Featured Artist: Alexander Medvedev (gotoup)
"…if people who see my work smile...I am glad."
Alexander Medvedev (RB name gotoup) is a humble Russian artist living in Odintsovo, a small town in the suburbs of Moscow. As a child he attended art school learning to draw and paint and has created work for family and friends ever since. It wasn’t until about 3 years ago that he began sharing his work online with the simple goal of making people smile. “…if people who see my work smile…I am glad.” His quirky designs, which he sketches first on paper, then realizes digitally in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, have a surreal sense of humor. His anthropomorphized animals and objects are sweetly evocative and visually communicative.
To come up with his comic imagery, he plays a game with himself trying to imagine ordinary objects in unusual circumstances or roles, and then enjoys the process of finding ways to visualize the funny ideas that consequently pop into his head. Much of the time, his concepts are too multi-layered to illustrate in the minimalist style he prefers; he says that about 80% of his ideas wind up unrealized. What does manage to come out tickles the brain. A guitar busks to earn money for its own repair. A sleepy tube of toothpaste is curled up snoozing right before its alarm is set to go off. A penguin strips off his suit to reveal his inner-egg. His works are entirely for entertainment. About working commercially, he said, “I can not come up with stories on a given topic by someone. This severely limits my imagination. I very rarely do the artwork to order. I love the creative freedom.”
Alexander said that the idea behind each of his artworks is key, however it’s his successful images that work to clearly get his humorous ideas across. While he speaks little English, his works are a great example of how well visual symbols can transcend any language barrier, especially if they can stimulate a smile.