"She first made organs from coal and salt and
decorated them with precious metals and diamonds."
by Damir Avertone
I have known you since 2007, as the first artisan of charcoal jewelry, charcoal art objects. Now, I see your new art works – these are human organs made of coal, rock salt, amber and decorated with a crown of silver with black diamonds. Tell me – why organs?

Damir Avertone
I have long (smiling) been a staunch supporter of naturalism. For me, the best design is natural. I am surprised at the evolutionary creation of man – the creation of the Universe or God, no matter how anyone calls it.

Our body is a harmonious work of organs, and each performs only its own function and is not interchangeable, for example, the heart pumps blood but does not purify it, this function is performed by the kidneys. My brain is my memory of the past, my knowledge, my dreams and fantasies.

After all, only a person has a right and left hemisphere, and they are constantly studied in order to find out where creativity lives (smiles) and intuition. I admire this body where ideas are born and then I try to turn them into finished products, jewelry or art objects. Well, the heart, in my opinion, is the place where our soul lives, our feelings are encoded in it.

The idea to express admiration and decorate the organ of the brain and heart came two years ago, when we were closed at home and given the opportunity to realize our personal value.

Such restrictions stopped me and just made me hear myself. Not immediately, of course, a few days of shock, and only with time came the realization of freedom in ourselves, and what truly belongs to us and what cannot be taken away from us is our skills and abilities.

And that’s all. It is they, my ideas, knowledge and skills that give me true joy, my life resource, no one will take them away from me.

We in society, most often bow and strive to have the best: the best car, house, branded clothes, surround ourselves with the best gadgets, admire them and strive to possess them.

But all these brands and gadgets were invented by him – the man! And with the help of the brain as well. I draw a lot, I try to make sketches of the idea that came up, and I kept putting off their implementation, and now this moment has come. And the work on these objects stretched for two years.

Creating forms, making models, selecting the necessary materials and stones, assembling parts, and now, I can now show them to the world.
You understand me?

Yes. Well, your delight to our bodies is now clear. But why a teapot in the form of a brain? But I see from the coal the Brain with a stylized laurel crown.

Damir Avertone
The Brain-shaped teapot is my attitude towards natural philosophy. I love tea. I like to “drink” my images, ideas and knowledge from my brain. This Teapot was molded from plasticine, then cast in bronze, it turned out to be 3.7 kg in weight. (smiles) and with the help of paints brought its shape closer to the natural appearance of our organ.

There are plans and opportunities to lighten it in weight, I really want to make it in glass. Now, this is a teapot from which everyone drinks their knowledge, their experience and desires. But a cup for this teapot was not included in my plans. Her presence was suggested by the photographer during the photo shoot. This is how this composition was born, in contrast – a big brain in our small skull. Laughs.

The charcoal brain is my achievement, as this shape turned out completely by accident. Coal is very sharp, aggressive, sharp and at the same time hard layered stone. I agree with him, yes, yes, because my burr machine with diamond discs does not have enough “strength” and power to smooth it out or, conversely, make a recess in it. I work with him on the street, in a respirator, with my bare hands, as he is very sharp and not comfortable with gloves – he clings to tears fabric or rubber.

But my fingers also scratch, cut and stab, and the dust from the coal eats into my eyes, nostrils, face, ears and all uncovered parts of the body. So I ask him to give himself to me (laughs), to allow me to work with him, to process him as I would like, to soften his aggression.

And while turning it with a powerful machine with a disk, they cut tiles like this, you, as a man, will understand me, and when I turn it on it rotates and vibrates like that, then after an hour of working on coal, my hands tremble so much that I can’t press and turn it off (smiles).

So, processing a large piece of coal with different disks, I got a stone of this shape, when I washed it, I saw a clear resemblance to the shape of the skull. It happens to me so often. I didn’t even plan to get it on purpose, just such a shape reminiscent of the shape of our skull and brain.

Coal itself so decided to appear.

Well, then, for months (about 6 months) I picked up diamond burs to achieve cerebral convolutions and depressions in this stone. Filled large cracks with a mixture of fine coal and transparent resin. I turned it again and dried it (drying for about 72 hours).

Then, with the help of stained glass paints, she tinted the bloody mucus. On a black corner, it turned out expressively. And after that, by hand in wax, I cut out branches with needles under the resulting volume of the resulting stone, cast them in silver and soldered a curved crown with needles, covered with black rhodium.
The crown of the branches of a plant with thorns is a symbol of glory, victory and fortitude. Putting such an ornament on the skull and heart, I emphasize their greatness and dignity. I will emphasize it directly.

