An Interview with Yulia and Dmitry Lapatini - the creative force behind ArtLap
The stars aligned five years ago when Yulia and Dmitry met on the island paradise only a few months after they both arrived in Thailand – she, for a sales and marketing job in the luxury real estate sector, he, for a change of pace after many intense years spent working as a computer scientist. It was this meeting that led to the now married couple becoming full time artists.
'Blindness' is the couple’s first collaboration together.
“I had a dream where I could see nothing and everything at the same time. I was walking on a street where everything was white. I heard city noise, saw and felt the shapes of buildings, and could see every facial feature of the people I met as I passed by. The brightness was dazzling, blinding.
“When I woke up to the normal world full of colour, I yearned to see only one colour again, and its unique palette undiluted by surrounding elements. I spoke to Dmitry about this dream and we discussed the role of vision and the impact of colour tones. We were so absorbed by the theme that we decided to create a series around it, and Blindness was born.” - Yulia, ArtLap
The series is a study in colour and texture where wood chips and paint in primary hues have been combined. The resulting textured mixture covers the frame’s surface as well as all the edges giving the artwork an additional visual volume.
“Blindness 1” by ArtLap, acrylic paint and woodchips on box canvas, 2018
Red is the colour of life. The moment of creation and birth. The instance of violent death. Red is the colour of love, from tender rose, through passionate, screaming red, to ripe burgundy. Red is the colour of creation, enlightening as Danko’s heart, maximizing the strength of feelings and singularity of each artwork.
“I love bright red drinks, don’t you? They taste twice as good as any other colour.” - L.M. Montgomery
Are there challenges being married and working together?
I think being married is already a challenge, haha. But if you manage to find a harmony at home, why should it be different in the studio? I am very lucky with Yulia because not only do we love each other, we also have a passion in common which is our art. It actually makes our relationship even deeper, as we can share our art visions and support each other in both our daily and artistic lives.
I think it is important to mention that we also have our separate, personal projects within ArtLap. Yes, we are currently working on a common series called Blindness however, we also create our own artwork as individual artists. I think this helps to keep the balance between our own artistic personality and our collaboration with each other. When we want to be alone and reflect on our own work, we just go to the studio during different times, simple as that.
But to be honest with you, working together on one piece is so enriching and precious for us, that we enjoy every moment of this fusion. I don’t think I would be able to share this with anyone else other than Dmitry. You literally open yourself 100% while creating, so you should trust your art partner in order to share your inner art vision.
What made you create ArtLap rather than pursuing your artistic careers individually?
We both feel ArtLap is a natural continuation of our relationship. The decision to build it organically happened almost at the same time we decided to build our family. Today it is an integral part of our life, as a couple and an artistic duo.
ArtLap is a project where two artists can express themselves individually or together. Saying that, there are two directions in our art: as Yulia and Dmitry, we work on our personal challenges and art series; as the artistic duo ArtLap, we prepare different projects where our personal and art duality can be reborn in a common artistic reflection. In Russia there is a proverb which says one head is good but two are better. This is what we feel when we work together: we give our best to the artwork with our double vision, four hands and two artistic hearts.
What inspires you both artistically?
I would say for me it is two things: music and architectural sketches. Music accompanies me every day. I listen to different types of music, depending on my mood, the time of day, the place and the company. Sometimes I can listen to one song 10 or 20 times in a row until it is totally immersed in my blood. Sometimes I can sit in total silence but I still hear a melody playing in my head. Music is a huge inspiration for me, I can catch a certain mood or rhythm that will remind me, or push me to think of something that can later be reflected in the artwork.
My second inspiration is all architectural sketches, charts and drawings that I used to see when I was a kid, as both of my parents are architects. Since then I have loved seeing strict geometrical lines and various shapes around me and I use this in my art. Yulia is always saying I am a “handy man”, that is true, I love working with my hands. Experimenting with textures and forms is one of my favorite parts in the art process.
Dmitry at work
I am definitely attracted to words. Languages and books are my passion. I speak Russian, English and French fluently and am currently learning Thai and Spanish. This enormous power that a written word can have always impresses me. I often include quotes from novels, poems and prayers that I read in my artwork. I also question what kind of tangible trace each of us leaves behind in our lives. I reflect on this in some of my latest artworks by combining different signs, lines, marks, curves, layers of paint, paper and other materials.
I admire some contemporary artists who work with modern style calligraphy together with colour research and graffiti design - José Parlá for example.
Yulia at work
How would you describe your art style?
Dmitry: straightforward, sharp, emotional, powerful, energetic.
Yulia: emotional, deep, philosophical, delicate, soft.
What’s next for ArtLap
We have numerous projects planned. First of all, this is only the beginning of our Blindness series currently presented by Addicted Art Gallery in Singapore. We are planning to develop this theme and integrate different frame shapes and colour schemes in our work, before we achieve the perfection of a pure white circle.
Both of us are continuing to work on our individual series.
We have some initial sketches for our second collaboration as a duo which uses different types of materials including cans, beads and fabrics.
“Blindess 3” by ArtLap, acrylic paint and woodchips on box canvas, 2018
Yellow is the colour closest to light. In its purity it always implies the nature of brightness and has a cheerful and serene character. Yellow breathes vitality into everything and everyone. Yellow brings joyful freedom to both artist and spectator.
“Yellow is capable of charming God.” - Vincent Van Gogh