In the City of a Sophisticated Audience
Interview with Tatyana Borodina
by Yekaterina Balukhtina
So, it happened. A new project entitled “The Art Alliance”, which was announced by its founder and chief editor of the magazine “Elegant New York” Tatyana Borodina, has been launched in public space.
That was a full-house debut of a multifaceted exhibition entitled “Tales of Talent”, taking place at Bene Rialto Showroom, 13 West 38th Street of the famous Fashion District on December 1, 2016. Designed as a collective meeting of creative people such as artists, designers, fashion designers, photographers, and writers with their connoisseurs and fans, it has become a triumphant celebration of creativity. There were so many guests that a large loft of the historic building erected in the early 20th century could hardly accommodate all visitors.
The artists and talented photographer, who will be discussed below, captured the viewers’ attention with their paintings and photographs; the designers displayed their latest jewelry collections; the fashion designers organized a vibrant fashion show on a makeshift podium; connoisseurs of literature could buy books written by the Russian authors, who are trendy in New York now.
Tatyana Borodina managed to detect a string that has resonated with the aesthetic needs and spirits of New York audience. The idea of holding such meetings fell on fertile ground and became demanded by sophisticated connoisseurs of culture and art.
Here is the interview with the author of the idea, main organizer, and hostess of the soiree, Tatyana Borodina:
Participants in the exhibition (from left to right): Marina Kashyrskaya, Gunel Alizade, Tatyana Borodina, Kira Koktysh, Elena Iolosevich, and Elena Lezhen. Photo by Katerina Grigoryeva.
– I’d like to congratulate you on holding the first exhibition of the Art Alliance!
– Thank you so much! Frankly speaking, we worried and were preparing for the exhibition “TALES OF TALENT” very carefully. Even this title obliged us to do everything at the highest level – we presented the works of highly talented artists. Moreover, it was a premiere of the Art Alliance!
– It was an undeniable success. A lot of people gathered together, and all of them were in an elevated and benevolent mood. You’ve chosen a somewhat unusual format of your vernissage. Why was it so and not differently?
– New York is the city of a sophisticated audience. There is something new happening every day: presentations, openings, premieres, etc. However, New York is not a snob. People of New York are curious. Perhaps it’s their main feature. The public here is open, unprejudiced, not omnivorous, of course, but often kind and sometimes rapturous (she laughs).
We knew that it’s difficult to surprise New York, but were also acutely aware of the fact that the standard approaches today are a thankless business that is boring for the organizers themselves, not to mention the audience. So, first of all, we’ve chosen to hold our first exhibition in December – the joyful and inspiring to experiment month. The exhibition format turned out to be unusual and perhaps a little risky, an experimental one (she laughs).
Indeed, there were more people than we expected, so it was a bit crowded, but no one left the venue. Maybe, the notorious private space can be slightly size-reduced in a pleasant atmosphere.
The main thing is that the atmosphere was relaxed, so people didn’t want to break up. There was incidental music performed by Valeriy Ponomarev jazz trio. Besides, the lottery was organized there too. All were happy like kids and worried if luck was mistaken only with one figure. And most importantly, it was a creative dialog.
– I visited it and saw its high elegance. Excellent works, a great presentation, an unusual format. Why has this concept been chosen?
– The concept of the exhibition “TALES OF TALENT” was dictated by the idea of the Art Alliance, which is a union of dynamic, active, and creative people. To unite and not differentiate – that’s what seems important to us in the contemporary world.
Like the Art Alliance, this exhibition has united various artists, designers, photographers, musicians, and even writers and poets. That was a grand success. The vernissage featured creative people of different trends. Such meetings give impetus for creating new ideas and projects, either joint or individual ones. A lot of visitors discovered new names for themselves, were able to get acquainted with these people and their creativity, knowing them by hearsay before, but having no opportunity to communicate with them closer.
Such a format proved to be very attractive for the audience. Regulars of artistic studios were gladly plunged into the atmosphere of design and fashion – the branches of a single tree, the tree of art and creativity. Fashion fans got acquainted with the works of prominent artists, popular in both America and Europe now, by the way.
– You’ve presented quite well-known masters. Were there new names among the exhibition participants?
– For the first exhibition we’ve chosen those artists and designers, who were well-known to New York audience. Only Marina Kashyrskaya participated in this exhibition for the first time. Earlier she was engaged in fashion design and now she returned to pictorial art again. One can hardly call her a beginning artist because her works are so professional and interesting.
Tatyana Borodina and Elena Lezhen, the curators of the exhibition “TALES OF TALENT”
Other participants have repeatedly participated in various international exhibitions, both joint and individual ones. For example, Elena Lezhen displayed her works in Nice (October 2016). Besides, her paintings were shown at the exhibitions in Milan and Paris. This summer she participated in one of the most prestigious American exhibitions in Hampton (New York, United States), where her works were sold successfully.
