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VitaliV (or Vitali V, real name Vitali Vinogradov) is a contemporary British artist, sharing his time between the UK and Italy studios. VitaliV's unusual practice involves creating interpretations of famous icons as well as cityscapes and more abstract works inspired by the pattern and line found in microchips. He initially referred to his artistic style based on microchips  computer design as “digital art” but the term seemed too generic, and the artist soon decided in favour of “schematism” (like “vorticism” or “suprematism”) -- the term he invented himself to represent his signature style. Some of his works have been laser-cut in relief and then hand-painted as 3D objects.
Vitali was born in Odessa (in Ukraine, U.S.S.R.) in 1957. He studied engineering and classical painting. VitaliV received his first degree (engineering) from the Odessa Maritime College. Thereafter, he was deployed to different locations in the Russian Arctic and Siberia for 6 years.
In 1979 Vitali moved to St. Petersburg (then Leningrad) and in 1983 he enrolled at the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts, first, as a part-time and subsequently, as a full-time student in the sculpture department.
In 1989 he won a scholarship at the Norwich University College of the Arts in the UK as an exchange student. In 1989 he lived in the legendary St. Petersburg underground art squat Мансарды "Аптека Пеля". From 1991 onwards Vitali has resided in London. He currently commutes between his London and Italian studios. In his earlier years in the UK he supported himself by organising a photocopiers retail business with Russia. He later founded the TV3 [circular reference] network.
In 1993 Vitali established an Art Community which became known as "Bank", as it was based in the former Barclays Bank building in Hoxton. It was a pioneering multimedia arts centre where he held series of OMSK short film festivals, organised conceptual art exhibitions, sculpture shows (including monumental sculptures), video installations and displayed works produced in new, digital, media formats.
Art and Artistic Practice
Vitali moved to the UK in 1989. On completing his degree at the Norwich University College of the Arts and after a number of successful painting and sculpture shows, he led a community of artists and film connoisseurs in Hoxton and other parts of London. While living in London and studying contemporary art, VitaliV also found and developed his signature style, known as "schematism". The essence of his style are simple geometrical patterns—circles and lines connected at 45° angles. According to the artist, "in the mid-1990s I was living and working in London. These were the years before the Internet took over. I was thinking about how exciting it would be to create a cyberspace museum, both as an artist and as a businessman. If I didn’t do it, someone else might, and then I would miss this chance of a lifetime!" While still thinking on it, I opened up a computer and became suddenly fascinated with its motherboard. I immediately loved the look of it: it was complicated and fantastical with a green or red base and lots of golden lines. It was a piece of art in its own right; I like the aesthetics and the logic, so I thought about starting to make art based on this". In 1993 VitaliV established his Cyberspace museum on BBS, Bank, Hoxton, in London. Since 2007 Vitali has been sharing his time between his UK and Italian studios. He confesses: "I have always dreamt of living as artist in Italy. Italy gives a lot to an artist: culture, history, nature. I can’t think of another country that would give me so much". In 2008 VitaliV ran a joint project Digital Butterfly with artist Pino Signoretto in Murano, Venice.
Eventually, Vitali ventured into design and decorative arts, applying the principles of "schematism" in various fields and experimenting with tableware, porcelain, designer fashion clothes, accessories and furniture, as well as jewellery. Among his recent projects is the Jewellery collection for ZBird (China). He also released his fashion collections and launched them during French Fashion week in 2008 (Zone, the Louvre, Paris, France) and London Fashion Week in 2009. According to ArtRabbit, "his practice is both eccentric and technologically innovative, consisting of a range of lightboxes, CNC laser-cut reliefs, aluminium and acrylic resins and a 3D film".
Vitali is founder of the new visual artistic style he refers to as schematism. He became inspired by the printed circuit board (PCB) and sought to promote his newly discovered aesthetic around this theme, gradually enriching it with abstractions and appropriations from nature, or different familiar styles. This method is similar to the electronic Via, which has vertical electrical connections between different layers of conductors.
As for the elements, constituting the artist's new style and artistic practice, VitaliV, explains it in the following way: “the key element of my style is based on the motherboard of a computer: I develop a circle, a line and an angle of 45°-- the three elements which make up the motherboard. I can apply this principle to textiles, ceramics and paintings. I can join the three elements in endless combinations, with the possibility to create an innumerable amount of patterns”. In other words, he moves from art as matrix to art as motherboard. Even after the fascination with the motherboard as the only source and inspiration of his art had gone, VitaliV wad still enthralled by its various technical components: circles, lines, 45° angle. To him, they represented the Ding an Sich principle. And even if their meaning was lost on the uninitiated, they could still be perceived as beautiful aesthetic objects with endless visual possibilities potential: they can inspire all kinds of forms, connections, colours and associations.
Philosophically, Vitali's ideas resemble anti-representational approaches to the theory of meaning. His maintains the view that images are not objects or concepts, but are immanent and present without mediation. The image is art made up of forms, colours and signs. It works by not being analysed, and is essentially non-conceptual and self-sufficient. The image refers to the present, to the situation of the viewer hic et nunc, and the viewers invest their own meanings into the artwork. Here VitaliV comes close to contemporary ideas on the phenomenology of presence.
Today, we live in a rather complex age, when people are overwhelmed and over-exposed to various types of “overs”, including information overload and excess of various stimuli. Hence, our age, is yearning for simplicity and simplification. We are aching to get down to the point, remove all excessive detail, reduce the amounts of data and move over to the next goal. Or simply to switch off. One needs to get to the basics in order to survive. From this point of view, schematism is the art for this age: it leaves only the gist, the skeletal structure of the phenomenon – just exactly like we do in our everyday life.
