Alexey Korotenko – The Artist

Engaging in various mediums to express himself creatively, art is a way of life for Alex. Check out his passionate story below.


Say hello to Alex:

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Where are you from?  Where have you been?

I was born in Russia in the Ural region, stretched between the eastern European and western Siberian plains, in a small town called Bogdanovich. I’ve visited various areas within Russia including the eastern slope of the Ural Mountains to a city called Chelyabinsk, eastern Russia to the Cis-Urals of Perm, the large industrial and cultural center of northern Urals to a city called Krasnoturyinsk (where I received my secondary vocational art education), the northwest part of Russia including Vologda and St. Petersburg, the central part of Russia to Moscow, and Lithuania.


What’s your favorite place in the world?

Each town in which I lived and accumulated experiences becomes my favourite place. I find great pleasure in revisiting those places and indulging in pleasant memories. If I had to select one place though, the Urals is my favourite – as soon as I leave, I begin to miss it madly, but as soon as I settle into St. Petersburg, it turns into my favourite place.  

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The Belozersk monastery in the village of Ferapontovo, the Vologda region.

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What is your dream project?

Thanks for this question! Until recently, I had a long-term dream of acting in a film and to play the role of an artist. Thanks to God, I recently had the opportunity to live this dream – I played the leading role in a film where my character was an artist who had a drug problem. A lot of my own personal works were involved in the shooting. It was a very pleasant yet surreal experience being on set. After living this dream, I can honestly say acting is not for me, haha. 🙂

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Was there a particular artist who inspired you to pursue a path in the arts?

Yes, someone constantly inspires me, and I want to express the deep respect to these incredibly talented and tremendous people. My mother heavily influenced my career – she is an artist herself, a ceramist and sculptor. She encouraged me to pursue the way of the artist!!!! Thank you mummy, I bow to you and wish you long, long years of life!!!!

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Works of the mother, Tsepeleva Alevtina Aleksandrovna.

Then from college, my teacher Koryakin Sergey Ivanovich, served as my inspiration to pursue a path of self-development in painting. My teacher is a tremendous person, mentor, tutor, and most importantly, a gifted artist. This preparation facilitated my admission to the Art and Industrial Academy of Shtiglits in St. Petersburg. Sergey Ivanovich, thank you, and low bow to you!!!!!

Lastly, I just would like to list all those artists who I immensely admire for their improbable creative thinking and talent!!!!! Aaron NagelAudrey KawasakiKevin Peterson, and also the person who cardinally changed my way in creativity, Banksy.


How do you find your inspiration?

In general, before I start working, I try to clear my mind of any negativity or garbage. I listen to good light music and go on a jog along the cross-country terrain. Mother nature’s beauty serves as a huge inspiration – going out into nature strips me of noise, machines, and vanity. Additionally, I find inspiration through Instagram, the FStop blog, other artists, photographers, and creatives. 


Do you get inspiration blocks? If so, how do you overcome them?

When it happens while I’m working in one medium, I try to switch to another medium – for instance, from going to painting to sculpting.


For your portrait work, do you paint from photos, live models, or both?

To be honest, I adore drawing from life. As a student, I drew all my portraits, figures, still-life, and landscapes from life. I miss working from such a natural state – I hope to combine my natural works with photos in the future.

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Uncle Volodya’s portrait from Nature. 2006

Tell us about when your work was featured in an exhibition for the first time.

My work was exhibited for the first time in August, 2014. An acquaintance was preparing to open a new bar in St. Petersburg and suggested that I organize an exhibition of my work to breathe life to the empty walls. I was enticed by the offer and agreed. In the span of two months, I prepared for the exhibit and also assisted in advertising the bar. I became acquainted with the the fabric store owner on the second floor of the building and within two weeks, she prepared a sign to advertise the bar and exhibit. I titled the exhibition, “Ark,” and transformed the space – we couldn’t have achieved this without God’s help, of course. The walls were decorated with images and lamps that I made from old fragments of organic glass – looking back, I can’t comprehend how all that was done.

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Your installation of “Patrick” is very impressive – tell us more about that project and where is he now?

