In this episode of the Artmatcher podcast, Sasha Krivtsov speaks with Michael Goodman about his process of creating art and music.
About Sasha Krivtsov
Sasha Krivtsov, born (Alexander Krivtsov) June 6, 1967 in St. Petersburg, Russia, is probably best known as the bass player for the House Band on the TV reality shows Rock Star: INXS, Rock Star: Supernova and The Voice. He has played with singer-songwriter Vanessa Carlton. He toured and recorded as bassist with Cher, Tina Turner, James Blunt, Shakira, Christina Aguilera, Billy Idol, Badly Drawn Boy and multi-platinum pop band The New Radicals. Sasha and the House Band (Rafael Moreira (lead guitar), Paul Mirkovich (keyboards), Jim McGorman (rhythm guitar) and Nate Morton (drums) toured the United States with Paul Stanley (from KISS) in October/November 2006 as well as Australia in April 2007.
Before immigrating to the United States, Sasha was a band member of the No. 1 rock band in the Soviet Union, Zemlyane, with whom he frequently performed before crowds of more than 10,000 fans and sold 20 million records. Now living in Los Angeles with his wife, Deon, and his two boys, Jazz and Tyler, Sasha is also an accomplished visual artist and sculptor.
Sasha is currently the bass player on NBC’s The Voice (USA) and has held that position since the show’s first season. He is seasoned on the electric bass, upright bass, acoustic bass, and bass synthesizer.
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0:00:00.4 Michael Goodman: Hi everybody, I’m Michael Goodman with Artmatcher, the mobile app connecting art lovers, artists, galleries, art fairs, and art events.
0:00:08.6 Sasha Krivtsov: While we continue to build a great experience, we’ll be talking art with some of the industry’s most interesting and knowledgeable people. Whether you’re an art aficionado or this is all new to you, we’ll be here to provide valuable insight and hilarious good stories.
0:00:24.8 Sasha Krivtsov: Hope you enjoy our chat today and check out Artmatcher in the Apple App Store and Google Play. My name is Sasha Krivt. So first of all, thank you for having me.
0:01:02.2 Michael Goodman: Thank you for coming.
0:01:04.6 Sasha Krivtsov: I was born in the Soviet Union in 1967, a long time ago. I’m an artist, photographer, professional musician as well. I came to the United States in 1991 and have been here since then. I lived in New York for about a year and a half and then moved to Los Angeles. I moved here for my music career. In Russia, I’ve been in one of the probably most famous bands in Russia since I was 16 years old. I had to finish school on the road.
0:01:50.6 Michael Goodman: How did that translate? Was there a big culture shock of going from the Russian music industry to the United States at that time? Absolutely. There was no really Russian music industry. One record label belonged to the state, to the government. It was the early 80s. There were probably about three rock and roll bands allowed by government. We toured like crazy. It was four or five shows a day. Was that funded by the government then at the time? Yes. Oh, wow. So it was like the musicians were working for the government.
0:02:34.8 Sasha Krivtsov: Yeah, exactly. Because we sold about 32 million records there, I made 0.0 rubles. So that was like Mafia. Well, it is. Yeah, it’s Soviet Union. Yeah, we toured a lot. We made good money touring. I probably made a day what my father made a year, and he was like a professor. Wow. It’s pretty wild. But again.
0:03:06.1 Michael Goodman: Was that always the trajectory? Yeah. You’re one of these kind of like what I like to say Renaissance artists, which we’re going to jump into kind of your visual art, but kind of having this kind of start in music, which is interesting, which I think a lot of people, they can only dream of being a rock star. So like when you were like in it, like was that like, did you have that on your vision board? Like I’m going to be playing like.
0:03:32.7 Sasha Krivtsov: Yeah, I always want to just be a hockey player like every other, you know, every other little boy in Russia, they just start walking to give you a stick and actually give you a shovel first to see which way you shovel the snow, if it’s your, if you’re right handed or left handed, and then they’ll give you a proper stick.
0:03:54.7 Sasha Krivtsov: They just kick you in the butt and you’re outside playing hockey all day long. Yeah, but I had so many injuries so at some point my mom just said enough and you’re gonna play music so I started playing classical guitar since I was like five years old and, and it just one thing led to another was in this kids band and this Russian band, which is that’s the name of the band that was really popular. And I ended up at that kids show and they saw me and they’re like, he’s cute enough, we’re gonna take him.
0:04:27.5 Michael Goodman: He’s cute, he’s marketable.
0:04:29.1 Sasha Krivtsov: Yeah, exactly.
