Featured Artist DIMITRI TSYKALOV was born in Moscow in 1963. He studied Fine Arts at the Polygraphic Institute of Moscow and moved to Paris in 1991 where he continues to live and work. He does drawing, sculpture, photography, and installations using organic materials like wood, wool, and the meat, vegetables, and fruits seen above. Tsykalov is represented by the Galerie Rabouan Moussion in Paris. Find more of his work at www.dimitritsykalov.com
Each day, we are surrounded by food. I do with a green cabbage, watermelon, or cut of meat what a sculptor does with a piece of marble. I enjoy working with what I call “antimatter” — meat, vegetables, and wood — because these materials are as alive, fragile, and ephemeral as we are.
For the Skulls series I carefully chose the produce on the basis of size, ripeness, and color. Thereafter, my process was three-part: carving, oxidation, and photography. Carving the fruits is a delicate procedure that requires surgical precision. I used an electric drill, saw, axe, spoon, scalpel, pincers, cotton wool pads, and kitchen knife to define a new morphology. During oxidation, my sculptures take on a life of their own. Natural processes intervene and I become a co-sculptor to the passage of time. When the composition is ready, I stage it against a black backdrop and photograph on 4x5in. Ektachrome. I do not use a digital camera.
Thus, my photos become frozen instants of myriad morphological modifications. They play on the traditional meaning of the nature morte: a reminder of the transience of life and the inevitability of death. They simultaneously refer to an cient catacombs and modern