When I first came across the work of Ukrainian duo AEC and Waone, aka Interesni Kazki, I was drawn to the big, bold colours, and trippy, surrealist motifs. But on closer inspection I found these guys have a real flair for composition and an ability to create worlds within worlds – part Chagall, part Monty Python. The results are endlessly fascinating picture puzzles, either on canvas or as vast murals all over Europe – that keep you enthralled, and keep you guessing. We spoke to Aleksei (AEC) to find out more.
“There are no main influence in our art,” Aleksei tells us. “A lot different things inspire us – social topics, science, religion etc.”
Their work seems simultaneously very clear and utterly impenetrable, which works fine in gallery but does that cause problems as huge-scale street art?
“Some people like our works, some not, but we don’t care about it, just do what we like.”
That conviction should mean AEC and Waone will continue to go from strength to strength, but Aleksei is a bit downbeat about the artistic aspirations of some of his compatriots.
“In the Ukraine there is a very strange art scene now and I really don’t like it. Because many second-rate art comes here from Europe and America under the guise of "contemporary art" and Ukrainian artists do not try to create something of their own, they just copy someone else.”