Looking at these works, I immediately want to say “Fu”, it’s disgusting like that. But, having looked closely, you begin to peer and even somehow understand the artist’s intention.

What do you want to express or show with these works?

Damir Avertone
The senses. I really want those who see my work, in fact, these are analogues of our organs hidden from the general view, to consider my admiration and feel the energy that this or that organ with scarlet blood transmits. And also, to cause the viewers to accept their actual values of themselves. I notice that for many, the sight of blood causes fear and unreasonable fear.

So you said your disdain, and then thought. Psychologists are able to build relationships and deal with stressful situations with the help of words. Artists with their paintings.

Everyone is talented in their own way, that’s true. And I offer my own way of establishing a mutual understanding with myself with the help of these art images.

After all, natural philosophy has arrived today.

I’m looking at a heart of coal and clear salt. Blood, tubular arteries and mucus with a sheen, well, very naturalistic … Tell me about it.

Damir Avertone
Yes, I purposefully connected several dozen pieces of coal with the help of transparent resin, it aggressively resisted, especially in the process of turning and grinding, but succumbed.

And the image, or rather the contour, of the human heart, which I saw in the museum at the biological faculty of the Medical University and pictured, was created. Then processed and covered with stained-glass paint imitating blood and slime glitter. Thus, a cool, believable imitation of this organ was obtained, and its contour in volume.

In the beginning, I thought that it would turn out to be a “miner’s” heart, a heart from the depths of the bowels of our earth. But, my medical friends, who saw my work in the workshop, indicated that there must be arteries in the heart. There was a need for additional stone or polymer pipes, but I really did not want to combine naturally with non-natural.

Coal is a sedimentary rock that has been formed over 250 million years and halite, which we call salt, is also called an edible mineral. By age, salts also give from 230-250 million years. I found in my collection a rare piece of Solidarity mine, transparent as glass crystal. And so arteries appeared from galita, very softly fit into the composition, I managed to "marry" them with coal and salt.
And so, the heart of my country was born.

Where do you get coal from?

Damir Avertone
I always make my works only with those stones that are mined in my Ukraine. Anthracite grade coal, lifted from a depth of 1100 meters by the Zasyadka mine, Donetsk. I still have half a bag of anthracite, plus samples of rare and collectable pieces of coal and halite. For 30 years now, I have been collecting my collection.

Tell me, are you not afraid that you will not be understood? Or just for hating you?

Damir Avertone

No, ( smiles). I am a hedonist and a naturalist.

Of course, I can’t please everyone. We are all different, there are 8 billion of us on Earth and everyone expresses their feelings and opinions in different ways. How can you laugh from nature I, on the contrary, plan to show these works at international exhibitions of contemporary art And also, and on interactive international platforms of contemporary art such as KLIMT, I am proud that my works are there.

Yes, I want to declare with these works my attitude to natural philosophy. Show these works to the world. And here already, there will be their desire to think and either admire their organs or not.

Three minerals coal – salt – amber from which I made and decorated these organs with noble metal and black diamonds – bring warmth, life and health to humanity. And yes, I am a miner’s daughter, born in a mining region, and I will always admire the courage of miners, their incredible courage and work, raising these minerals to the “mountain”, which is so vital for humanity.

The haters will probably be those who do not understand this. Well, that’s their right.

Will you sell these works? Are you selling your heart? And who are your potential customers?

Damir Avertone

You know, to be honest, I don’t know where in Kyiv you can put up such works for sale. I put my work and love into my “heart” symbol. I make them, investing my material resources and creating my art collection, and it happens that information comes to my mail about international events or interactive exhibitions, and if my works become laureates, then the application always indicates the estimated cost, taking into account insurance, packaging and transportation.

At the end of the event, they write to me proposals to extend the display of my works in some foreign galleries with the opportunity to pay me a fee. But it also happens that they send me offers about the possibility of showing finished works and they themselves offer me the amount of the fee.
Most often these are collectors or managers of foreign galleries. Do you want to know the cost of these my works?

I will say this, the cost of these works (materials: resin, grinding discs, paints, polishers, varnish, the cost of raw stones) can be approximately estimated at each from 39,000 UAH. (1300 euros) plus you still need to pack such work with dignity.

However, if this work was selected and presented at an international exhibition, its value will increase significantly. I think you understand why.

Well , do you work under the order? Here you will be offered to make what they want and
how do you react to this?

Damir Avertone

Basically, they ask me to draw them or offer them a draft design, what I can do for the occasion that they need. And then we discuss the cost.

I have no competitors. Smiling. But I have a lot of ideas for new images.

Thank you Tatiana for this interview. It was very interesting and informative for me and I think that my readers will also like it very much.

Damir Avertone
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