We have talked with Russian digital art specialist Maria Platonova and published an interview with her. Maria told us about the popularization of art, her great-grandfather painter Boris Zotov, ecology, her projects for young artists and how art helps us to solve actual problems. If you want to distract from disturbing news, at the end you will find a list of interesting events and exhibitions.
– Maria, how did you get into art?
– My passion for art started a long time ago. In 2010, I inherited an enormous collection of paintings from my great-grandfather Boris Zotov. I looked at them with delight and really liked them, but I didn’t know what to do with them. I was still a young girl so I decided to store them carefully for many years. Finally, In 2018 I organized an exhibition of my great-grandfather’s works. His most popular works, such as copies of Kramskoy’s “Stranger” and Levitan’s “Thaw” received wild success and great reviews. Being a follower of Levitan and Aivazovsky, Zotov believed that unity with nature helps him reveal his feelings and thoughts. To this day it is a constant exhibition and I hope that it will benefit many people by allowing them to think about the beauty and power of nature that surrounds us.
I am an exhibition specialist in the State Public Library for Science and Technology. When launching this project, we not only made an essential contribution to culture but also set a new trend in the development of the library space. An important component of the art exhibition is that viewers can get acquainted with the work of unknown or forgotten artists, which is often rarely seen within libraries. Therefore the library performs another very significant function for education and popularization of art.
I also speak at conferences where I often touch on the topic of digitization which is essential for all spheres of our life today. I see that art is changing, and becoming more and more digitalized. Technological progress has not bypassed libraries, affecting their inner functions, including culture. So, for example, an art space has appeared in the State Public Scientific and Technical Library, where art exhibitions are held. Separately, it is worth noting that visitors can see the original paintings. At the moment, the library exhibits the works by Boris Zotov, whose paintings were exhibited here more than once during his lifetime.
– What are the most significant projects you are working on now?
– Now I am leading several large-scale projects such as exhibition activities, self-education and my big creative project.
I have been preparing for the Met Gala for the last few months. Met Gala – is an annual fundraising event held for the benefit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in New York City.I have been eager to get there for a long time. As you may know, the preparation for the Met Gala is a long process. First, the team registered guests, and then each member searches for a designer, only after that the work begins. Long hours of sketches, long hours of fitting, long hours of confirmation and a lot of rehearsals.
It is an honor for a designer to sew a dress for a guest of the Met Gala because they are instantly recognized by the global media. While the event is going on and even after it finishes, all the information and the photo reports are spread all over the world. The Met Gala is famed as the year’s most prestigious, discussable luxurious event. It is a fierce battle for the best dress, best make-up, hair styles, jewelry brands. Even the best jewelry houses struggle to shine on this red carpet. I am ecstatic that my team is already negotiating with designers and developing an individual suit for the red carpet.
As you may know, Anna Wintur confirms each invited guest personally. She has been the chief editor of Vogue America since 1988 and is the brightest and most powerful person in the world of fashion. I am delighted that I am going to meet her at the upcoming event in 2023. For me it’s a great experience to see how similar events work abroad and to make useful contacts.
In the future I am planning to open my international digital art gallery where I will support young artists and help them develop their craft. I see myself as a scout for new talent in the digital and contemporary art sphere. In the near future we will organize an international competition among young artists on a special website. The winner will have the opportunity to collaborate on a joint article with me in the magazine. They will also be given the opportunity to participate in a charity auction “Digital Live of new Talents” (it will be a new project) where the winner will be able to contribute their painting into the auction lot. Now we are working on this project.
As of now I am immersing myself back into my studies again. I am currently pursuing an MBA degree from Westford School of Management. Starting on October 4th, I will be studying MBA at Cambridge Hult International Business School on a campus in Dubai which I am very proud of. After completing the entire curriculum, I will have the opportunity to intern in Boston. Achieving this MBA will raise the level of my professional skills and give me great opportunities. As well as provide me with great connections for my future life and ultimately help me build a successful art business. I visit a lot of exhibitions and read a lot of professional literature and write columns about it as a journalist. They are about digital art, modern Russian artists, art market and connection between art and economics.
– What else interests you besides art?
– In recent years, I have been concerned and interested in the World ecology questions. Several years ago I visited India, specifically the city of Gondo which unfortunately is considered the dirtiest city in India. During my time there I spent several days picking up plastic rubbish. I walked over 50 km, and on my way, I found a lot of plastic bottles, toothbrushes, plastic bags, cans, and broken glass. My inner thoughts and emotions told me that this would be one of the hardest journeys of my life. As I collected the rubbish I felt that it was my main mission but my heart wept. “Human waste is poisoning the life of this city” – I thought to myself, walking around this city. Man-made problems such as the “Plastic Soup” in the oceans and rivers are disastrous. Who, if not we, will clean up our Planet? Why are we destroying it? Our planet is alive, and we must treat it like a live creature, take care of it and protect it Otherwise, it will perish. If people treat the planet with care, clean it and collect rubbish, the planet will be gracious and benevolent to us, there will be no cataclysms such as tornadoes, floodings, or tsunamis. Most people maintain a high level of hygiene in their homes, so why are they unable to treat our planet in the same vein? Everyone must make a conscious effort to contribute to saving our planet. Go green, save nature, love your planet and it will be reciprocal.
