Tobolsk residents met artist Rostan Tavasiyev, the creator of the “hippo painting” style

9 december 2022

Tobolsk’s Moya Territoriya multicenter hosted a meeting between Rostan Tavasiyev, a contemporary Russian artist, and the residents of Tobolsk, who came to hear Tavasiyev talk about his creative career and the things that link modern science and art.

In his lecture titled "The hare's way to the stars," Tavasiyev discussed why, in the process of searching for his own artistic style, he decided to replace the brush with a soft toy and make it part of his paintings. This helped the artist discover his own unique method of painting that he calls hippo painting. Having started out painting with soft toys on canvas he went on to develop a passion for science fiction and astronomy, and proceeded designing open space-themed works of art that include drawings and paintings, rough 3D mockups and 3D-animated videos.

Our most important resource is our own imagination. It allows us to transcend any boundaries and distances, the artist explained.


The audience, predominantly made up of artists, art teachers and creative young residents of Tobolsk, was curious about how the artist goes about selecting his partners for creative collaborations, finding ideas and choosing materials for his art work that include plasticine, faux fur, wood, and many others.


All of the art events that have been taking place in Tobolsk lately, from the Urals Biennale to this meeting with Rostan Tavasiyev, have been true eye openers for me. What I heard him say is that all these complaints alleging that "oh no, that’s already been done”, or “it's flat-out impossible" really mean little in the eyes of a true artist, they just take the back seat. I was inspired and abuzz with new ideas after the meeting, Elena Shishkina, a teacher of street art with the Children’s Art Center, acknowledged.

The lecture by contemporary artist Rostan Tavasiyev opens a whole series of meetings to be held in Tobolsk at the initiative of SIBUR and the Multimedia Art Museum Moscow (MAMM). On December 6 and 21, the Moya Territoriya multicenter will feature a lecture on "Digital Mundaneness" by artist Dmitry Kavka and a portfolio review session he will hold together with Rostan Tavasiyev. At these sessions, Tobolsk’s local talents will be able to show their works of art to the celebrated artists and get their advice and recommendations.

There is an active discussion going on as we speak about creating art clusters at the future multifunctional culture center that is expected to be built as part of the True Tobolsk program. It is one thing to create or modernize spaces, but it is quite another thing to mold and prep local residents for such spaces. Since our objective is to put together a motivated project team, it is events like these ones that help us achieve this objective. These meetings with the best of the best in modern visual arts are a kind of an experiment: we are looking at the audience’s response and pick those who could become our creative assets, Elena Belskaya, Head of Department of GR and Social and Economic Projects at ZapSibNeftekhim, noted.


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Rostan Tavasiyev was one of the nominees shortlisted for the state Innovation award in the field of contemporary art (in 2006 and 2013). Over the last several years, he has been working on space-themed artistic projects. In 2020, he completed with honors a "Fundamentals of Astronomy" course at Lomonosov Moscow State University. Since 2021, he has been working with the Skoltech Space Center on developing a prototype for a space mission that would convert asteroids into works of art. Tavasiyev's works can be found in the collections of leading Moscow museums: the State Tretyakov Gallery, the Multimedia Art Museum Moscow, the Moscow Museum of Modern Art, etc. Between 2002 and 2022, he had put on 30 solo and over 70 group exhibitions in Russia, Italy, France, Germany, the UK, and the US.