Published by Junsuke Yamasaki we present a series of spreads from the Russian youth vanguard's acclaimed book
Masha Efremenko's Potions
Exploring the contradictions and similarities between art and fashion, the Moscow-based artist launches her new project
- Text by Kemal Tarba
The viscous, undulating otherworldly heroes that populate the recent works of Moscow based artist Masha Efremenko pulsate with ambiguous meditations on transformation of visual forms, managing to evoke a sense of combination of two paradigms Masha is working with: visual art and fashion. Born in 1983, Masha started her career as a make-up artist and stylist, but after meeting with Danila Polyakov, inspired by artist’s numerous talents, she started to work on her own artistic projects...
Satellite Voices: Do you consider your work to be art or fashion and where do you think lies the boundary?
Masha Efremenko: I do not claim to be a fashion designer, because I don’t work in the fashion paradigm, implying a seasonal schedule of catwalk shows and large collections. I am attracted to art that does not contain limits for self-expression. There are a lot of creative people who play by their own rules, not following the general trends, and I see such people both in fashion and art. I like the parallels between these two concepts, and in my works I attempt to combine both. The main purpose of my work is to enjoy the process, develop and explore myself. I supply my work with pragmatic design element so that you can wear them on the street. By this I strive to make art wearable and accessible to those who can appreciate it. And I wonder myself where this intentions are going to lead me.
SV: What artists in history have inspired you?
Masha Efremenko: Inspiration always comes unexpectedly and you never know what was its source: a book, a painting, a person, a photograph or a sound. Artists who inspire me… well, the first that come to mind are Joseph Beuys, Banksy, Mark Rothko, Egon Shiele, Amedeo Clemente Modigliani, Cy Twombly, Danila Polyakov, Henri Matisse, M.C. Escher, Sarah Moon, James Turrell, Rene Magritte, Yohji Yamomoto, Rei Kawakubo, Martin Margiela, Erte, Sergey Paradzhanov.
SV: How does your work take a new direction and what are your inspirations?
Masha Efremenko: All my work is an experiment whereby I discover my abilities and capabilities. For instance, working on the "Dranoid" project, I was involved in the transformation of existing forms. And, as a result, I wondered if I could create a completely new form from scratch, with my own hands. Since the vector has changed and I started working on the "Potions" project.
SV: Speaking of Dranoid, the heroes of this project are incredibly intricate, where did they come from?
Masha Efremenko: I was very lucky in my life. I am surrounded by talented friends who inspire me and help in all my endeavours. For each project, I think over a new world with its own objects and images. The "Dranoid" world is a fantastic planet populated by all sorts of creatures, and each of them has special abilities and unique objectives. One irrigates flowers with a stardust, and the other connects the worlds, and moves in time.
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