We live surrounded by schemes: circuit, electrical, electronic etc. Schemes are abstract, pragmatic and precise. Their underlying principle is logic. Schematic drawings, and schemes or diagrams as a method of self-expression has existed for a long time. The first cave paintings can, perhaps, be easily referred to as schemes rather than drawings. Like any diagrams, they generalise and reduce. Precisely at this point, when the image is stripped of all excessive detail and presented to the viewer as a purely functional mechanism, it may also reveal its mystical potential and certain universal structural principles.
Schematism is a frame, a structure underlying any artwork. Being an independent style, schematism is the art of combining shapes, colours and signs / symbols.
Previously, this type of art was in demand but now the world is replete with symbols and signs that have turned into independent entities, like road signs or computer icons. Visual symbols have acquired a major importance and significance of their own, joining into networks and forming spatial volumes.
When compared to a painting, the scheme is devoid of the richness of colours inherent in painting, or of the airy lightness of a watercolour. On the surface of it, schematism operates a limited set of signs, formulae, lines, shapes and forms. However, this is not the case. There are no limits and restrictions to this kind of art: one should only exclude logic when operating signs and forms, or abandon formal methods while providing information. In our case, it is imperative to place aesthetics above everything.
The line, point and word should be our guiding principles, and, gradually, the painting will emerge out of their combination. A formula or a table devoid of meaning, takes on a different meaning. In the same manner, artists use old newspapers in their work to make paintings or collages. As a combination of colours and pigments transforms into an imprimatura foundation for a painting, in exactly the same manner, signs and symbols form the layers of an artwork's compositional background.
Discipline is a contrast between what one wants and doesn't want. The straight line is a discipline. On its own, it is a pure diagram, which nobody is interested in. But when one add the element of ‘non-discipline’ to that straight line, one ends up with ‘free art’. One needs rules, and also needs to break them in order to make art.
The nature that we find admirable, is functional, however, its depictions pursue only an aesthetic goal. The scheme is always functional, pragmatic and logical, however its artistic interpretation, divested of function and rationale, is much closer to art.
Select Exhibitions, Shows and Projects include:
- 2019. Art Show in Old Brompton Gallery.
- 2018 "Digital Porcelain Collections". Old Brompton Gallery.
- 2014-2015 Jewellery collections for ZBird (China)
- 2013 The Dinner is served", The State Russian Museum,[circular reference] Saint-Petersburg.
- 2011 The Fourth Moscow Biennale of contemporary art,[circular reference] Fabrica, Moscow.
- 2011 VideoAkt, International Biennale, Barcelona.
- 2011 Infame, Forman's Smokehouse gallery, London.
- 2010 Digital life, Salon Gallery, London.
- 2009 Moda, Picture, Style, State Russian Museum,[circular reference] Saint-Petersburg.
- 2008 Digital Butterfly by Pino Signoretto, project. Murano, Venice.
- 2007 Digital metamorphosis, Summer Gardens, State Russian Museum,[circular reference] Saint-Petersburg.
- 2006 Digital art, Sands,[circular reference] Las-Vegas.
- 2000 Cook-art, Islington Design Centre, London.
- 1999 S.Rossine & VitalyV, New Burlington gallery, London.
- 1999 Three tons of food, Bank, London.
- 1999 Temporary radio, Radio Suisse, Geneva.
- 1996 Africa, Kostroma, VitalyV, SEM,[circular reference] Saint-Petersburg.
- 1995 Three artists, Albemarle Gallery, London.
- 1995 Fragments, Merts Contemporary Gallery, London.
- 1994 A4 gallery, Flash art magazine,[circular reference] London.
- 1994 Real size of Fuji, Flash art magazine,[circular reference] London.
- "Art Market News". Telegraph.co.uk. 19 October 2009.
- "Digital Life - A solo exhibition from VitaliV", SalonContemporary.com, 2009, webpage: "Digital Life", solo exhibition of Vitali Vinogradov.
- TV-3 (Russia)
- "Items and Icons: tables". The Independent.
- Russian Museum
- Moscow Biennale
- "videoakt - international videoart biennal - Homesession CA". 14 April 2011. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
- "FORMAN'S SMOKEHOUSE GALLERY". FORMAN'S SMOKEHOUSE GALLERY. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
- "Museum Publications - Corning Museum of Glass". www.cmog.org. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
- Sands Expo
- Russian Museum of Ethnography
- Flash Art
- Budd, M., & Crowther, P. (2008). Aesthetic essence, The aesthetic: from experience to art. In R. Shusterman, & A. Tomlin (Eds.), Aesthetic Experience (pp. 17–45). New York: Routledge.
- Leonida, G. (1981). Handbook of Printed Circuit Design, Manufacture, Components & Assembly. Essex: Electrochemical Publications Ltd.
- Negroponte, N. (1995). Being Digital. New York: Knopf.
- Azizov, Z., Vitali V: Interfaces or the art of re-coding, Aldgate Press Ltd, 2008 ISBN 978-0-85622-007-4.
- I. Karasik. Vitaly Vinogradov, NOMI 4,4/63/2008 Saint Petersburg. ISSN 1560-8697.
- T. Suvorova. Brave new world, Hermitage, summer 2008.
- T. Shvetskaya, Numeric Harmony, Hermitage, summer 2008.
- A. Halfin, 7th-line, Iskusstvo Rossia, 2000 ISBN 5-900786-31-5.
- "Real size of Fuji", Flash art international, 1994.
- "VitaliV Chips", Artselector.com.
- Article 19427, fashionandrunway.com.
- "VitaliV Digital Life", Artrabbit.com.
- "BlazBlue Art - VitaliV", Guardian.co.uk.
- "Chips by Vitali V", Artreview.com.
- "Chips by Vitali V", saatchi-gallery.co.uk.
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