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Yuriy Musatov: "I seek for international acclaim, but it needs a lot of work"

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Despite the fact that Yuriy Musatov’s works “live” in many galleries of the world, Ukrainian art lovers found out about him not so long ago. Being in constant search of his own style now Yuriy exactly knows what he wants to see in his works. Often his hands create truly unique objects, which would like to be seen in own interior.

After all, the popularity of a particular pottery designer is directly related to the popularity of this art direction. You won’t hear specific names if it’s zero exhibition and pottery gallery around. That's how it was in our country for past years. But according to Yuriy Musatov’s words the situation is getting better now. FAQinDecor gladly talked with the artist and found out why he moved away from perfectionism, what is needed for global recognition, and how he sees his future.

When people find out that I am an artist, they ask me to portray them. It all started when I was a child, I loved to draw in notebooks when I was in a kindergarten, and when I was at home I made different sand objects. I sculpted entire towns next to me yard in the evening, and they were trampled by the morning. I had to rebuild them every day. That’s when it all began. Adults, who was passing by "construction" complimented me, and said that I’ll be an architect in the future. I am no architect, but I discovered clay for myself years later. This is because I’ve met the legend of Ukrainian pottery - Gregory Protasov. He was my teacher and a diploma supervisor while I was studying at the school of arts and culture in Sumy,.  We’ve studied for three years, and the fourth one turned out to be a turning point. Grigoriy Nikolaevich has changed our vision of pottery as an art completely. He brought us German magazine about modern pottery, narrated a lot, showed pictures, and in the end advised us to go at the Lviv’ Academy of Arts. So I followed his advice.

I only call myself a painter or an artist. For example, in Poland there is a multifaceted word artysta. You can be a sculptor, a painter, or somebody else, but you will always be called an artist. Basically, as an English word artist.

Recently, I’m trying to apply "wabi-sabi" style in pottery and move away from perfectionism.

I get great pleasure at the opening of my exhibitions. When a lot of people coming and admiring my creations. When you see that all is not in vain, than it makes life worth living.

Recently, I’m trying to apply "wabi-sabi" style in pottery and move away from perfectionism. I tried to squeeze maximum out of my works earlier. Necessarily kilned several times, and if I didn’t like a certain spot, I reworked the whole work. But when I saw works of eastern craftsmen, such as Chinese and Japanese, I realized that I don’t need to rework anything. They have different attitude, see masterpieces in many things. If I saw a drip on my work after taking it from kiln, I’ve tried to kiln it again, or even use grinder. But eastern people see beauty in it.

One of the works which I am very proud of, is located in Kharkov Feldman Ecopark, it’s two of my" explosions", made in 2015. I’ve made them in record time. The sculptures are about 160-170 centimeters height.

My works are my dreams, thoughts about modern world and phenomena, such as "Hmarnі tehnologії" ("cloud technologies"). Actually, I have series of works “Hmary-Online» (Cloud on-line). Besides all of this, I like to think about space, explosions and ecology. For example, Cherkasy’ series “The pipes". It was born a year ago, when I had been working in a workshop in Cherkassy, where pipes smoked constantly near this shop.

When my works went into someone's hands, I felt pity to give them away, but now I began to treat it differently. It’s good that these works are stored by people who like them. It will be interesting to look at them after some time.

My future plan is to open a pottery laboratory with a showroom, where people could come to admire the works, as well as to observe the process of their creation.

In contrast with foreign countries, especially Germany, there wasn’t any interest in pottery in Ukraine. Once, at the German exhibition, I brought my work, which was still hot by the way, to the podium, and it was sold immediately. I was very surprised.

The pottery is being retained at the state level in many countries, such as Turkey, Thailand, China, South Korea. For example, Turkish university Hacettepe has a separate building with kilns and good workshops for students. For comparison, Lviv’ Academy of Arts owns just one gas stove and a small electric stove. Take the note that this is the Academy of Arts! Furthermore, Turkish Medical University has a pottery building about the size of Lviv’ Academy of Arts.

Too bad, but our country doesn’t have specialized modern pottery galleries. There is the National Museum of Ukrainian pottery in Opishnya, which made a huge contribution in developing Ukrainian pottery. By the way, largest collection of my works is in Opishnya. My ceramic sculpture, the highest in Ukraine, is also there. If you haven’t been in Opishnya, you must visit it. I’m glad that in the past few years we see increase of interest in this art. In fact, everything is simple, popularization needs money. However, now a lot of people work on one important goal – creation of Ukrainian Pottery Center in Kiev. Perhaps not all are aware of this, but sooner or later they will meet in this place. Especially, we should give a credit to the charitable foundation Sky Art Foundation and the festival "TseGlyna" for the support and development of modern pottery in Ukraine.

My new ideas begun to appear two months ago, it was right after the symposium in Thailand. The royal palace made a great impression on me. In fact, the whole Thailand is incredible, from vegetation to traditional costumes and architecture. Now, when I walk on Ukrainian ground, I can notice something similar with Thailand. I have big “ripening” project in my head that will be associated with this.

I seek for international acclaim, but it needs a lot of work, visit various events and communicate with the world's artists more often. In fact, it is what I do, but not as rapidly as I would like. I think I will reach some other level when I’ll join the International Academy of Pottery in Geneva. This is my primary goal.

My future plan is to open a pottery laboratory with showroom, where people could come to admire the works, as well as to observe the process of their creation. We elaborate this project with Sky Art Foundation. We are going to do master classes, lectures, a residence for foreign artists there. I would like to organize a Ukrainian Biennale of modern pottery.

If you want to devote yourself to pottery and reach a certain level in this business, you’ll have to communicate with foreign colleagues, participate in symposiums, exhibitions and biennales. Experiment constantly, and don’t forget about the Eastern pottery. Be open and don’t keep the information inside, share it!

Author: Sergey Oleynik

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