Cleaver Magazine interview

Russian American Cultural Center of New York
Dec 29, 2013 9:01PM

Cleaver Magazine interviews Dmitry Borshch (an excerpt):

What made you decide on ink as a medium?  What draws you towards this medium?

Precision of the ink line.  I love precise lines and was able to show that even in my first independent works.  They were abstract, probably influenced by Russian Constructivism, De Stijl, and Soviet Nonconformists, many of whom were abstractionists.  I saw their work at various apartment exhibitions in Dnepropetrovsk and Moscow that I participated in.

The compelling mood of the images, a certain wintry bleakness, is evocative of Soviet Russia. What role, if any, does your national background play in your work?

Dnepropetrovsk was certainly bleak, Soviet Moscow even bleaker and wintrier.  My background plays every role in these pictures.  Although I call myself an American or Russian-American artist, they are neither Russian nor American.  If one calls them Soviet Nonconformist pictures, I would accept the label.  USSR is no more but my art still lives there, 'nonconforming' to the state's cultural dictates and proscriptions.

Can you tell us a little about the meaning of the text in Wildbirds?

The text in Wildbirds Among Branches is Matthew 6:26, 'Behold the fowls of the air, for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?' or 'See how the birds of the air never sow, or reap, or gather grain into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them; have you not an excellence beyond theirs?'  From King James and Knox Bibles respectively.  When this drawing was made, for about one year, I considered it my style to attach written statements to drawings.  Now I avoid this but may return to the practice, having always loved calligraphy.

Russian American Cultural Center of New York