Ghost in the Gzhel
Believe it or not, Kuznetsov is self-taught when it comes to painting. He remains so, though he’s taken full advantage of the internet to learn modern painting techniques. His initial focus was on Gzhel patterns. Gzhel, a small village located about 50 miles south of Moscow, began producing its signature blue-on-white porcelain ware in 1802 and continues that tradition today.
Kuznetzov’s breakthrough came when he began applying Gzhel-style patterns to satellite dishes. After presenting his first efforts to friends, word began to spread and soon Kuznetsov found he had more work than he could handle. He readily admits he’s so busy with plans and commissions, he hasn’t had time to paint his own satellite dish.
No Mir Feat
As he’s grown more accustomed to the medium and the media, Kuznetsov has branched out from classic Gzhel blue-on-white patterns to employ a wide range of bright and brilliant colors. He uses acrylic paints and automotive lacquers to ensure his customized satellite dishes can stand up to sunlight’s UV radiation and Russia’s notoriously frigid winters.
As for reception, it’s been great – both in appreciation for his artistry and in practical functionality. This video from the popular Russia-1 News network features Kuznetsov discussing his work (and his works) at his home in Voznesenye. No doubt the ensuing publicity will help boost the retired sailor’s sales. (images via English Russia and Yurenty Santilimonovich)