juin 28, 2011

The interview of Sergei Sviatchenko.

How and when did you create Close Up and Private ? What was your original idea ?

I started project in April 2009. I liked the media – blog, but I am not a writer, so I wanted to communicate through the images. I started to create the compositions out of the clothes I had, but I wanted it to be alive, like the situation when you randomly see something on the street without looking at the faces. That is why I kept a face out of the picture. But it the same way I work with my collages -when all unnecessary parts are taken away. It is my story about creating CUAP site, but my wife says I wanted to spend more time with my kids, because it is them I photograph.

With art, fashion, photography and architecture, it’s difficult to figure out what your main activity is. Do you have one or are they all connected?
They all are connected by my life. I feel safe to use my knowledge and experience from architecture in my art projects and the other way around when I create murals or walls interiors throughout a building. Even for the Close up and Private site I create collages images, only difference is I’m using people and items of clothing.

Recently, art and fashion have been very closely linked, Terence Koh with United Bamboo and Scott Campbell with Louis Vuitton. What do you think? Would you lend your image to a brand?

I don’t know if one brand can have it all! I love the freedom I have choosing the product and the designs. I have the same attitude towards my viewers – I’d like them to feel inspired, but not instructed in that way. I am flattered you give me this question, but probably “No”, because to work solely with one brand would feel insincere.

What are your favorite brands? Do you attach much importance to labels or are you happy wearing non-labeled or obscure vintage pieces?
I think the quality of clothes is important and a lot of labels have it, but my preferences are rather random. They depend of time and money and what I enjoy at the moment. Or maybe I will be immediately inspired by something. I have to repeat that freedom to choose is the most important element for me.

The name of your blog reveals a certain intimacy in what you present, which is your style, I gather... Can you describe your style as well as your influences?

Yes, the idea of Close Up And Private blog became possible, when my friend and colleague Nello Russo created the construction of the site, where every taken image has to be a part of the row of images, but keeps its individual strength by a little detail in colour or in composition. I use the body parts of my model to create the depth in some images and change colours in others in order to “calm” them. This is how I see myself – as a member of a big community of people, who are interested in the details. Creative individuals whose work I like, love or admire they would definitely include Igor Stravinsky, Steven McQueen, Andy Warhol, David Hockney, Paul Newman, Richard Avedon, The Beatles, The Doors, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Curtis Mayfield, Paul Smith, Le Corbusier, Helmut Newton, Charles Eames and many others.

How do you see CUAP in 5 and 10 years ?

The work with CUAP has brought me very interesting collaborations: I work with Nello Russo, art director – man who created the visual look of the site, Last year I did a short animation with Japanese artist Noriko Okaku http://closeupandprivate.com/site/index.php?/home/close-up-and-private-in-motion/. I work now with Jason Jules, fashion editor from London, very creative person behind Garmsville, on a various projects. Sergey Nielsen paintings for Close Up And Private. These I really like to continue and CUAP exhibitions – the1st one in Hamburg in June. In 10 years … the coffee table book

You live near Copenhagen that is now one of the most interesting cities in Europe. Do you think the creative freedom and the atmosphere that prevails there are reasons behind all these activities you multiply and bring together? Would this have been possible in your hometown in Ukraine?

I love Copenhagen, I love Denmark, I live here for 20 years now. I live in a small town 300 km from Copenhagen. You can bring together and multiply what’s inside you: your upbringing, your education, the people you meet, your ambitions and wishes.

In France, people are more sensitive to fashion than style; they would rather conform than create something personal. Things seem different in Copenhagen, what does the "best dressed man in Denmark" think?

I do not think it is bad to conform something, it shows respect and interest. You have to start somewhere. I think the last 15 years of “engineering design” or what was the name of the movement, when the clothes were turned into the objects. Trousers like jackets, jackets like bags or bags like coats. I am not trying to be funny here, I was confused myself. Those years took the joy of creation of personal style away. It is a small world we live in now, so it was happening everywhere. But slowly things started to change – blogs are full now of beautiful pictures from 60´s and 70’s. But it is only naturally to recall the history, music, literature and film in order to find yourself. These are my thoughts about it, but I am not a fashion expert, just the "best dressed man in Denmark" in 2010.

The preppy trend has been around for a while now and seems to be completely taking over. Your own style seems to borrow from it, how do you react to people who label you based merely on the fact that you wear a Ralph Lauren shirt?

For me Ralph Lauren items are good to choose from and he has been around for such a long time – beyond any current trends. I think, it is nice to be in the line of life: a youngster, a young man, a man “who has a child”, a man “who has a grandchild” and if there are clothes which belong to a different time of life, why not call it something. Preppy, Ivy or anything else. We are now at the good period of fashion, I think; the suit is back, the tie, even bow tie, classic quality shoes and good hair cuts. Everything recognisable for me, I am 58 now, but for a new generation it is new and great. Like a kiss – how old is a kiss?

I really don't know Sergei... Thanks a lot for your time.

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