I was born on August 23, 1965 in Barnaul, Russia. After the eight grade I saw my future at the Specialized School of Art. The classes lasted from 8 a.m until 6 p.m. I made art primary in my life and put it above all of life's problems and distractions.
After graduating, I found myself out in the real world, a world for which I was not prepared. In Barnaul, there were many good artists and it was very difficult for a newcomer to break through.
I was drafted into the army for two years service as an artist. This forced me to learn to work quickly. I look back now on my time spent in the army with little pleasure.
In June 1987, after demobilization, I moved to Mukachevo to rejoin my parents. Shortly after, I ventured to cross the U.S.S.R with nothing but a small rucksack, two T-shirts, an umbrella, a vest-jacket, three rubles (about fifty cents), a few cans of food, and half a loaf of bread.
My wife was the one who encouraged me to become an artist. I left my job, joined the Artist's Union, and started to exhibit in the galleries. Once I made some money I began to save up for a trip to Yugoslavia with the idea of continuing to Italy. I was preparing myself for the years of hardship.
Read the rest of my story in my new book Walking Through Time.