While Anton Zolotov’s work hung on the walls of London’s Inigo Philbrick Gallery in a group exhibition alongside Sterling Ruby, Richard Prince, Wade Guyton, Kelley Walker, and Amalia Pica, we got a sneak peek of a set of new works gracing the walls of his studio in the 1717 Troutman Street building in Queens. The Russian-born, New York-based artist first came on the international art scene in his 2010 group show organized by London gallerist Hannah Barry, which received a handful of prominent reviews, calling out Zolotov by name; and in 2013, his mixed-media “Neo Povera” paintings (the contemporary legacy of the Arte Povera movement) at L&M Arts captured the attention of critics from L.A. to London. Inside his studio, we discovered paint-splattered floors and walls decked with works—like Loot, a painted keyboard scavenged from the building’s bountiful loading docks. Zolotov spoke of influences, like mentors Banks Violette and Joe Bradley, and his process, which involves collecting and contemplating found objects and trash, evidenced by the perfectly cluttered repository on his shelves. Kind enough to meet us on a winter morning (he keeps late hours and runs a tattoo studio by day), Zolotov opened up about the poor artist and his affection for inexpensive materials, as he traced the trajectory of his painting from found items and trash to coveted high art.
Photographs by Alex John Beck