One of Sergey Ovcharuk paintings (he is a Lithuanian artist) was sold at Prince Charles Charity Auction in London at a price of 12,000 pounds in November 2016.
Elena Iolosevich, the participant in many US and international exhibitions, has constantly displayed her works in both America and Europe.
I’d like to say a few words about the jewelry designer Leonid Vilikhin and Kira Koktysh. Both of these masters are very popular in New York. More recently, Kira Koktysh has become famous in Spain. Her works have been for sale in chain stores there.
– Anastasiya Ivanova, a 28-year-old fashion designer from Ukraine enthralled the audience. This is her second show in New York. But she is an expert with a long list of international fashion shows and collections sales held in different parts of the world. This year, she began selling her products in one of New York City’s stores, located at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 38th Street.
– The exhibition “TALES OF TALENT” was held under the auspices of “The Art Alliance”. How was the idea of the Alliance creation born?
– Undoubtedly, there is a myriad of various creative groups, unions, and alliances. Why have I launched another one?
Because it called for its creation itself. Its initial concept was suggested by life. The Art Alliance began to take shape around Elegant New York.
Our magazine has existed for nearly 5 years and it has never been a commercial edition. Until recently, even advertisements in our magazine were given only on a barter basis. We’re independent and sufficiently altruistic. We’re interested in what we’re doing. Maybe, in this way our project is joined by lots of people primarily on the basis of creativity, their interest in our topics, their desire to share their thoughts, ideas, knowledge, and experiences. So, our magazine has united not amateurs, but independent professionals, successful journalists, writers, and poets. Later on it was joined by artists and designers, but being “visual” people rather than “writing” ones, they were in need of some new format that would allow telling about their creation.
Moreover, our international principle was of great importance – the magazine has never confined itself to covering subjects of one country. To be precise, our interests have never been linked to geography. We’re interested in what’s interesting – the past, present, future, east, west, south, north (she laughs). We’re read in 20 countries, and the project involves people from different corners of the world.
As soon as the idea of the Art Alliance was formed and made public, we were joined by creative people from different countries. The Art Alliance has existed for only 3 months, but we continue developing the concept. But the main objective is to promote works, projects, and ideas of the Alliance participants in the international art space. Therefore, it was very important for us to hold our first exhibition and try our hand in a new format. It turned out well, so we’re going to move on.
– You’ve mentioned different exhibitors, but didn’t say that your photos were displayed during the opening day too.
– Yes, I’m also a member of the Art Alliance and decided to exhibit my photos too. I worried because the talented artists’ works were hanging near those of mine. I’m really keen on taking photos. So, I’m a trial to my co-travelers – I can’t help shooting (she laughs), but it takes a lot of time. I can stop short in front of a tree or in a cathedral and photograph flecks of sunlight filtering through the branches or the sunlight playing through the stained glass windows, or the reflection of clouds on the water surface of a lake. Only my husband got used to it over the years and can travel with me (she laughs).
I shoot a lot, but I’ve never wanted to exhibit my pictures. I presented them in various glossy magazines and on websites. I’ve held only 3 exhibitions. But this time I decided to display some works of mine. It appeared that the most difficult thing for me is to choose works for the exhibition.
At first, it seemed that all of them were quite common and there was nothing to display. Then I started reviewing my works and realized that I wanted to show this photo and that one – all of them seemed nice to me and I wanted to share them all. First of all, I had to choose a certain topic and style in order to form a series of works.
This time, I decided to print my pictures on canvas and choose a winter tonality in a selection of black-and-white photos of landscapes: New York – cityscapes and California – nature. The romance of monochrome, a foggy city, coasts, and mountains… Besides, I chose a series of small works “in ocher” – Andalusia and California. It sounds unexpected, but looks very organic. By the way, many of these small photos were perceived as paintings. Two ladies had a long argument on how I managed to depict thin blades of grass in the foreground until they asked me, and I said, “They were just shot by my camera”. There was a silent scene as they couldn’t believe it (she laughs).
– Are you going to continue holding exhibitions in the same genre?
– That’s a great piece of work that requires a lot of time and attention. Besides, I’m engaged in working for the magazine and the Art Alliance… So, I don’t want to promise anything yet, but most likely we’ll try to pursue it. As for the format, time, and topic, let’s keep the intrigue.
I can say that I think about holding a photo exhibition and an international exhibition of paintings and graphic arts. It would be desirable that artists from Ukraine, the Baltic States, Great Britain, the Czech Republic, and other countries exhibit their works. I suppose we’ll continue to combine exhibitions of paintings with design and fashion shows. There are many ideas, but it’s so important to make the right choice.
Naturally, we’re open to invite new participants to the Art Alliance. All the details about this project can be found on the website. There are also personal sections of all those people who’re already with us. Welcome: http://alliance.elegantnewyork.com/