Interesni Kazki (IK) is Aleksei Bordusov and Vladimir Manzhos, a duo from the Ukraine who also go by their respective aliases AEC and WAONE. They began working together in 1999. They were the precursors of the graffiti movement in the East European countries and since then, these guys have created many murals in the Ukraine and Russia and in countries all over the world, in their distinctive narrative and symbolist style.
Aleksei and Vladimir are inspired by themes such as science, religion, cosmology and social subjects, though they usually make work with free meanings that everyone can interpret on their own.
Despite his very busy schedule, Vladimir was able to answer a few questions I had for him.
Tell us a little bit about yourself: What got you interested in art? Have you taken any art classes?
I don’t know what got me interested in art, i was too young to remember. My father was an art lover and a kind of a collector, he saw in me an interest in art and sent me to take some art classes, right when I was 7-8 years old. But I found out that the classes were too simple and boring.
I took my next art classes 10 years later, by then I had already been painting graffiti. These classes were really useful.
Could you tell us how did you meet AEC and when Interesni Kazki was born?
I met Alexei (AEC) in some weird place called ‘Kiev Graffiti Club’ in 1999. Interesni Kazki as a name of our duo, was born in 2005.
AEC and I have worked together way before until we finally we’ve invented our style, so Interesni Kazki (Interesning Fairy Tales in Ukrainian) was a definition of what we do, also it was another meaning for IK (Ingenious Kids) our big graffiti gang with our friends at that time.
What is your preferred medium and why?
I prefer acrylic paints. It’s good for painting mural and canvas, it gives unlimited possibilities in painting, you just need to know how it works.
If you had to sum up what your art means, what would it say?
It’s not about what art says, it’s more about what the viewer can see. Everybody sees only what they want to see.
Do you have a favorite artist? If yes, what draws you to that person’s work?
I have many many favorite artists, each of them has its own unique world.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
I was so lucky to meet and listen one mystic man. One of the best advise he gave me was: “the best advice is your intuition, use it”. You just need to know how does it work. It is really the best advice in all cases.
Can you remember one of the first things you painted? What makes it memorable?
It was some amateur landscape painting, my first try to work with oil and the first time I felt as an artist.
Where do you gather most of the inspiration for your works?
We travel a lot and we see many countries with different cultures and nature – it inspires us a lot!
But… anyway, the creating process comes form the inside rather than the outside, it’s like a meditation or a dream, especially when something from Above is guiding the process, and the real reason of inspiration is outside this world and it cannot be defined and described with temporal concepts…
I have noticed that you and AEC are painting separately. Has it been always like that or this is something that happened in recent years? Why?
Yes, we paint together and separately all the time, not only recent years. In the last few years we did more separate murals because we have become more well-known so in most cases we get a wall for each of us.
What are you trying to express through your art?
I try to achieve perfection through my art. I believe that art is one of the ways to perfection. Also I believe that the mission of art is to bring down higher divine values to the level of every person.
Do you have any unique talents or hobbies?
Unfortunately I have no time to develop other talents or hobbies.
Whats next for you? What shows or projects do you have planned?
We have some mural projects for this year and a solo show.
Any words of advice for aspiring new artists?
All dreams comes true! Dream about great things and work hard for your dream.
Thank you Vladimir. We wish you the best of your future endeavors. Please keep us posted.