In India, there are a lot of waste recycling plants as there is a high demand for them in dirty cities. They are able to recycle items such as cans, meaning 99% of new cans are from recycled materials. Last year I visited the Waste Recycling Plant in Delhi where I saw how garbage is recycled into energy and also into new construction materials. It takes about 180-200 years for plastic bottles to decompose and 100-200 years for plastic bags. Recycling includes several stages: collecting; sorting out, pressure, recycling (grinding), and production of a new product. Many dirty cities in India need to be cleared of kilometers of landfills filled with waste. However, dumping and landfilling is still the most common way of waste disposal which encroaches on the land, smells and produces a large amount of harmful pollution, such as bacteria, virus, methane, ammonia and sulfides. Besides, the leachate produced by landfills is polluting the groundwater in the long run. Landfills are harmful to us and later generations. We should transform waste into useful products in a circular way. This is an important issue of considerable global concern that needs to be addressed promptly. Handling waste in a scientific and environmentally-friendly way can not only improve the ecological environment but will provide greater economic benefits. Nowadays, waste pollution becomes increasingly severe, classification and recycling of waste have become an inevitable trend for the development of the world. Pollution can be effectively controlled from source to end by collecting and classifying waste from the beginning and treating it based on categories. We need to take care of every bottle, every battery and every piece of discarded paper from our shared home and our only Earth. Everybody should be obliged to protect the environment and reduce pollution. I hope that we can create a more beautiful, green and harmonious future to make the sky clearer, the water cleaner and people’s lives better.
I like that modern art is pretty about ecology. It should especially address the issues facing our reality. I hope that art will help convey to people the scale of the problem. I want in my gallery there will be a special room with works dedicated to our planet.
– As we heard, you are not only smart but also a beautiful lady who even won first place in beauty contests. Tell us about it.
– This was quite some time ago, but in 2012 I was invited to take part in a beauty contest, although I was not so keen to do so. I did not see this as my path and I didn’t believe I was beautiful enough to participate in beauty contests. Eventually, the organizers managed to convince me to participate. To my surprise, I received 1st place in “Miss Yaroslavl”.
That’s how it all started. After this contest,I signed a contract which meant I had to take part in all of the Russian beauty contests in 2012. A year later, in 2013 I was invited to participate again and I agreed, taking the nomination for “The Best Body of Russia – 2013”.
I was not satisfied because I wanted to win 1st place but unfortunately, I was not successful, so I came back in 2016 and did it again. The Internet was full of articles about my victory: Platonova Maria Miss Moscow – 2016. I had no doubt that victory would be mine. Everyone enthusiastically gave me compliments and congratulations. That was a very exciting event where I made a lot of new friends. That was a great life experience for me that I will not forget in a hurry. I would like to thank the organizers of the Miss Moscow Beauty contest for the opportunity to show my talents. After that, I was invited to represent Russia at the “Miss Asia Pacific International 2016” beauty contest which was held in the Philippines. In the final, I was included in the Top-10 beauty girls of Asia. Later, in 2017, the organizers of another contest “Moscow Beauty 2016” invited me to this event. I was very happy to confirm my status and again the victory was mine. Thus, I became the winner of regional and international beauty contests three times.
For the last 5 years, I have walked in fashion shows for designers such as Moschino, Alexander McQueen, Diane von Furstenberg, Oscar de la Renta, and Rick Owens. So far that is my international fashion career and I hope it doesn’t end there.
– Maria, you are a Professional visitor to world biennials: from classical works to digital art, a curator of exhibitions and a healthy lifestyle lover. What would you recommend us to watch and eat today, when there is so much garbage-contaminated content on the Internet and in the food around us?
A: Ok (laughing). For the last 5 years, I have been studying the fundamental views of American doctors of medicine, practitioners and nutritionists, university founders, researchers and pioneers in different spheres of medicine. I devote a lot of time to reading articles, books and scientific reviews which are more exciting than physiological thrillers or action movies for me.
This knowledge has changed my whole idea of proper nutrition and what is considered to be a healthy lifestyle. I would like to recommend some books that will hopefully alter everybody’s attitude towards a proper diet: “Tools of Titans” by Timothy Ferriss, “Boundless” by Ben Greenfield, “The paradox of plants” and “The Longevity paradox” by Dr. Steven Gundry, “Biohacker’s Handbook” by Olli Sovijärvi and “Lifespan” by David Sinclair which in detail shows how to eat in order to live a long life without diseases and recover from existing ones. I would be happy to share and convey in simple words the information I have collected over many years of study in my author’s course: “How to be healthy inside and out”.
I note the main Art world-renowned venues that must be visited by all secular intelligent people and connoisseurs of contemporary art in the coming and next year.
Top – 10 Must-See Art places
- Biennale de Lyon, France 14 september – 31 december 2022
- Frieze Los Angeles, 16 – 19 February 2023
- Le Salon International de l’Art – Siac Marseille, 10 – 13 March 2023
- Art Dubai, 3-6 March 2023
- London Art Fair, 18 – 22 Jan 2023
- Miami Art Deco, 13 – 15 January 2023
- South Miami Rotary Art Festival, February 2023
- Art Basel Switzerland, 15 – 18 June 2023
- Art2F Monaco, 23 – 25 June 2023
- Printemps des Arts de Monte Carlo, 8 March – 2 April 2023
Top 10 Must-Visit Fashion events
- Paris Fashion Week, 26 September – 4 October 2022
- Venice International Film Festival 31 August – 10 September 2022
- Milan Fashion Week 20 – 26 September 2022
- Cannes Film Festival Cannes, France 16 – 27 May 2022
- London Fashion Gala, 17 February 2023
- New York AmfAR Gala, 1 February 2023
- Bafta Film Awards, London, 19 February 2023
- New York Fashion Week, February 9-15 2023
- Los Angeles Fashion Week, 24-26 March 2023
- Cannes AmfAR Gala, 25 May 2023
I will move according to this schedule, you can meet me there.