Zhenya Koreshkoff


Interview with the artist ZheKa—

1. Who are you and what do you do?
My name is ZheKa and for the past 30 years, I’ve been on a journey of a lifetime! This journey is art. Both visual art and literary art. These two passions highly influence and complement my style. Another meaningful part of my life was my job as a mental health therapist in the past 14 years. I am a teaching artist for several programs at art museums in Pennsylvania, as well as a teaching artist for the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts – Arts in Education Partner.


"My Corner"

“My Corner”

 “My Corner” –

I always carry my corner with me,
So that, when I get backed into it,
I can not flee;
I have to fight!
Corners don’t have to be a no way out,
They can be a way forward,
when they are used right.

— ZheKa

2. Why art?
Art to me is about discovery. The journey and the discovery. I like the feeling of the unexplored terrain, the alien realm. I like being lost and gradually finding my way back, the struggle towards the light and the meaning. Art is a process of growth and I enjoy growth in all of it’s forms. In my art I focus on the intellectual growth, growth through the adversity and darkness and towards the meaningful discovery. Why art? Because an unsettled Spirit has to travel. Because the last frontier is not across the ocean on a new content anymore, the last frontier is a galaxy within our mind…


"I am the Abyss and the Star that lights it"

“I am the Abyss and the Star that lights it”


3. What is your earliest memory of wanting to be an artist?
As a child of around 7-8, I always loved telling stories, however I was very limited in my technique. I rember being so frustrated that all I could draw was stick figures. However, looking at it now, I realize how much of a gift that was. When you can’t draw, you become a stronger thinker, you overcome the adversity in a lot more creative way then someone who has a good drawing technique. You start thinking outside the box and eventually, develop your own style, your own narrative. Nowadays, I am good at drawing, however, I am always trying to find a mental path to that time period when I was a child and couldn’t draw, seems like my art was a lot more original back then.


"The Dark Wind"

“The Dark Wind”


4. What are your favorite subject(s) and media(s)?
I express myself in a lot of the traditional mediums and appreciate the unique features and opportunities that each medium provides, and yet, my favorite medium remains the relief painting.

5. How do you work and approach your subject?
My relief painting is usually first hand carved into a surface of a wooden board and then painted, thus combining two of my favorite art forms –sculpture and fine art canvas painting. I loved it ever since I had the crazy “what if” idea. What if you could stroke the wind with your finger tips. What if the depth of the relief could literally, express the depth of the particular thought or emotion. The relief does just that–provides a necessary depth into the visual narrative, draws you in.


"The Doe in the Night Pasture"

“The Doe in the Night Pasture”


6. What are your favorite art work(s), artist(s)?
My favorite artists are those with a unique way of thinking and perception. Famous artists lose their unique style and perception almost proportionally to the fame they aquire, that’s why I don’t get too carried away with the popular and fashionable. My favorite artists are those who create, because it makes them grow and  discover, not because there s a demand for their work. An artist, first and most important, is an artist to himself. The crowd is fickle and affected by the most rediculous weather patterns, the artist is not changed or affected by those patterns. Artist has to create his own weather. Artist takes a dark void and in it, he grows a subjective home, a place of respite and beauty. Those capable of doing it, are my favorite. My best example is Michelangelo. He didn’t feel the need to be popular or fashionable (like Leonardo da Vinci, a contemporary), instead he just followed his own vision and passion, even though at times at clashed with the greatest spiritual and legislative authority in the land (the pope), now that’s TO ART AGAINST ALL THE ODDS!


"The Strand of Light"

“The Strand of Light”


7. What are the best responses you have had to your work?
The best response to my art is always the same. To me the best response, what I look for, is when the individual who is actively viewing my art, discovers themselves in it. That moment is priceless to me. I believe that my ego is well balanced, so to say, I try to keep my artworks rather universal, so that any individual who is actively viewing it, could insert themselves into the narrative and grow with the painting. People who grow with my paintings, message me a year or so later and tell me about new discoveries they made about themselves through a particular painting. It’s a journey of thought. This process of a journey, this relationship with a painting is the best response I could wish for.





8. What do you like about your work?
This question flows naturally from the previous one. I like the journey of thought, the process of interacting with artworks on different levels, mental, emotional, tactile, etc…  I intentionally leave a lot of room to grow and speculate, to travel, in each most of my artworks. You need to remember – I like to be entertained and mystified myself. So, I am still processing and growing in several of my paintings, years from their creation. They live and are filled with life because of that mental process that I breathe into them every time I am actively viewing them.





9. What advice would you give to other artists?
Work. Create. Inspiration is something that the Hallmark channel made up, hahaha!
Struggle is ok, it creates a strong spirit. Be inspired by the creative struggle if you have to be inspired by something. Don’t talk about art as much, it takes away time from creating. Art in it’s true form is very subjective, so the whole idea of art critics and people trying to teach how to art is preposterous. When somebody says (and they very much will say it a lot!) your art sucks, the only thing it means is that the person is too lazy to pay attention, to be an active viewer of your art. That’s it. That simple. Now get to work! Struggle, create, breathe life into the impossible! Invent and discover!


"Beauty and the Beast"

“Beauty and the Beast”


10. Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?
I am in a great place right now. I am very thankful. I see myself in a much larger studio with a wall capacity of about 1000  artworks! This mental image is a thing of beauty!



Zhenya Koreshkoff



Website:  https://zheka-art.weebly.com/
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/evgeny.krayushkin
Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/evgeny_zheka_art/
Artfinder:  https://www.artfinder.com/shop/?q=zheka#/