Artist in Focus: Mark Yashaev

May 22, 2020

The world is at a standstill and social distancing is part of a new norm, but studio life goes on! Braverman Gallery reached out to Mark Yashaev who joined us for a short conversation that offers a glimpse into the artist’s studio, work and thought process, and life under lock down.

WHEN DID YOU FIRST REALIZE YOU WANTED TO BECOME AND ARTIST?
I think there wasn’t a specific moment that I realized that I want to become an artist. As a family, we were not close to art in any way, in fact I was studied mechanical engineering. I just felt over the years that this is the best way for me to express my inner self.

WHAT ARE YOU MOST FASCINATED BY THESE DAYS?
My biggest fascination is what kind of lesson will the people learn from this crisis, and how they will live from this point on, considering that we are facing the biggest economic crisis of modern times.

WHAT ARTISTS OR ARTWORKS ARE YOU MOST INFLUENCED BY?
Gordon Matta-Clark , Andrea Zittel. I love how their practice is part of life and their life is part of their practice.

WHAT ARE YOU READING RIGHT NOW?
Georges Didi-Huberman’s Survival of the Fireflies. It offers a humble yet powerful image of individual hope and desire: the firefly-image. Through his readings of Dante, Pasolini, Walter Benjamin, and others, Didi-Huberman seeks to understand this strange, minor light, the signals of small beings in search of love and friendship.

DO YOU HAVE A STUDIO ROUTINE? WHAT IS IT LIKE?
I really try to be in the studio four to five time a week. I always take my dog for a walk before going to the studio. Being in the studio doesn’t mean I make “art”. I try not to use this word in my studio too much. For me, to sit and read a book is also moving forward in my practice.
CHOOSE AN IMPORTANT OBJECT IN YOUR STUDIO. WHY IS IT MORE SIGNIFICANT THAN OTHERS?
The most significant object in my studio would be my JBL speakers. I find music to be the most important and most inspiring thing.

WHICH CITY WOULD YOU SAY HAS IMPACTED YOUR ARTISTIC PRACTICE, AND HOW?
My birth city, Baku, Azerbaijan, for its mixed Islamic and Post-Soviet architecture.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST MISTAKE YOU MADE IN YOUR LIFE?
No time for mistakes, we move forward.

DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL LUNCH.
An ideal lunch must be with an ideal partner.

ANY ONLINE RECOMMENDATIONS?
Sergei Eisenstein’s film Battleship Potemkin is more relevant today than ever before.

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