In conversation with Mani

Mani is a Moscow based neo-expressionist artist. The first time we met was on a photo shoot where she had brought her paintings for the set. From the start, I think we found something in common with this long haired girl. For the trip issue we decided to chat with her and discover the secret to her amazing art.

Straight away Mani confessed to us that the process of painting is her addiction. She paints constantly every day. She can’t stop. She paints during every idle moment & she even paints while she is doing other things! It is amusing to see her painting. We are in her room, your eye starts to follow the shapes, the colour, experience the tension and emotion. At first you might think it is a mess but come to realise that every detail was thought of as interesting characters appear on the paintings.

How does she come up with such amazing unplanned frames?

Mani explains that when she draws she doesn’t think about anything and just draws as she feels. She doesn’t use any help, no music or references. She would remember interesting characters that she saw somewhere and depict them in her style in her portraits. “Generally, I like people with problems, weird people.”

How many sketchbooks have you done?

Not really into it. I did sketchbooks only for school.

Is it hard to sell your paintings?

Sometimes. Many of my friends are interested but as you know not everyone has money for art. Someone like a young musician could’t really afford haha. But once I sold my painting to the guy who was in love with me and on those money I went to Berlin.

How much would you charge?

The average I would charge is £600 or more for a painting. But I really do have problems with rating my art.

Can you recommend any artists?

Obviously Winston Chmielinsky, Morteza Zahedi, Francis bacon, Basquiat and David OReilly. Should be enough for you.

Your best trip?

To Monkey Island in China. The path to the island lies through the ropeway, that is very high. And if you’ll look down you can see how the pearls are obtained. The island is not really interesting, and the monkeys are very aggressive, but I remember this pathway very clearly. It was scary and very exciting.

So what’s next?

It is time to go for a burger in Stoke Newington.

Photography: Masha Mel

All paintings by Mani Vertigo


ulian goldman ♥♥♥