Andrey Kazantsev is a contemporary sculptor whose creations have appeared in numerous art collections worldwide. Represented by Katerina Morgan Horse Polo Art Gallery, Kazantsev works with various metals, including steel and iron, uniting strict geometry with impeccable flat-faced architecture that brings out a distinctive charm. To talk about his work, Andrey joined us for an interview.
Hi, how are you and how is the art world treating you?
Hello, I’m great, thank you. Actually, I consider myself to be both a technical expert and an artist. I try to go beyond just engineering and creating familiar objects in unusual geometric shapes with unique character and personal style.
Your work is characterized by the transformation of flat, cold sheets of metal into three-dimensional, “animated” animals. Can you describe your process and how you imbue these sculptures with unique personalities?
This is how the procedure appears: On the computer, I start by making a 3D design. I’m not really sure how my sculpture will turn out at this point. I just begin moving points about in space and drawing new boundaries and lines. In order to create a pleasing blend of geometric forms, I spin the model and examine it from various angles. These are often big faces that are triangular, quadrilateral, or pentagonal in shape. What I’m attempting to make or observe is difficult for me to define precisely. It’s just that at a certain point I realize that this is it.
After that, I export this model to another application and divide it into components. I consider where the welding will happen, how the assembly will go, and where it is best to bend the metal. In order to have access to all interior corners during assembly, I carefully consider the sequence in which the body components will be welded. I utilize metal sheets ranging in thickness from 1.5 to 3mm, depending on the size of the sculpture. The program takes all of this into consideration to ensure that the components fit together precisely after being laser-cut.
I obtain the laser cutting files as a consequence, and then send them for cutting. A CNC sheet metal bender is used to bend the cut pieces. Then we go on to assembly and welding. After welding, all the seams are ground so that no one could not understand where the joint and where the bend. This is the most painstaking part of the work. The final stage is surface sanding, polishing or painting. I like to experiment with different metals and processings. In addition to regular steel and stainless steel, we work with brass, Corten steel and even titanium.
Each of your sculptures is unique and has a distinct ID found in a model certificate. Can you explain the significance of this ID and how it contributes to the uniqueness of each piece?
Over the past years, both my laboratory and my artwork have experienced tremendous growth. I made a special 3-D model with my own distinctive design, and now I’m working on steel sculptures with the assistance of several artists. Each order demands a lot of work, and we always complete each sculpture with meticulous attention to every little thing.
In my studio, skilled artisans create each sculpture from start to finish. Each sculpture has a unique number that allows me to track the welders and grinders who worked on and the time. A series number is also added to the sculpture if it is intended that it will be manufactured as a limited edition. In addition to the number, each sculpture is stamped with my signature, which means that I personally inspected the sculpture.
Your works blend well with contemporary architecture and outdoor landscapes. How do you consider the environment in which your sculptures will be placed when creating them?
My primary thought when creating a sculpture is not only about the landscape where it’s going to be placed; instead, I mostly concentrate on my feelings of liking or disliking what I see on the computer screen.
Your sculptures are noted for their strict geometry, faultless flat-faced architecture, and simplicity. How do you balance these elements with the need to capture the harmony and beauty of animals?
I might add that I am not trying to exactly replicate and make an exact copy of the object. I try to convey the image with a minimum number of facets. To achieve recognizability by adding small details is too easy. But it’s tricky because too abstract artwork will not be perceived well. So I have to find a balance.
If you could give any advice to any aspiring artists, what would it be?
My biggest piece of advise is to get started doing what you enjoy and to involve others in the process. Don’t think about it, though, and don’t worry about what people will say. The most crucial thing is to have pleasure in the process. It is essential to comprehend what it is that makes you so happy. Something for which you are ready to give up everything and do only this. It’s experimenting for me. When I get an idea, I am prepared to focus solely on it, forgoing food and sleep and losing track of everything else.