Interview with Viktor Mazhlekov
“Everyone has creative potential”
Jasmina Tacheva Talks with Artist Viktor Mazhlekov, chief organizer and one of the jury of the essay contest “PORTALS”
Hi Viktor, you call your style “astral postrealism” – what is it characterized by?
Astral postrealism is a wink at the audience, it’s not something I take seriously. I like to give eccentric names to my paintings, and just like that, quite spontaneously, appeared the name of the style as well.
I’ll try to formulate it nonetheless.
Astral postrealism is my perception of light, goodness and love. In the scenes I depict dreams and reality merge into one. Its meaning lies not so much in the intellectual understanding of the work but in the possibility that it can be felt and that it can ignite the creative spark within each one of us.
You convey a multitude of layers by means both of the oil paint and the pencils you use, and besides material, your paintings also have symbolic multilayeredness. What do the bizarre universes and creatures inhabiting your art express?
Ha ha. What they mean? This question has as many answers as there are people in the world. I leave it to the audience to interpret the worlds I create.
I wouldn’t let myself limit the imagination of the viewer with my subjective descriptions. As I said before, even the names of the paintings can hardly be explained and interpreted.
What is the role of the artist in today’s society?
To enlighten and to raise both their own level of awareness and the level of everyone around them. That’s how it has always been and will always be.
Everyone has creative potential; the self-conscious artist’s goal is to spark it in everyone who comes into contact with their art.
When and how did you discover art? What does it give you?
I would replace the word „art“ with „creativity“, because I love being creative even in making the most trivial things. Creativity found me still in my infancy. Since then I haven’t even thought about how that has occurred, I’m just ascertaining a fact.
One of your largest projects – “Portals” – is taking place right now. It includes an essay contest, a solo exhibition of yours and an animated movie. What provoked you to start it?
It happened quite spontaneously – first I started painting the pictures, then came the desire to see them moving. I found solid funding – one of the most successful companies for 3D software Chaos Group believed in me and the project’s potential. Then I got in touch with my friend Simeon Sokerov who has an animation studio – I’ve already had been cooperating successfully with him. The scene “Somewhere” from his film “5 Times” is based off my world.
Everything was going smoothly. Then came the idea for a contest – with it I wanted to give more people the opportunity to be directly involved in the overall experience. That’s how it was supposed to be I guess ))
What would you like the participants to know?
I want them to know that this is all just for fun, it would be much fun for eveybody if they don’t take it seriously and just relax and write something that excites them.
How do you envision the development of the project after the contest has finished – what will happen with the essays?
Once written, the essays will already have fulfilled their function, namely to encourage creativity. Everyone in the audience can read the essays of all authors. If any specific idea of how they can still be helpful to others comes up I will make it happen.
Would you tell us something more about Artshop7 – how is it going and what are the team’s goals?
Artshop7? That’s is a project I terminated a year ago. Perhaps you meanArtShareOn? This is a place where professional artists – painters, illustrators and photographers from around the world upload images of their works with very high quality. The idea is that anyone who wants to have a high quality work by a favorite artist can freely download it and use it for personal purposes. I agree with the opensource ideology and think that it can be applied in the arts as well.
You live in Plovdiv – in what ways does this city inspire you?
Oh, this is the city! The energy of this place is in complete harmony with my own evergy. I am very happy to have the opportunity to live in one of the oldest existing cities in the world. Plovdiv is very beautiful, come and you will see for yourself.
What does a typical day of Victor Mazhlekov look like?
I get up, have breakfast and start brainstorming. I devote myself to my work no matter what I do. At some point I get reminded that I should eat again and then continue like that till late into the night. This is my beat nearly every day, regardless of whether it’s Saturday or Sunday.
Both your website and your overall Internet presence are in English – is this important for an artist in today’s globalized world?
Oh yeah, I consider myself a citizen of the world and want to be understood by everyone. You said it – it’s a globalized world, we must open our minds to the world and speak its language, namely English.
But you’re not thinking of leaving Bulgaria, are you?
For me there’s no leaving or arriving anywhere, I live where I like it. I’m in Plovdiv today, tomorrow I might be in New York. I consider the place where I live not a constraint but an opportunity for new experiences.
What can we expect from you in 2013?
The 3D Animated Short Film “PORTALS”. I think the audience will be charmed. More details soon
New scripts for new movies, I wish to have the opportunity to work with some large global animation studio and create a full-length animated film.
There are also plans to create an iPad game, I already have a script and an idea.
It will be a very intense year, I can say that for sure!