MEET THE ARTIST: RINAT SHINGAREEV
Who is Rinat Shingareev? Tell us about yourself.
To be honest, I don’t like to talk much about myself but I prefer to make my art to do it for me. A couple of my works can tell a lot more than a small paragraph in this interview. However, without going into the details, I can say that I am a professional artist who has set a goal to reach the highest heights in art and become the best artist of our time. For me, it’s not just a game or hobby, I believed in my talent and devoted my life to art. First in Russia, where from the age of six years I studied at the art school, then in Italy, where I graduated from the Art Academy with the highest grade. Right here in Italy I realised that art is a universal means of communication, which opens in front of you a huge window of opportunity and allows us to do something great.
Tell us about all the steps you took to find your personal style.
I feel lucky, because I pretty quickly found my own style. Back in 2007, while studying at the Art Academy, I created several works inspired by the art of Andy Warhol for my graduate thesis. Then these paintings received positive feedback, thereby inspiring me to further creativity. The style of those art works was quite close to what I’m doing now. I worked very hard, and over the years I have created a large number of paintings and my style has developed and evolved together with my experiments in painting. It all happened quite naturally and spontaneously.
How do you start a new project?
The basis of successful work is always a good idea. A work of art should evoke strong emotions: shock, inspire, amaze or simply bring pleasure. The search for such a strong and original idea is just the most difficult stage in the creation of new artwork. After having decided on the theme of the painting I work a lot on the sketches, experimenting with color and different situations. And then I start to realize it on the canvas.
How do you choose your subject?
If you want to become a professional, you have to surround yourself with professionals. If you want your work to be successful, you have to choose the successful characters. Characters which have contributed to the history and reached the highest heights in their spheres of activity and their stories inspire people. Therefore, the determining factor in the choice of subject is its popularity and relevance. This person should also be original, so I will be able to tell his story in the best way possible using the features of his appearance and character.
How would you define your technique?
I got my basic knowledge of painting at art school where education was focused mainly on classical art. During the years of study, I was able to experiment with different materials and explore different techniques, but the work with the oil seemed to me the most interesting, challenging and intriguing. Most of the artworks that we studied were created precisely with this material and perhaps this fact also influenced me. At the moment I painted more than a hundred oil paintings and I can say that for me it is the most comfortable material, thanks to which I can realize any of my ideas. Besides, for me it is very important that my work looks also beautifully and vividly, as in a digital image, if not better.
Who was the most difficult icon to paint?
To be honest, I never paid attention to how complex a work in technical terms can be. I can say that I have a lot of experience with oil because for more than eight years I worked every day for 6-7 hours and the realization of any idea on the canvas doesn’t cause me difficulties. The only thing, as I said above, the most difficult step in creating a new artwork is to find a bold idea.
What do you do when you are not painting?
I love my profession and painting is not exhausting to me, and brings me only pleasure and positive emotions. Despite the fact that I have not a lot of free time, I always try to find a couple of hours a day on sport activities. I also love to travel around the world in search of interesting works of young and talented artists for my collection of contemporary art.
Where do you go to relax and find inspiration?
I believe that today a professional artist doesn’t need inspiration, at least in its classical definition. I would call it an outdated concept! You just create because you have a desire to create something great and reach certain heights. But it is not fleeting burst of emotion and not inspiration, it is a constant desire which leads you to your goal. That’s exactly how I created my best works.
If you had the chance to have a celebrity pose for you, who would you choose and why?
This is a very interesting question. Some characters really inspire me and I would be glad to paint their portrait in live. The first one would be Barack Obama. His story is unusual and interesting and I have already dedicated several works to him. Besides, he is easily recognizable and perfect for portraits. I would be very glad if he posed for me. It would be an unforgettable experience! By the way, my offer is still valid even after the end of his presidential term.
Also, I would be happy to paint a portrait of James Franco. I like his movies. He is a brilliant actor and a creative person. This is a great combination for an interesting portrait.
Do the colors you use have a special meaning to you?
The colors in the painting are playing a great role for me, because they can manipulate the mood and set the general tone. Also the colors help me to tell the story of my character in the best way and highlight the main features of his personality. Well, in the end, I’m a positive person and my art reflects my temperament.
What advice would you give someone who is just getting started with portraiture painting?
First of all, I would like to say that art is not a hobby, it’s as much of a profession as many others. It is very important to find your own style, be original and try to stand out from the millions of others. If you’re really ready to devote your life to art and you have something to say to your audience, then sooner or later you will reach your goals.
Who would you paint if you were asked to represent technology?
I already have a couple of portraits on this subject. These are portraits of Sergey Brin and Mark Zuckerberg. They are the real gods of technology and their inventions really changed our life. In addition, they are young, have done an amazing career and are an example for the young generation.
… and who would you paint if you had to represent sustainability?
Without any doubt, I would paint a portrait of Leonardo DiCaprio. He really did a lot to protect the environment and for many years he has shown us, with his example, that regardless of our profession we could also contribute to the protection of nature. And that’s really commendable! In addition, he’s a terrific actor and his fantastic charisma would give a bit of magic to my work.
Last but not least, since we noticed that you drew a lot of different hip hop icons, what attracts you the most about the hip hop culture?
Electronic music and hip hop accompany me since childhood. I grew up with this music. Now I’m 30, but I am a fan of hip hop as much as when I was 15. Why do I like hip hop? I don’t have a concrete answer to this question. This music just gives me a special energy and it’s really cool!
By Ella Koppensteiner