0:04:31.5 Michael Goodman: And that’s it they just call my parents and the kid they just said look we’re taking him on a road to that and it wasn’t like at the time where there are a lot of encouraging parents for the arts because that’s a lot on your parents to say hey we want our kid to say focus on music because I think a lot of parents. Yeah, I don’t know Western not as encouraging Yeah, no, it was just because it was nothing really like there’s no internet there is no like, television or telephone so the only this is just occupy your kids with something, you know what I mean so and it just happened and I got really involved in music and I have great teachers in terms of music and the importance of having good teacher you know until this day, I’m thankful.
0:05:15.5 Sasha Krivtsov: His name is Andre and he was my biggest influence you know so it was like a mentor figure as well yeah exactly exactly and he gave me all that love for music and practicing and, and you see it in your kitchen and practice endlessly and stuff like that and.
0:05:34.4 Michael Goodman: But the same time I grew up in Leningrad some Petersburg now it’s visually in terms of arts visually it’s incredible architecturally incredible and hermitage you know and my parents took me to museums all the time, like, you know, my father did and so the art was always present. He’s a visually stimulating to it as a time yeah constantly so that’s interesting so going from that those early kind of memories of Russia and then coming here when you say a lot of the visuals that you do today. Are they inspired from here or from maybe an earlier time because your work as we dive into it. If I had to describe it, it, I mean it’s definitely stuff from your head because this stuff is not in reality, a lot of it, or did you did you actually take when you started painting to do like, did you try and like go like the realistic more traditional route because you are technically skilled.
0:06:35.6 Sasha Krivtsov: Yeah, I never I never had proper education in terms of art, but art in Russia in schools, even in kindergarten so promoted, so you would have great teachers and like when you six years, whatever five years old in kindergarten, you’ll have like actually professional people teaching you arts and they’re, it’s very promoted in Russia, you know, so I’m sure that influenced me somehow but my father could draw, and he was very artistic and my parents always encouraged me to just express myself, drawing, so I always found myself drawing stuff and you know photography develop pictures and all that stuff so did you find that was like so that that’s very interesting kind of all that encouragement and stuff.
0:07:24.8 Michael Goodman: Your main focus at the time when you were younger was music and then obviously segue here but were you creating at those early times is it like simultaneous like when was the time where you’re like is like for the audience right now this guy like he paints his draws, like, all the time, as you’re still practically like I’ll say you do it more than what I call artists who say this is their full time job you’re doing it.
0:07:50.1 Sasha Krivtsov: Yeah, constantly. Yeah, I do it. Literally every day. It’s just like kind of. I find inspiration a lot of artists go like I’m not inspired and so I find inspiration in my own work by doing it, you know, so I’ll come home and I just paint you know go to my studio and paint and doesn’t matter I just played for 10 hours on the voice so I play bass on the voice, by the way, and nonchalantly, which is a one of the biggest shows.
0:08:25.8 Sasha Krivtsov: It’s a great gig. I’m in town I don’t have to travel, it’s been 22 seasons of amazing freedom change my life change life of my kids and all that stuff so. So yeah I paint I create all the time, and it just necessity, I don’t have images on my head I don’t ever like very rarely I go to the canvas or whatever that I kind of have like okay this is what it should look like.
0:08:54.8 Michael Goodman: I usually just. I just have to do it, some of the larger scale works though, when we’re looking at your larger scale works. When I look at it. Do you start with, essentially like a drawing like walk us through your process of like, after obviously just do it but is it like, Oh, you know what I paint the canvas, gray, like, is there is there like a formal process or every, every time it’s kind of like a new experience.
0:09:24.6 Sasha Krivtsov: It’s kind of different experience all the time it depends what inspires me right so.
0:09:31.9 Michael Goodman: And again my style goes, you can probably see by technique does the same artists but stylistically. Sometimes I feel like painting, abstract paintings figurative painting so whatever it is you know what I mean so I don’t put myself in the box, which is could be probably sometimes like a few calories to figure out what the hell we talked about that kind of branding. Well, relating it back to music like would you say like as a musician. As a musician Do you have to have a certain style of music and that’s your framework of it, like, a lot of musicians do but with the nature of my, my gig right now on the voice we have to play every style of music from country to pop to rock to whatever you know what I mean so you just kind of, it’s really a skill set to do yeah you just have to have skill set to do it and that’s why that the band on the voice.
0:10:30.6 Michael Goodman: Just incredible, just literally. I’ve been to we’ve been together for a long time even before the voice and so fortunate to play with these are players you’ve played with it’s not like yeah yeah we played with.
