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Born in Russia in 1946, he graduated from the faculty of Fine Arts Odessa pedagogical university in Ukraine in 1970. Alexander Kastulin started working with clay in 1978. Since then, his works have been demonstrated at numerous international exhibitions and were awarded many times. Currently his works can be found in collections at the Odessa art museum, Ukraine and in private collections in Hungary, Bulgaria, Finland, Israel, U.S.A., and Japan. Since 1998 Alexander has been living and working in Toronto, Canada.
Alexander Kastulin creative search is aimed at perceiving the innermost possibilities of the language of ceramics. His artistic activity ranges from closeness to rational design to purely intuitive works, based on the subconsciousness. He’s attracted by various genres, including monumental and decorative panels and easel paintings. The manner of rending, the mood of his works shifts from lyricism to the seriousness reaching dramatic effect. Alexander Kastulin rejects the borders between different kinds of art, between painting, sculpture and drawing but he never forgets the specific character of ceramic art. While a sculpture’s work is born as if from within the mass of a heavy stone, the method of a ceramist is based on the understanding of the expressive possibilities of the surface. And it is the surface that the attention of the ceramist is concentrated on, this is where the “genetic” memory about it’s origin either from the clay rolled “layer”, or from the plate or the vessel (jug) is captured.
The artist is far from being a mechanic imitator of the nature’s forms. He creates a symbol being eager to embody his feelings with the help of a shape. A mood is created with the help of ceramic means: movement of a mass and combination of it’s parts in space, shades of paints, diversity of texture. “Ceramic must carry its specific information that cannot be obtained in a different way. The more information is in a work of art the less it fulfils its main task of expanding man’s knowledge.”
Alexander Kastulin works originate from the desire to express his feelings apropos of constantly changing people’s relations. They are born as if despite the will of the author, reflecting the creative demand to express his hidden deep emotions concerning people’s iterations. This work born from an artist’s subconsciousness more influences heart than thoughts of a spectator. The parts of the works are associated with sharp cutting and stabbing. Alexander Kastulin art tells us about the bright work of the artist’s associative thinking which helps him to find the exact shape of his feelings, thanks to mastering the complicated ceramics technique.
“Abstract things express what we merely do not see”, says the artist. “Such compositions born from subconsciousness demand great confidence, intuition and cutting of the conscious level. This method is difficult because you constantly have to control yourself in order not to let common sense into the process. When you work you don’t think about what you do. The hand itself knows what to cut from the clay mass. You only need to get the conscious level at the end of the work” admits the artist. “A work is born like a child. All the time you have to feel the tectonics of your creation. It can fall, sink, it can be wounded”.
When it comes to the colour in the work, Alexander Kastulin strong belief is that it is born in co-operation with fire. “I cannot make colours at will as a painter does, I only set a program. Fire is God. It is He who decides if there will be a work or not. Work with fire is close to magic. It demands great emotional and physical contribution. Only then will the work reflect the tension of your soul’s emotions.”
Alexander Kastulin works have some peculiar energetic fields. Through the complicated process the artist expresses his sensation of life with its troubles, beauty and uniqueness. This is the main reason why mass production ceramics will never replace the artist’s original art.
More info at: zoominfo-Alexander Kastulin
akart, 1820 Midland Ave, Scarborough, ON M1P 3C2, Alex 416 536 6421