We might know Monaco-based artist Vasily Klyukin for his futuristic architecture, his virtual sculptures—just check out this floating Chanel dress he did years ago—and for his round sculptures that he recently showed at the amfAR Cannes gala, where he posed in front of one his artworks alongside style icon, Sharon Stone.
Klyukin started out in architecture, then moved into fashion-inspired art, and now, makes purely abstract artworks. He enters what he calls his own “mind space,” how he imagines a space, before he fills it with artworks. It’s the focus for his latest exhibit on at the Osthaus Museum Hagen, where he is showcasing over 100 artworks that deal with outer space, design, and time for Mind Space, which runs until January 29, 2023.
CAP D’ANTIBES, FRANCE – JULY 16: Sharon Stone and Vasily Klyukin attend the amfAR Cannes Gala 2021 … [+]
While he previously has been known for his rounded wall works, now Klyukin is going all out with alien-like structures we might find on Mars. It has a very goth-like feeling, like the clothing of Rick Owens or the art of H.R. Geiger.
The artist, who was born in Moscow and has exhibitions upcoming in Italy, Austria, Monaco, and a public art project upcoming in Israel, speaks about art, design, and outer space.
Vasily Klyukin with his Mind Space exhibition at the Osthaus Museum Hagen
Forbes: What makes your Mind Space exhibition special, in your eyes?
Vasily Klyukin: It’s not an exhibition of art objects, it’s an exhibition of spaces. All four of the eight halls are huge, sprawling spaces, so I wanted the viewer to leave inspired and full of thoughts. For this, I tried to get a strong emotional response. I created 40 objects, three are very tall. I hope viewers can’t believe their eyes when they see these pieces and realize anything is possible in this world—that they are capable of much more than they think.
Vasily Klyukin with his artwork Mind Space in Malaga, Spain (the artwork is currently on view … [+]
Can you tell us about your circular public art sculpture, 413?
It’s 20 abstract artworks, and the name “413” refers to Pi, 3.14, also known as the infinite decimal in mathematics. But I didn’t want to talk about it directly, taking away people’s right to fantasize for themselves about what the meaning of this piece. Even though it’s painted gold, the color doesn’t matter, what matters is the looking glass that the polished brass creates. A thousand angles multiplied by a thousand versions of reflections creating millions of images.
Is futuristic architecture an influence on your artwork?
I started out in architecture, and realized that I loved creating forms, while retaining my love of design and the vast array of different materials—I realized I could use dozens of different techniques, from drawing and 3D modeling, to cutting and welding metal. Of course, I’m a futurist, having read hundreds of science fiction books, I love the future, want to live in it and fantasize about what it could look like. This is what makes me an environmentalist.
“Civilization. The island of the day before” by Vasily Klyukin at Kunstforum Vienna 2021
What are some of your design influences, from architecture to designers? Composition of 30′ looks like a pattern.
It’s an interesting story. It occurred to me to put together 30 works when I first saw Elon Musk’s Starlink satellites. In the night sky, the satellites suddenly lined up bright as the North Star. When I saw them, I stood stunned. I didn’t look at them as Starlink satellites, but as “the very future has arrived.” In my Hagen exhibition, I lined up my work. I want to ask Elon Musk if he could give one of the satellites to bear my name, and pay him in art. I like the idea of flying into outer space, and my show in Hagen hopes to evoke this idea for visitors. They might look at the artwork and say: “this artist is obviously not from this planet.” That’s why it ends with a spaceship, X-ray pictures of non-humanoid skulls and a text in an unknown language. And the main hall is called “Cosmos.”
Do you still have ambitions to go to outer space?
I still have my ticket with Virgin Galactic. Or maybe Musk will accept my offer.
Vasily Klyukin inside his Mind Space exhibition at Osthaus Museum Hagen in Germany