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Alexei Kostroma Main Profile Image

Alexei Kostroma

Berlin, Germany

Installation, Painting • Born in Kostroma, Russia. Lives and works in Berlin • Studied at Imperial Academy of Arts (The Repine Institute of Arts), Painting Department under Prof. Evsej Moiseenko, Saint Petersburg, Russia 1989

Published  30/04/2015   |   Updated  29/04/2019

''It´s all about time and numbers''

Yellow is the color that speaks to Alexei Kostroma. But, of course, this is only one of the aspects that makes Kostroma so unique; eggshells, and feathers are also strong elements threaded through his work.

In his early days as an artist, Kostroma provided a spectacular public installations. He ‘feathered’ the historic canon which stands in front of the Peter and Paul Fortress in St.Petersburg. It used to make the...

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Yellow is the color that speaks to Alexei Kostroma. But, of course, this is only one of the aspects that makes Kostroma so unique; eggshells, and feathers are also strong elements threaded through his work.

In his early days as an artist, Kostroma provided a spectacular public installations. He ‘feathered’ the historic canon which stands in front of the Peter and Paul Fortress in St.Petersburg. It used to make the windows of the Hermitage Museum opposite from it, tremble when fired on certain occasions.

“Canons were the first weapons of mass destruction” Kostroma explains, “and my act of ‘feathering’ which took place at the beginning of the Tchetchenian war, was my pacifistic statement to bring art not war into the world.” This is how feathering started and the canon has been standing ever since then in the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg.

Kostroma works only with organic materials, “nature works like society and that´s the theme for my whole life”.

Amongst Kostroma’s collection stand an array of striking yellow paintings, which are made of organic lemon yellow pigment, hardened with a special glue. “They are like stone,” Kostroma remarks as he encourages me to touch them, and although they appear to live in 3D life they lay completely flat.

“Lemon yellow is the most active and powerful of all colors,” Kostroma states, “and so I developed the idea about a lemon yellow earth, it’s like the inside of my personality.”

Kostroma has been working on a theory of color for many years, having thick handwritten folios which are artworks in themselves. “It´s all about time and numbers, and each number has its own color. Numbers structure the world and that´s why they are part of my philosophy.”

Sometimes Kostroma hides these numbers within his art, like in the ‘eggshell flower’. For viewers who come to admire such creativity and thoughtfulness, the numbers can only be viewed if you shine an ultraviolet lamp upon them.

The eggshells and their numbers form a logical system, in this case the true formula of the egg form. Why eggshells? “Calcium is an eternal material. Just consider the dinosaurs!”

Kostroma explains his theory as, “numbers are like atoms or pixels. I built my own world, starting from insects.” In fact, his insect paintings consist completely of numbers, which you only start recognizing when you look closely, Kostroma calls this‘Figurative-Numerical Painting’.

Just as we prepare to leave, Kostroma grants us a big surprise. He starts to show us some of his very early paintings, which he began completing from the age of thirteen at Lyceum. His first landscape was an impressionistic painting. When he was sixteen years old, he did a portrait of Lenin along to Rembrandt’s The Night Watch. A whole gallery of ‘old-masterly’ looking paintings followed, and finally Kostroma positioned them between his recent works. What a documentation of how fundamental training in early days can lead to mastery.

See the feathered canon and more of his work on www.alexeikostroma.de

Alexei Kostroma
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Alexei Kostroma shows his COLOR THEORY in sketches. Artist's theoretical manuscript book 1993-2001, 1249 pages

Alexei Kostroma shows his COLOR THEORY in sketches. Artist's theoretical manuscript book 1993-2001, 1249 pages

NANO 947, 2012, invisible nano color on eggshells on canvas, 150x150x8 cm

NANO 947, 2012, invisible nano color on eggshells on canvas, 150x150x8 cm

NANO 720, 2012 / invisible color on eggshells on canvas, 170x110x7cm /collection Museum of Organic Culture, Russia

NANO 720, 2012 / invisible color on eggshells on canvas, 170x110x7cm /collection Museum of Organic Culture, Russia

NANO 616, 2016 , invisible color on eggshells on canvas, 120x100x7 cm/ Private collection, Belgium

NANO 616, 2016 , invisible color on eggshells on canvas, 120x100x7 cm/ Private collection, Belgium

4 basic elements by Alexei Kostroma: 1. Eggshell 2. Feather 3. Yellow lemon pigment 4. Figures

4 basic elements by Alexei Kostroma: 1. Eggshell 2. Feather 3. Yellow lemon pigment 4. Figures

Alexei Kostroma presents new paintings from his project POWER OF THE POINT 1988-2018

Alexei Kostroma presents new paintings from his project POWER OF THE POINT 1988-2018

Alexei Kostroma BIG EYES. 2016 Oil, acrylic on canvas, 300x450x150 cm

Alexei Kostroma BIG EYES. 2016 Oil, acrylic on canvas, 300x450x150 cm

Alexei Kostroma at his studio in Berlin with the painting

Alexei Kostroma at his studio in Berlin with the painting "ANTICIPATION". 2011 Oil on canvas, 280x600 cm

Alexei Kostroma. ANTICIPATION. 2011/ Oil on canvas, 280x600cm / Fragment

Alexei Kostroma. ANTICIPATION. 2011/ Oil on canvas, 280x600cm / Fragment

View of solo show ANTICIPATION by Alexei Kostroma at Kuenstlerhaus Bethanien. 2014. Photo by Vladimir Sichov

View of solo show ANTICIPATION by Alexei Kostroma at Kuenstlerhaus Bethanien. 2014. Photo by Vladimir Sichov

Alexei Kostroma with his wife Ekaterina Kondranina during the opening of solo show ANTICIPATION at Kuenstlerhaus Bethanien, 2014. Photo by Vladimir Sichov.

