Dirty car master: ''I have finished reading Friedrich Nietzsche – I am going to paint Zarathustra''
Shipping driver from Naberezhnye Chelny about new car trend – mud art
Painted cars have started to appear on Russian roads recently – some of them are adorned with funny cartoon heroes, some are a copy of classic paintings and others have thoughtful (and not much) quotes. The painting technique is the most curious thing in the trend – mud accumulated on a car used for it. Realnoe Vremya talked to one of the artists who mastered the unusual technique – Aleksey Valetov from Tatarstan who told us how he decided to start to paint with mud, what tools he uses, how much time one painting takes and what plots are popular among Tatarstan drivers.
''Sometimes you drive for weeks, try to accumulate a bit of mud''
Aleksey, could you tell about yourself? Where are you from? What do you do? Do you have any artistic education?
I live in Naberezhnye Chelny. Here I am temporarily working in a bread factory – I transport bread to Bugulma. I don't have any artistic education. I saw service on a contract for 10 years. I did paintings, posters between training and trips. After the army, I started to work in the bread factory and continued to paint including on dirty factory cars.
At the same time, I paint apartments, do aerography, paint portraits, paintings and make tattoos – in brief, I do everything linked with painting. As for tattoos, I have a special diploma, professional equipment. But it is boring to constantly stay in the workshop alone. Meanwhile, painting on cars in the factory is another thing, you talk. Merchandisers are mainly women, 30 wonderful and nice ladies – I like this job. In addition, we lack a positive mood on our awful roads, and painting cheers up a bit, and you feel merrier.
''Although sometimes you drive for weeks, try to accumulate a bit of mud. Some plot inspired you very much and is constantly in the forefront of your mind, but there is no mud as luck would have it.'' Photo: sntat.ru
How did you decide to paint on dirty cars?
I saw a piece about it on TV. I decided to try and liked it: I went for a drive, I was beeped – it is quite pleasant, so I decided to continue this business. Moreover, in Russia, we have so much mud – in spades. Although sometimes you drive for weeks, try to accumulate a bit of mud. Some plot inspired you very much and is constantly in the forefront of your mind, but there is no mud as luck would have it. In addition, you can't accumulate such mud deliberately – only spontaneously.
As for factory cars, I worked as artist during all my life. Such big canvas is here – it is just a sin not to paint. By the way, there is one Kazan guy in Nizhnekamsk who transports pelmeni if I am not mistaken. He constantly comes to me and asks to paint something (last time I painted him a knight). He says he will come tomorrow, let's meet up. He says Kazan is in shock.
What tools do you use?
A duster and wonderful fingers. A bit of fantasy and imagination is needed. People who need paintings give me dusters themselves. They say to me on the threshold: ''Take the piece of duster and paint.'' In other words, I even don't stain my hands. Those who know come with dusters.
''People who need paintings give me dusters themselves. They say to me on the threshold: ''Take the piece of duster and paint.'' Photo: 1tv.ru
''Some people give a pack of cigarettes, your Kazan driver helps me to pelmeni''
Do you paint for free or is there any price?
For free, come on. A painting takes 10-15 minutes. I paint for everyone – not only for factory drivers. I paint on cars – neighbours come often and ask to paint their car. In general, I paint for everybody who asks. Some people give a pack of cigarettes, milk sellers give milk, your Kazan driver helps me to pelmeni, some people give salted fish instead. It is how we exchange.
Don't you feel pity to invest your effort and soul in paintings that will be washed and disappear if it rains?
I don't feel pity because photos of these paintings are eternal. Everybody got used to it and likes it, nobody refused. It is even more pleasant to drive…
What was the most complicated and biggest mud art work?
The more complicated a painting is, the more interesting it is. You probably have seen my chess player. Then I painted Ivanhoe, an owl and hunting ice fox. Generally speaking, the most complicated paintings took just 15-20 minutes.
''I read a lot. I recently read Ivenhoe I painted him as I saw and imagine him, on my own way. Now I have finished reading Friedrich Nietzsche – I am going to paint Zarathustra.'' Photo: sntat.ru
''The book shows my worldview, my knowledge, how I see abstractly and transcendently''
Where do you get plots? Do you copy paintings on the Internet or do you make up the composition and quotes?
I read a lot. I recently read Ivenhoe, I painted him as I saw and imagine him, in my own way. Now I have finished reading Friedrich Nietzsche – I am going to paint Zarathustra. Topics also come from upcoming holidays – 9 May will be celebrated – I will certainly do something to congratulate veterans. I also certainly paint something for 8 March, for instance, the wolf from Nu, Pogodi! cartoon with flowers.
I paint everything, I don't focus on one thing. But I have a friend who always asks to paint sailing ships, another one asks bears.
By the way, I also copy paintings on the Internet. I make up some quotes I wrote on cars myself. In general, I try to write a book in my free time.
What is the book you are writing about?
The prologue is the following: ''We were not born of our own free will, and to die is certainly against my will. If transmigration exists, in my understanding, it is like a repeater who failed exams in life…'' It is a global fantasy with an interesting plot.
''I don't feel pity because photos of these paintings are eternal. Everybody got used to it and likes it, nobody refused. It is even more pleasant to drive.'' Photo: 1tv.ru
Everything starts with that a man and a woman, who are scientists. A baby was born to them whom they do not send to school but teach the humanities, natural sciences, religion themselves… At that time the man's friend has a car accident. His little daughter loses her father. And this family adopts her.
After the kids reach the age of majority, they are sent to look for the explosion centre in the universe in a spaceship and then move towards the exit from the universe from the explosion centre. On their way, they stop on different planets whose atmosphere and nature are close to Earth. On one of them, a boy and a girl were born. The parents called them Adam and Eva.
The parents need to teach their kids everything they needed until they are 6 and then move forward – to achieve their goal. But then motherly feelings take over… The book shows my worldview, my knowledge, how I see abstractly and transcendently. Much is said about religions. I am writing it on standard papers for myself. It is a book ''for everyone and nobody''.