This Creative’s Surreal Art is Guaranteed to Leave a Smile on Your Face Russian art-director and creator Artem Pozdniakov‘s work is the colourful and humorous highlight of 21st century issues that we all need right now. Moscow-based Artem has built up a large online Instagram following on account of his bright and playful pictures. Many of his ideas involve photographs of ordinary objects placed in bizarre situations and thought-provoking juxtapositions. Artem’s journey in Photoshop manipulation began in his school years, in which he started making desktop wallpapers featuring big bands of the day, from The Black Eyed Peas to Green Day. He has progressed nowadays to this series (a selection available below, check out the rest on his Instagram), using a bright palette inspired by Pop Art garish clashes. The result is an eye-catching and light-hearted look at serious ideas. Take his doughnut dumbbells, for example: a visual so perfect it seems familiar; an examination of modern consumer culture so incisive you can’t tell whether to applaud or shrink in shame. Talk about a spoonful of sugar helping the medicine go down. Conceptually, each of Artem’s compositions has an intelligent point to make about modern living. Aesthetically, the striking colours and attention to detail make them visual stand-outs when scrolling through your Instagram feed. Now that’s a winning combination. The Plus: Your Instagram feed is loved for your surreal and colourful imagery. Where do you get your inspiration from? Artem Pozdniakov: The main inspiration is my everyday life, my thoughts, news, events that happen around me, and people I meet. I’m sure that everyone can find inspiration in their daily routine. TP: A lot of your pieces are funny. How important is humour to you in your work? AP: Humour, not so much. Maybe sarcasm is more important in my art. But if someone has a smile on their face whilst looking at my work, that’s good: I’m happy. TP: Your Pop Art-inspired work features bright splashes of colour. What is it about this bold colour palette that appeals? AP: I live in Moscow – it’s a big city, very urban, so we get a lot of cloudy days during autumn and winter. Imagine: grey days, gloomy people who haven’t seen the sun for months, dirty snow, and glass towers of business centers. So I think that my work must give to colour to some people’s lives. TP: A lot of your work is somewhat political- like the razor blade shaped credit card dripping with blood. What messages do you want to convey with your work? AP: In every piece there is a different message – maybe in some you haven’t found it! I don’t like politics, but I’m ready to observe. A lot of my work comes from human habits and nature, our thoughts and dreams, so everyone can recognise themselves in one of my pieces. Maybe a global message is: “you’re not alone, there are a lot of people who feel the same way”. TP: What was the first thing you created? AP: First thing? I think it was a drawing of a violet sea in art class, when I was a child. TP: How does living in Moscow inform your work? AP: Seriously, in no way. Moscow is not my city. I don’t feel comfortable here. TP: Where do you go instead, for your influences? AP: One of the most inspiring places for me is my internet browser. I can find lots of interesting information there, catch the spirit of different people from another countries, and find amazing articles. The internet is like a huge library, and the most inspiring place, because it has all the information about real places, nature, culture, humans and events on our planet. Right here, and right now. TP: What lies ahead for you? AP: I hope I will become a huge modern artist! Just kidding. I don’t know, I’m a fatalist. But when i was in India one woman told me that I can find harmony inside myself only through art. So I think I will continue to do what I do.