Alexei Kostroma with his wife Ekaterina Kondranina during the opening of solo show ANTICIPATION at Kuenstlerhaus Bethanien, 2014. Photo by Vladimir Sichov.

Alexei Kostroma. MEMBRANE. 2015 / Oil, acrylic on canvas, 300x500cm

Alexei Kostroma. MEMBRANE. 2015 / Oil, acrylic on canvas, 300x500cm

View of the solo show TIME OF PIGGY at 401contemporary in Berlin, 2016

View of the solo show TIME OF PIGGY at 401contemporary in Berlin, 2016

TIME OF PIGGY solo show by Alexei Kostroma at 401contemporary in Berlin, 2016

TIME OF PIGGY solo show by Alexei Kostroma at 401contemporary in Berlin, 2016

TIME OF PIGGY solo show by Alexei Kostroma at 401contemporary in Berlin, 2016

TIME OF PIGGY solo show by Alexei Kostroma at 401contemporary in Berlin, 2016

SEVEN. MENTAL CREATION OF MATTER. 2017 / Oil, acrylic on canvas, 300x480 cm

SEVEN. MENTAL CREATION OF MATTER. 2017 / Oil, acrylic on canvas, 300x480 cm

UNO interactive installation by Alexei Kostroma at GARAGE Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, 2011. Photo by Anton Galetsky

UNO interactive installation by Alexei Kostroma at GARAGE Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, 2011. Photo by Anton Galetsky

SPEED OF FALLING by Alexei Kostroma at Multimedia Art Museum in Moscow, 2008. Multimedia installation: latex, water, video, sound, photos

SPEED OF FALLING by Alexei Kostroma at Multimedia Art Museum in Moscow, 2008. Multimedia installation: latex, water, video, sound, photos

ORGANIC WAY. PENGUIN SPIRAL by Alexei Kostroma at Ludwig Museum in State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, 1999 / Interactive installation: 700 sq.m, feathers, video, wall-painting

ORGANIC WAY. PENGUIN SPIRAL by Alexei Kostroma at Ludwig Museum in State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, 1999 / Interactive installation: 700 sq.m, feathers, video, wall-painting

FEATHERED AGGRESSION by Alexei Kostroma at The Bass Museum of Art,Miami, USA, 2008 / Mixed media interactive installation: 180x470x170 cm, Haubitze, white duck feathers

FEATHERED AGGRESSION by Alexei Kostroma at The Bass Museum of Art,Miami, USA, 2008 / Mixed media interactive installation: 180x470x170 cm, Haubitze, white duck feathers

UNO by Alexei Kostroma, 2011

UNO by Alexei Kostroma at GARAGE Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, 2011
Interactive installation, white plastic bags, 5m ball, ventilators, light

FEATHERED CHAOS by Alexei Kostroma, 2010

Installation FEATHERED CHAOS by Alexei Kostroma at Wilde Gallery in Berlin, 2010
White duck feathers, ventilators

What is it about your studio space that inspires you?

Concentration and loneliness.

What sounds, scents and sights do you encounter while in your studio?

I prefer to work with music and actual news reports.

What is your favourite material to work with? How has your use of it evolved throughout your practice?

White duck feathers.

What themes do you pursue?

Since 1991 I have been propagating my idea of ORGANIC WAY or ORGANIC IDEOLOGY.

What advice has had the biggest impact on your career?

Do what you want. Go your way.

If you could install your art absolutely anywhere, where would that be?

In hi-tech architectural building.

If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?

Eggshell object like NANO-947, 2012.

If you weren´t an artist, what would you be doing?

I would be been an outstanding military leader.

What are your favourite places besides your studio?

Liepnitzsee with my Muse only.


EDUCATION (detailed)

1989 Imperial Academy of Arts (The Repine Institute of Arts), Painting Department under Prof. Evsej Moiseenko, Saint Petersburg, Russia

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

ORGANIC WAY by Alexei Kostroma In the early 1990s Alexei Kostroma proclaims a new trend in contemporary art – ORGANIC WAY, which can be traced to some highly original works of early-twentieth-century Russian Avant-Garde. It was this “Organic Way”, connected with the study of the laws of development of animate nature, that allowed Kostroma to form his personal approach and his concept of the relationship between aesthetic theory and creative practice in contemporary art. His oeuvre is always rooted in research regarding the process of interaction between nature and man, and he strives to integrate the resulting knowledge into the social environment. The artist always follows several directions of the development of his subject, speaking about internal problems of human existence through the laws of the functioning of nature and perceiving the world as a single entity. “ORGANIC WAY is the way of knowledge of the unity of meanings” - Alexei Kostroma.


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