example, I sometimes show the personality of a mythological hero by using engravings on his armor.
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
It is hard to define a separate source of motivation. I just feel an internal strive to convey a certain feeling or to create something beautiful. A great amount of visual inspiration – coming from films, painting, sculpture, real life in its incredibly various forms – keeps supporting my inner source of images, that transform into new ideas – and new sculpture as a result. So, I never feel a lack of ideas, I feel lack of time to realize them all. I make art since my childhood actually, and I guess, art is part of my nature and personality.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
I am deeply convinced that a piece of art must give aesthetic pleasure to the viewer, inspire and let him or her experience the beauty of the world independently from the selected topic. For this reason, I mostly value realism – this is the school of art that nowadays really allows to separate the talent and hard work from unskilled inspiration. A great art shows the mastership of a composition: a viewer can feel the dynamics and striving even before concentrating on details. Composition is the spirit of a sculpture, while details are beauty. The idea and the composition reveal the talent of the artist; while fine realization is the result of education and hard work. For me, Gian Lorenzo Bernini remains an example of a great artist.
What is the role of the artist today?
Each artist defines his role on his own: some artists choose to be educational, just like Greek sculpture had the aim to show an ideal person and motivate the youth for self-development. Some artists choose to pay attention to burning social issues. Some strive to convey eternal ideas and values, that are relevant in any time. The latter approach is closer to me. The goal of an artist is to realize his chosen role. But in any case, I believe that art must remain art, no matter what topic it covers. There are laws of rhythm and harmony, and they allow art to be beautiful, to touch and evoke the feelings, even if negative ones. Opera would be a good example; as even villains sing in harmonious voices. So, conveying beauty is the role of a true artist.
First Breath - Plastics, wood, 40 x 25 x 23 cm, $2500
Velasquez - Plaster, 82 x 60 x 30 cm, $1500
An Allegory of a Hero - Plastics, 65 x 17 x 20 cm, Price upon request
Perseus and Andromeda - Plastics, 50 x 31 x 23 cm, Price upon request


This interview was published by Circle Foundation of the Arts. © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist