The art of Sergei Ignatyev
NBCentralAsia: How do you come up with the unusual images in your paintings?
Ignatyev: One letter from an inmate describes a superintendent calling prisoners “walking meat”. A former political prisoner described how jail transforms a person into an animal whose only aim is survival.
If you are lucky enough to escape from this hell, you can never go back to the way you were. You can never see life in all its colours; there is only infinite fear.
NBCentralAsia: How compatible do you think art and human rights are? We generally think of protecting human rights as something serious involving reports and protests rather than paintings.
Ignatyev: Hollywood actors have joined in the protests against restrictions on human rights. Caroline Aaron and Reno Wilson played leading roles in “Cries From The Heart: Freedom Needs a Voice” [theatrical performance in support of Human Rights Watch, May 2012], which depicted the brutal repression of rights and freedoms in Uzbekistan. In my opinion, this was one of the finest examples of the solidarity between artists and rights workers.