One second is all it takes to be impressed by Vasya Kolotusha, a Ukrainian digital artist who recreates perfectly textured objects and garments. From glass bottles to scissors pricking a cherry-like blob, lipsticks to a commission by Pringles to create a virtual NFT flavour named CryptoCrisp; whatever Vasya puts his mind (and skill) towards is going to be striking.
In one image, for example, he’s created a digital replica of a set of Bottega Veneta earrings. What’s different about these earrings, though, is that they’re even more glossy than their real-life counterpart. The metallic surface is so smooth and detailed that it appears to effortlessly reflect a cohort of trippy colours, hues that twist and turn with the grooves of the design. Meanwhile, the backdrop is a fiery tone of orange – like lava fiercely burning behind Vasya’s carefully drawn jewels. In another, we’re witnessing a different object come to life, only this time it’s a Dior hat. With this specific piece, the visor is adorned in an earthy compositions – a splash of purple too – and the brand’s infamous “J’adore” is imprinted on the front. A blazing pairing of green and yellow has been set alight beneath the product, signifying that this hat is indeed one hot accessory to be wearing (if you're so lucky).
Vasya is originally from Cherkasy and decided to pursue a degree in architecture at first. “But I always loved illustration so I decided to join a game development studio in my hometown as a 2D artist,” he tells It’s Nice That. After a few years working in different games development studios, he decided to venture out as a freelancer, which makes up his main practice currently. While looking at Vasya’s precise and tactile portfolio, his architectural background makes much more sense. Everything is carefully constructed in both its composition and tone – each image is an accurate replica of the object at hand, but equally the artist puts his own spin on it.
Talking of how he makes his artworks, Vasya explains that he always starts off with simple pencil sketches – a preemptive part of the process that helps him put his thoughts to paper, before filtering out the best bits. “When I feel that I’ve found the right form and composition, I then move on to 3D modelling,” he explains. During this stage, he will build on the objects’ form and likeness, which is then finalised through the rendering of the raw images. “I do the post-processing in Photoshop,” he continues, “that’s the main part where this ‘metallic’ texture appears.”
Some objects are more identifiable than others – like a pair of round glasses, or a fork entangled by a set of orange headphones – while others are much more abstract. The latter will lead you towards a smiley face covering some kind of metallic fence, or hanging Nike swooshes covered by chain mesh, or the point of a knife cutting through a golden ring. When asked which ones are his favourites, Vasya responds stating that he likes the Dior hat, naturally, as well as the alternative cover option for the singer, Sam Smith, not to mention the orange hat and heat map coat, “because they have this heavy, abstract texture and odd colours,” he notes. “I try to make my work look abstract but still have recognisable objects and forms.”
In Vasya's work, you're bound to notice something familiar, be it a piece of jewellery, an item of clothing you want to buy or your favourite utensil. “I don’t put any clever concepts or messages into my work,” he says. “I think there are enough people who do that way better than me. The message is the work itself; if you look at this mishmash of colours and it makes you happy, I’m more than happy too!”
Vasya Kolotusha: Dsquared2 Sneakers (Copyright © Vasya Kolotusha, 2021)
About the Author
Ayla was an editorial assistant back in June 2017 and has continued to work with us on a freelance basis. She has spent nearly a decade as a journalist, and covers a range of topics including photography, art and graphic design. Feel free to contact Ayla with any stories or new creative projects.