Bird Catcher lives in Paris

“Bird Catcher” was made for an exhibition “The Saint Petersburg jeweller” at the end of 2000 year. At the same time, Yaroslav Ksenofontov showed his “Violinist”. It was the time when everyone was just learning and feeling happy about any technological luck. Polychrome artworks were appearing, but all of them were reiteration of Faberge works.

I was not an exception and made some little artworks a-la Faberge by which I had been working through technology. Among noteworthy artworks of the time are “Provincial actor” and “Gypsy”. I didn’t have got a goal for myself to create a piece of art in polychrome, because of specificity and peculiarity of the genre. At that time, I had thoughts about making commercial technological things in polychrome with minimum numbers of linkages. I was thinking about that challenge and understood that I could solve the problem if I made placed the emphasis on character, not the figure details.

It’s difficult to say why exactly that character was born. It was the end of Perestroika, the time of nostalgia about past and there were talks about how wonderful that it was before 1917 year. Furthermore, I was attracted to the epoch Decadence epoch for a long time. Those feelings and thoughts transformed have into the character of a teenage boy from plasticine. Sergey Shimansky, who had dropped in at my workshop, casted eye on that model at once and said: “That should do!”

Due to the fact that the model was completely unsettled to commercial parameters the question “to do or not to do” was very relevant.

But I really wanted to make this thing without any time references. This boy could be a part of Bruegel epoch or could migrate to 2050 year. He is beyond poverty or wealth circumstances. He wears a relative coat and an odd hat. The main thing about that character is the touching feeling of revery and hopefulness at the same time, the feeling of goodbye with the end of childhood and of future expectations. Then, it turns into literature, when anyone can find something for himself in this work.

Nowadays, seven years after, “Birde Catcher” turned out to be beyond the time line. For me and everyone working in this genre it became a significant artwork because it has changed relation to polychrome material. I have made “The Birder” and understood that you may create characters even in such a decorative and easy on the eye genre like polychrome. I hadn’t stumbled with technic fit while I was doing that artwork but that hasn’t got any goof. At that, I didn’t follow the model, and Shimansky reproached me with that, saying “You should have made it after the model, then, the character would have been different”. He said to me: “You should model it than the character would was different”. But just repeating the model in stone would have resulted in a different, colder character, and here I needed some kind of fuzziness. Luckily, I made the face from Belorechensk quartzite and not from jasper: the face turned out to be tender and shiny. As far as Belorechensk quartzite was speckled, the teenage boy has freckles and a scrape on his nose. I have understood for myself that such thing, I mean the author’s thing with a mood, can be made by an artist himself. However many times other people tried to copy the birder, no one could make a good copy.

That artwork was made just in a month and took the first prize at “The Saint Petersburg jeweller” in the nomination “Virtuosos in plastic” and then was sold in a month with agent’s help. The boy is said to be living in Paris now.

Magazine “Sizif” #1/2007

Author Olga Rogozina

Translator Vera Badalyan