Interview with visual artist Costa Gorel: "Investing in young art is an artistic act.
At Setdart we are committed to young talent with the firm conviction of creating bridges between collectors and emerging artists.
Among them, we present Costa Gorel (Moscow, 1993) whose work is developed from the city of Elche, Alicante, Spain. His debut in the Spanish art scene took place at the Art Madrid fair in February 2022, where his work was received with excellent reviews by experts, collectors and the general public.
Thanks to the fusion of Italian and German traditions, Costa’s multifaceted characters appear to the viewer as they are, without a filter. In this way, these bewitching androgynous figures develop their lives within a hermetic universe, where they are surrounded by fashion, architecture and chic aesthetics. But who is behind this solid artistic DNA?
Costa has shared with us through this interview his perspective on current issues such as the relevance and positioning of art in these uncertain times and what role online platforms play in the projection of emerging artists.
SETDART: Your recent arrival in Spain was spontaneous and full of uncertainty. Tell us how you, a Moscow filmmaker, have made a radical turn in your career, and how are you adapting to these new circumstances?
COSTA GOREL: My activity as a filmmaker that I developed in Moscow, I never excluded the canvas and painting from my life. This is how I started my painting career before moving to Spain.
The last two years I have been looking for a representation of the characters and states I interacted with in my studio, and in which the spirit of Orlando reigns. [Setdart annotation: Refers to the character in Virginia Woolf’s novel “Orlando: A Biography” and the movie “Orlando” (Sally Potter, 1992)].
Orlando is my trusted mentor. Thanks to him I do not give up ideas about cinematography and, perhaps, at some point I will return to this facet.
S: Maybe you, as a director, would like to do your own interpretation of Orlando?
CG: Sure, that would be great. I would like to direct a sequel to “Orlando” in the 21st century. On the other hand, he is precisely the character and the central theme of my works. Orlando traveled through the ages, changing his physical appearance, his sex, but always kept a home within himself or herself, despite all historical events, representing, in a way, the continuation of Albrecht Dürer’s Melancholy.
S: You have lived in different cultural contexts, and have entered different international art scenes. From your experience, what do you think about the situation with young art in Spain?
CG: Yes, I lived in different countries, and I was educated in different traditions. I spent my childhood in Germany. From there comes my attraction to the ascetic characters of Dürer, Hohlbein [Wolfgang Hohlbein (1953) German writer], Schiele. I am fascinated by the night and the moon, I think this influence has to do with the German proverb: “Die Nacht ist die Mutter der Gedanken” – the night is the mother of all thoughts -. At first glance it is a simple idea, but it is at the basis of the German tradition, including its revival, which for me is the jeweled crypt.
In addition, my family is multinational. I have Jewish, Arab, Persian, German, Polish, Russian and Ukrainian roots. So I absorbed the meanings and connotations of all these cultures. Curiously, today I continue with this tradition. I settled in a country where I had never been, and which I knew only through movies or conversations.
Now all these roots from the past are enriched with the excitement of the newness I experience every day. Among other things, I am studying Spanish contemporary art.
The situation with contemporary art in Spain has many positive perspectives. Because historically Spanish culture is eclectic per se, and this characteristic creates a particularly fruitful ground for the acceptance and production of a wide spectrum of artistic expressions.
Right now, I believe that the Spanish context of contemporary art is ready to occupy a leading position on the world art scene.
S: Where do you think is the center of contemporary art in Spain?
CG: I think that, in part, the art scene in Spain is decentralized. This is due both to the use of technology and to the Spanish historical context. Each region has its own dynamics and its own artistic center. But, if I have to choose one, I would say for me it’s Barcelona. Barcelona has a spark, an artistic spirit that was generated throughout different periods. It is the Notre Dame of art, and the German idea of the night, which we talked about before, is very well linked to the city of Barcelona.
S: As a millennial generation artist and the rightful citizen of the world, tell us what benefits do you find in exhibiting and selling your work at Setdart?
CG: I have only positive experience selling my works online. While I am in one country, my paintings are sold and exhibited all over the world at the same time. And if there is still someone who has doubts when buying online, both buyers and sellers can have their quality guarantees with Setdart and trust your work.
S: Thank you very much Costa for your confidence in our auction house and our team. We are excited to work with emerging artists and the dynamic that is created between collectors and new generation artworks. Tell us, from your perspective as an artist, 3 reasons why to invest in young art.
CG: The first reason is the economic and psychological support of an emerging artist. The person who brings the light of beauty into this world has to feel confident and believe in herself. In addition, the financial part motivates the creator, because the sale of a painting translates into: “it means that my art is needed by someone”.
The second reason is long-term investments in both the economic and emotional sense. Art changes your life and your perception of it, rejuvenates you, liberates you and helps you overcome alienation.
Finally, investing in young art in some way is an artistic act. It means the victory of good over evil, proclamation of beauty and service to it.
S: You have explained the art market in a very poetic way, we sign under every point. Finally, advise us 3 current artists to follow.
CG: It’s difficult to narrow it down to just three artists. But I would name these three that I personally follow Ali Warren, Miriam Cahn and Roberta Lobeira.
SETDART: Thank you very much Costa, for your time and for choosing us among all the platforms for the sale of your works.
COSTA GOREL: Thanks to you!