Expressions like “true art” have always sounded too pompous for me.2
One June of my life found me on the coast of the Adriatic sea, at the best lagoon in the world; I was drunk in a crowd of Italian teenagers and German tourists; by the way, the girl in the red dress is a sculptor, and the spooky shadows around her – some other students of the Venice Art Summer Academy, who were probably discussing “true art” at the very moment, when I took the picture. I remember this second: I sat down on the ground and placed my camera on the stone; the air of the summer night was so hot, I was slowly melting; my bones got soft, my skin – porous and wet. Time was floating through my body, like sand through sieve, and I pressed the button on the camera.
Having stumbled upon this photo after a while, I recalled the square, the sweaty clouds passing by some Venetian tower, the girl in the red dress, and realized: something stayed, remained in time, a tiny pebble in the sieve, a short flash of summer heat, and how can I say, was it true, or was it art? Obviously, if I had not pressed that button on my camera, I would have stayed on the canvas of that night as just a wasted Russian guy lost in the abundance of voices, smiles, bare feet and naked shoulders. What particularly made me an artist: an invisible contraction inside my finger, that opened the camera lens? How “true” was that contraction then?