Interview with artist LENTOV

Dear LENTOV, thank you for making time for an interview with us! We're happy to welcome you to HAZE Gallery. Tell us, please, about yourself and your art.


My name is Elena Fuks. I'm an artist, illustrator, and (graphic) designer. I was born in Moscow in 1993. Now I live and work in Barcelona. I started my artistic career in 2009. Now I work in different areas of the art and design sphere. For now, I have had six personal exhibitions and participated in 16 common exhibitions, including the exhibitions in London, Barcelona, Moscow, Lisboa, Cologne, Berlin, and Venice.


You were born in Moscow. Currently, you live in Barcelona. What prompted you to move to another country?


Barcelona, for me, always was a source of freedom and inspiration. I felt like a fish to water in this city. Meanwhile, Moscow had already become a routine for me, and I made a decision to go ahead.

When did you realize that creativity is your life's work? Did you always know that you wanted to become an artist?


When I was a child, I was always drawing. Since my two years old, I have never played with pencils and paper. However, I dreamed of becoming a pathologist. I rewrote the anatomy schoolbooks of my elder brother and made my one with many illustrations. When I had to choose the future profession and university, I understood that my interest in anatomy was less than my interest in art and design and left my dream to become a pathologist as a dream.)


You work under the pseudonym LENTOV. Why did you choose this particular alias?


Everything is very easy.) My pseudonym Lentov is a mix of 3 letters from my short name (Lena) and three letters from my maiden name (Tovaleva).


Where does your new painting begin?


Talks, thoughts, dreams, music, surroundings, stories I hear, my feelings - everything can inspire me and give me an idea for the new artwork. Actually, my works are a kind of diary.

You have worked with such brands and companies as Adidas Originals, Jo Malone, Rambler, Bunge Iberica, and many others. What exactly did you create for these brands? Tell us more about this collaboration?


I worked with many brands and companies like graphic designers and illustrators.
For Adidas Originals, I worked on a textile design for ZX#Flux sneakers under the project "Ode to the City." As for my collaboration with Jo Malone, I made a special edition of packaging for the products of the new edition. I painted the classic Jo Malone boxes with floral patterns by hand. The Rambler project was made in collaboration with the big Russian bank - Sberbank and was dedicated to the art of the 20th century. The concept was to reproduce artworks of famous Russian artists in a new way connecting them to nowadays. I reproduced ten paintings of Vladimir Kandinsky. Bunge Iberica was the first place in Spain I worked in. I passed their internship as a graphic designer. During this period, I made designs of websites and applications of the company they still use. 
I collaborate with many brands and companies worldwide. For instance, now I work with Italian wine brands and make designs of wine labels. For this kind of work, I combine my artistic and designer skills.


Do you think moving to another country has influenced your style?


Art always goes through the artist's mind. That's why I think that every change in life has a particular influence on your style. Of course, my move to Barcelona had changed me and, accordingly, my artistic style. I started to work in the abstract style, basically use big formats, and started to use different materials instead of just paper or canvas. Each city gives new ideas every day; it's important to 'communicate' with a place you live in.

As a rule, artists in their works tell about one idea, though, strong impression. What is the LENTOV artist trying to tell us in his works?


I can not say that I'm trying to convey any thoughts or ideas through my works. It's more about sharing the mood. Everyone finds something personal in my artworks, and for me, it seems the most important when art makes people feel and reflect.


In your work "Russian Mountains," you depicted a panel apartment building in which most of the population of Russia lives. Behind it, there are golden mountains and the inscription "You're promised me mountains of gold." What idea did you want to convey to the viewer with this work? Tell us what prompted you to create this work?


"Russian Mountains" is ironic artwork. It's about love and thwarted hopes. The Russian language has a metaphoric phrase "to promise mountains of gold." In English, it sounds like "promise a fortune." It means to give false hope to somebody. Panel apartment building represents the ordinary routine life, without any expectations. Golden mountains behind it is an unattainable dream. It's also a little bit about blind belief and a cue not to wait for these "mountains of gold" and achieve the goals by yourself

Your works have been presented in different countries. In your opinion, is there a difference in the perception of works in different countries?


To my mind, yes. Every country has its own mentality and taste. Also, trends are not the same everywhere. However, these aspects are mostly similar in European countries. That's why I can not tell that I saw a big difference in the perception of my artworks because I exhibited mainly in Europe. As for Moscow, I think it's easier to impress people thereby art because it's not such an artistic city like Barcelona or Berlin. So citizens are not so accustomed to art.


You have had many exhibitions, you have also collaborated with well-known brands. What are your creative plans for the future?


To keep going.) I'm really fascinated with projects I did recently and planned to expand the list of brands I work with. Certainly, I'm going to continue my artistic career and plan to resume my participation in exhibitions after a quite long but very productive pause. The list is really long, and each day becomes even longer. The most important thing is not to lose passion.

Instagram LENTOV @lentov


Text by Lyubov Melnickowa @lumenicka

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