Russian Painters in Prague. Please welcome Igor Andrianov (Igor Shulman). Interview by Igor Budykin
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Igor Budykin: Today we are on a visit to Igor Andrianov. He is the russian painter, who lives in Prague. In order to give myself and others an idea of your personality, I’m going to ask you 10 to 12 questions, which you’re supposed to give an answer very quickly on. Absolutely no thinking, just answer the very first thing that comes to your mind. Do you agree?
Igor Budykin: Do you have any hobbies or something that you’re interested in? Please give an answer very quickly.
Igor Andrianov: Yes, I’m fond of fishing.
Igor Budykin: What else?
Igor Andrianov: I’ve got 3 hobbies: fishing, fishing, fishing.
Igor Budykin: Are you gambling?
Igor Andrianov: Yes, I’m gambling – either fortunately, or unfortunately, I have no idea…
Igor Budykin: What’s your favorite color?
Igor Andrianov: In my opinion this is kind of nonsense. I assume that a painter does not have a favourite color. Moreover, he cannot have it. The question is wrong.
Igor Budykin: Do you like blondes or brunettes?
Igor Andrianov: Brunettes.
Igor Budykin: Meal of the czech cuisine?
Igor Andrianov: No, I don’t like czech cuisine.
Igor Budykin: Really?!
Igor Andrianov: Yes, in general!
Igor Budykin: Do you have any animals?
Igor Andrianov: The dog named Moncha.
Igor Budykin: What’re your preferences in clothing style? What’s your clothing style?
Igor Andrianov: Street style.
Igor Budykin: What’s your sign of the zodiac?
Igor Andrianov: Pisces.
Igor Budykin: Which literature genre do you prefer?
Igor Andrianov: Thriller, both in cinema and in literature.
Igor Budykin: I just wanted to ask you about a cinema.
Igor Andrianov: About cinema… thriller as well. A genre has nothing to do with a cinema. I like cinema and I like watching different films with the same pleasure.
Igor Budykin: Is that supposed to mean that you consider yourself as a versatile person?
Igor Andrianov: Absolutely, I’m not hung up on anything. (01:55)
Igor Budykin: Igor, why have you chosen Czech Republic? How come that you’re here now? How long are you living here? It is possible of course to search for the rest of your biography facts on the internet, but if possible just reveal a little bit on this question.
Igor Andrianov: Why have I chosen Prague? This history, which I’m going to speak about, began in the previous century. One of my acquaintances was about to move and that woke up my interest. Moreover, I’ve had a great desire to leave. In the next year I will have been living in Prague for 20 years.
Igor Budykin: 20 years already… What does Czech Republic mean for you now? Could you explain it briefly, just in 3 words?
Igor Andrianov: Czech Republic is now my new house… yeah, I guess so.
Igor Budykin: Exhibitions of your works were carried out in a great deal of countries. If you could remember the number of those countries…
Igor Andrianov: I can’t answer this question exactly. Maybe 20, maybe 50 countries… but what is for sure is that exhibitions of my works were carried out in a really huge amount of countries. Many exhibitions took place without me as a participant. Galleries just buy my paintings and exhibit them. One can say that they live their own life. Often I know about an exhibition after it has actually taken place. Nevertheless, the majority of the exhibitions are taking place with me as a participant.
An exhibition is a very pleasant event for the painter. When I’m being offered to participate in an exhibition, I always respond to such offers with great pleasure. Though not to all of the offers.
Igor Budykin: To the offers, originating from gallery owners, which are located here?
Igor Andrianov: Yes, gallery owners and not only those, who are located here. Many of them offer me to make an exhibition in Europe and all over the world in general.
Igor Budykin: Are you married?
Igor Andrianov: No, I’m a completely free person. At least, I feel myself as a free person. It is more visible from the side, but I certainly feel so innerly.
Igor Budykin: Are those feelings the same both in Prague and… well, I don’t know, it has probably been a great while since you were lastly to Russia… are these feelings of freedom the same, both in Prague and in Russia?
Igor Andrianov: I’ve not been in Russia for 10 years. I’ve already forgotten what it is to feel yourself as a free person in Russia. More likely, no. In Russia I feel myself in a constant tension… “temporary person” on a trip. I don’t feel freedom there. Here it is an absolute feeling. One needs not much here in order to feel oneself as a free person: just a minimal amount of money and abidance of rules of this society. The main thing, that you know, you depend on nobody.
Igor Budykin: Have you got any interest in politics?
Igor Andrianov: For some time yes. I even can tell you the year, when I began to be interested in politics… before Bolotnaya I was completely apolitical, I didn’t even know… I knew only the surname of the president, residing in the Kremlin. I didn’t know anyone else. I had completely no interest in what is going on there. Nothing is going on here. All can be predicted in Europe. Even if there is a slight rotation of the persons, it does not impact the general direction of the state. All of the states included in Europe anyhow are getting forwards. In Russia all is going backwards. Perhaps it has become clear to me after 2011, that’s why I began there to be in social networks, take part in discussions. Here I began looking around myself. I have to repeat though, that it was quite difficult to find a more apolitical person, than I was prior to 2011. I was the most apolitical person. Everything which somehow was connected with politics, made for me absolutely no sense.
Now it is a little bit different. Sometimes I become unbearably ashamed that I’m Russian. It is an awful feeling. When you watch news on a Czech television you realize that it is all wrong… all coming from Russia in general and Moscow particularly is with the “minus” sign. There is no positive, no onward movement, there is no life in all of that. There is only deception. 150%… all what the government and people are doing, all is soaked with deception. They believe in this. I know this, I have seen people, who lie and believe in what they’re saying. This is all from there. I assume that one couldn’t notice so much deception even when L.I. governed Russia. There was an emperor of deception. All people called it “An Empire of Evil”, “An Empire of Deception”. What is going on now is completely out of control. This is a tragedy. It is a pity that people do not realize that they are direct participants of the triumph of evil and celebration of deception. This is very sad. Another sad thing is that I have indirectly something to do with it, because I’m a Russian person and I can’t change this situation, no matter how I would want to change it, although…. I don’t actually want to change it. Potentially I….
Igor Budykin: … not a political figure?
Igor Andrianov: I don’t see any danger for the whole world and for society in myself in spite that I’m a Russian person.
Igor Budykin: Which Czech national drink do you like most of all?
Igor Andrianov: Beer.
Igor Budykin: Do you have your favorite sort?
Igor Andrianov: I like craft beer, because this type of beer is made with love and good intentions. Actually any beer is great in Czech. I love any beer here. Both ale, beer and all, what is connected with it. That’s the highest culture and all is made on a very good level. Really, this is made with love. And I appreciate this very much. I treat Czech beer with a bit of awe. I have already tried many sorts of beer, but something suggests to me that Czech beer is anyway better.
Igor Budykin: I hope that we’ll have an opportunity to try Czech beer together.
Igor Andrianov: Today!
Igor Budykin: Thank you very much that you’ve found time to invite us, Thank you!
Igor Andrianov: You’re welcome. Glad to see you!
Credit to https://www.radio.cz/ru/rubrika/bogema/russkie-xudozhniki-pragi-igor-andrianov