This is a very amusing story. In May, 2014, the Derufa company, who is the producer of decorative coverings (today, one of the best producers), asked me to create an interesting covering for them as Design Week 2014 was approaching. We collaborated before in 2012 when I assisted them with the installation of “Seabed” (collection of new tinting fans) in the Sokos Hotel. Essentially, they wanted a large-figured dog for Design Week – I had never created anything of that nature, only small plaster masks, but I agreed. I made the small volume sketch, got it approved, and went to work. I had exactly one month to create Patrick. Upon completion, I delivered Patrick to the office and from the street, a small dog started barking at serene Patrick. We were all delighted – I consider it to be the highest assessment of my work. At the exhibition, I was told Patrick would go to Milan – I have not heard of his whereabouts since.

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“Seabed.” Sokos Hotel. 2012.

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“Seabed.” Sokos Hotel. 2012.

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“Seabed.” Sokos Hotel. 2012.

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“Patrick.” Design Week 2014. St. Petersburg.

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“Patrick.” Design Week 2014. St. Petersburg.

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“Patrick.” Design Week 2014. St. Petersburg.

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“Patrick.” Design Week 2014. St. Petersburg.

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“Patrick.” Design Week 2014. St. Petersburg.

What is your background?

All in all, it’s not anything special. After leaving school with nine classes, I arrived to the College of Arts in the city of Krasnoturyinsk Sverdlovsk region in 2003 as faculty. After my termination in 2007, I arrived in Sankt, to The St. Petersburg State Art Industrial Academy on the Department of Monumental Decorative Painting. After that, I worked with the Derufa company on interiors and installations. In the winter of 2013, I became acquainted with two businessmen who were preparing to open the “Museum of a Revolt of Machines.” This project was the joint collection of sculptures of robots, executed from the spare parts of machines, ranging from small screws to bumpers. For the opening, they needed the 600 square meter space to align with the theme, and we decided to work with fluorescent paints. From November, 2013 to March, 2014, I worked continuously on the project. After arranging the first hall, the owners gave me the green light to work with more freedom within a framework. A few months later, I unexpectedly opened myself up to street art, which changed my outlook and artistry. I began creating outdoor advertising signs, and at night, would glue small pictures on the city walls.

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Which mediums do you work with most frequently? 

Recently, I’ve been working a lot on pictorial works, and when I tire of this, I take a break by working on “elements.” Elements are my experiments with paint and paper – it may initially look like botched work, but through the process, a gradual abstraction, and then something material evolves.

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Element A

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Element H

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Element L

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Element M

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Element S

Of your works, which are you most proud of?

At the moment, I can’t say I’m proud of my projects because they are generally commercial in nature. Yes, they are pleasant to people, evoke happiness, add to society, but it is commercial. There are many projects in my mind which haven’t been realized yet, and perhaps their implementation will at last satisfy me in this context. Below are some samples of my commercial work:

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What impact do you hope your work leaves on society?

Frankly speaking, I don’t think of it. I just do what lies in my soul and asks to be expressed. I want to conjure sentiments of love, appreciation, and respect.


What was the most memorable response to your work?

I mentioned it in one of my previous responses, but it was when the small dog barked at Patrick. I was so pleasantly surprised and consider it to be the highest assessment of my work.


What themes do you explore in your work?

Love, tenderness, fidelity, beauty, reality, and comparison.

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Professionally, where do you hope to see yourself in five years?

I adhere to a saying which my grandmother iterated – “Don’t think on before as God will bring!”


What challenges do you face in your work currently?

Generally, it is material difficulties – they break when I attempt to realize the projects. But that is also a part of life’s charm. Thanks to difficulties, we look for the most interesting ways of development, which lead to improbable decisions sometimes!!!!


What is your most life-changing event?

The admission and training from The Art Industrial Academy of Shtiglits in St. Petersburg.


What’s something you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t?

To travel around the world with paint and canvases to create art. 


For anyone who wants to get in touch with Alex, here’s some contact information:

FStop: Profile

Facebook: Profile

Instagram: @alex_ko_art


Alex, thank you for sharing your story with us!

If any artists out there want to collaborate with FStop, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

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