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ARTIST Q&A WITH RUDOLF SOKOLOVSKI

LAB ART SHOW ARTIST Q&A INTERVIEW

Rudolf Sokolovski

Sponsored by Steam Whistle Brewing

Written by: Grace Yoon

Welcome back, art enthusiasts!

Wishing everyone a very happy March as the year is just flying by us. This month’s featured artist is Canadian sculptor, Rudolf. With his studio based in Vancouver, Rudolf aims to explore themes of sensuality, especially the female form:

The shadow of lust seems to fall over anything we do. Lust seems to be able to control the body and mind, guiding our conscious decisions in unconscious ways. A woman can have a profound influence on a man’s willpower. She can have the ability to inspire courage, stimulate creativity, and carry one in the achievement of greatness. Conversely, a woman can also have the ability to shatter worlds, destroy empires, start wars, and break men. I feel this source of power, this energy, is one of the most powerful of human emotions.  If a woman has the ability to create this energy and conquer this emotion in a man she can elevate him to new and greater heights. Take women out of this equation and life becomes meaningless. Fortune and power suddenly lose their appeal, and that fire that burns inside quickly goes out. I aim to depict the female form in that state of power. That power that has shaped our history and drove human evolution forward. Is there a more dominant force?

Lab Art Show:

Rudolf, your statement is powerful. Your appreciation for form and function - truly the essence of your object is captured so poignantly. Your work speaks to a wide ranging audience. In one sentence, could you tell us what an artist’s role is?

An artist should strive to inspire and enrich this world.  

Lab Art Show:

Let’s expand on that. What is an artistic outlook on life mean to you?

I think it’s a truer outlook. You’re essentially having a conversation with the audience through your art, so you have to be honest with who you are and what you stand for in this world. The best art is honest art.

Lab Art Show:  Describe a real-life situation that inspired you and your art.

A: I find I get inspired when I travel to different places.

Lab Art Show:

What prompts you to begin your research? How do you prepare for a new piece of art?

If I have an idea for a composition I would often start out with sketches and maquettes, and sometimes have models come in for further sketching. If I’m doing a portrait of a live person I need to get to know a little bit about their personality to capture their essence correctly. But with persons that are no longer alive, like Gandhi and Che, I would review media, read about them, and try to learn as much as I can about what kind of a person they were.

Lab Art Show:

Aside from the female form, what are other themes you explore through your medium?

Beauty, inspiration, power of human form, sensuality are some of the recurring themes in my art.

Lab Art Show: Tell us about yourself and how you got into sculpting!

Growing up I apprenticed under my father Valeri. He not only taught me skills to make art but also how to appreciate and understand it, and eventually fall in love with.

Lab Art Show:

That’s fantastic. Yes, I see the love, appreciation and respect you have towards your craft. What a wonderful source of inspiration to apprentice under your father. Have you taken art classes? 

Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to work with different artists, but I have to credit my father for the majority of my education. His training is truly a holistic approach to creating art. He has passed down things to me that would have taken me decades to learn on my own. 

Lab Art Show:

Quite admirable - so much of your skill has been cultivated through him. Can you remember the first piece of art you created?

I remember sitting in the studio playing with a block of clay. I forget now what I made but one of the sculptors there came over, took my little creation and said, “nice” and put it up on the table. I was five years old.

Lab Art Show:

You were young! Is it possible that was a defining experience for you, where you decided, “This is it, I’m going to become a sculptor”? Have you ever stepped out of your medium to explore another? Why or why not?

Although I’ve worked in all types of media, I prefer permanent ones, like bronze, stone, and wood. They are versatile, organic, and last for centuries.

Lab Art Show:

Are you a full-time artist or do you have a "day job"?

Art is my profession.  

Lab Art Show:

So, how do you dedicate time to creating your works?

I usually create when I feel like it, especially when I have a muse. You can’t force these things, that urge to express yourself has to come naturally otherwise the art becomes contrived.

Lab Art Show: What is your biggest challenge as a sculptor?

Sculpture, unlike 2D art, is much more involved. For one, it’s a lot more expensive to produce, especially bronze. It also requires more light because of angles and shadows. But it can be much more engaging with the viewer.

Lab Art Show:

What is your viewpoint of the local art scene versus other metropolis cities?

Vancouver lacks in this department. Just like in other areas of the arts, it is behind. But it’s a young city with a lot of potential, so let’s see how it continues to develop.

Lab Art Show:

What would you have hoped to achieve when you look back on your career, ten, twenty, thirty or forty years from now?

I don’t think that far ahead. As long as I can continue to express myself and connect with my audience, and make art that inspires. That is what drives me.  

Lab Art Show:

Could you please share a proud moment you've had so far in your career?

Exhibiting with my father as a duo show, because he is truly a master,

perhaps one of the most amazing living artists of this generation. And

having my work side by side with his was an honor for me.

Lab Art Show: Who are the top three artists you reference to for inspiration?

Michelangelo, Picasso, Valeri Sokolovski.

Lab Art Show: Do you have any other interesting hobbies and/or interests?

I like to do a lot of different things because in order to create something interesting you must experience something interesting and be an interesting person yourself.

Lab Art Show: Agreed. How has your style evolved over the years and what dictates that?

My outlook on life and the world, my emotions, my relationships, my experiences, all these things dictate my expression. The more I learn about myself the more freely and honestly I can express myself. And this is a constant work in progress.

Lab Art Show: Freedom as a form of expression, especially through a "hard" medium must definitely require time and dedication. What do you believe is key to good composition?

That really depends on a lot of things; what is the final size? the final medium? where will it be displayed? indoors or outdoors? as an artist what is the message or feeling you are trying to convey to your

audience?

These are important questions you need to ask yourself as an artist, but then you should also create an aesthetically pleasing artwork, that’s interesting and has some imagination. Because good art is not craft, this is an important distinction to make. Art is craft plus imagination.

Contact the artist through his website: modernsculpture.ca

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