0:10:42.7 Sasha Krivtsov: Yes, four years we share in Las Vegas, we did that. We want to be shows prior to that call Rockstar in excess and Rockstar supernova so it’s me musical director Paul Merkowitz and Nate Morton as a drama been together for like, I don’t know, 1819 years play together.
0:11:02.1 Michael Goodman: That’s so interesting because when I think about like bands like on the voice I think of the same formats of like the late night show and stuff is that similar to that.
0:11:11.6 Sasha Krivtsov: No, not really. I mean, we get so many so like we, we recorded, because we record for iTunes as well, everything I think we recorded close to 7000 songs so it must be like, I think it is like most recorded band ever. Wow, that’s like crazy amount of songs, you know what I mean so, and we’ve seen thousands of contestants so every time every week songs change so you have to new songs new arrangements new like it’s pretty involved gig.
0:11:43.6 Michael Goodman: Well, so you have to you have to study the music as well I read I side read so I read music so I just literally show up my tech puts my iPad on the stand and I have all the charts and I just read. It’s like reading book, you know, so lucky enough, I learned how to read music when I was I was. I was talking to a buddy of mine who does music and I guess he like he plays by ear but this, he can do this gig then because no, you know, you just have to know you got to know, like in any song because we play covers obviously, for the most part, you know, like 90% of it that’s a cover song so you have to learn the song the way it is.
0:12:25.5 Michael Goodman: Yeah, and then and then you can you know if there’s different arrangement then you can. Are you guys ever like oh man like you guys check each other like, oh man that dude messed up. We don’t mess up. He’s like No, I don’t know you mess up you’re out.
0:12:44.7 Sasha Krivtsov: You’re out. No, no, but it’s it’s very like it’s, it’s insane, like musicianship and that this band is ridiculous, because I think I see a lot.
0:12:53.7 Michael Goodman: I mean, when I look at your work visually I think there is a lot of musical inspiration by it because the fluidity of your work. A lot of things seem to flow. There’s like a lot of notes, like kind of like looking shape things in your work.
0:13:09.9 Michael Goodman: I think that’s the main thing, like, I love shapes you know so that’s why you know I get inspired by nature but I’ll go to the beach and like a carpentry and spend three hours looking at rocks, you know, whenever I have three hours, which is never. But what is it like, you know, kind of making art in between when you’re when you’re doing your other gig.
0:13:37.7 Sasha Krivtsov: I create a lot actually in my dressing room too I like, if we’re doing like a portion of the show that runs for six weeks so I just set up our studio in my dressing room. So I just paint while I’m like we’ll go on stage we filmed and we have two hours in between I’ll come to the dressing room and I’ll paint. Sometimes I come I mean I come home and I’ll paint downstairs I have a big counter you’ve been to my house and in the kitchen I don’t even go to the studio it’s kind of like, it’s just, it’s just like something I’ll watch some documentary or some like old film or whatever, not really paying attention to that not really paying attention what I’m drawing.
0:14:17.4 Sasha Krivtsov: Do you ever reflect on it like maybe you’re having a bad day and then you look at the work and you’re just like, that’s bad anyway. Yeah, absolutely. I mean it’s, it’s, it’s totally done by like intuition and luck and mistakes, leading to images, you know what I mean so it’s, again, the smaller work I really never, I just feel like, okay, I’m gonna start doing something and then just before you know it, it comes out and then of course maybe it reflects your certain mood or what happened that day or maybe what happened, whatever, year ago.
0:14:53.3 Michael Goodman: Do you have a medium that you gravitate more to that you kind of lean into in terms of like yeah you have like this because just so the audience understands like he has amassed a catalog of work that I don’t think some people will will sometimes do in their life and to put in perspective, I’ve had many artists. And even Matt who’s an artist here in our studio when if you if you ask someone what is their output a year right of of art, it could be Matt just showed me a sign of like 10. He does, he could do 10 in a day. I put my money on it.
0:15:34.9 Sasha Krivtsov: Yeah, I’ve done maybe three, four days sometimes and it just. It’s yeah I have a storage full of art, which is kind of silly and stupid I pay for my own art every month, you know, so, but I don’t have a place at home so that stops me actually from making very large scales I mean I do have very large scale paintings but at this point I was like, I start doing them just not stretch canvas I’ll just roll it up, roll it up, you know what I mean so. Somebody has to see it all the time we can fill up every gallery in LA. In LA. Every gallery that hears this we have art for you know what it’s it’s interesting because then to me it goes back to kind of like why artists create why they create, and I think every artists process is very different when they think about the ideas that they’re trying to communicate on the visual language and kind of what I’ve learned about your work and kind of looking at it.
0:16:36.0 Sasha Krivtsov: Is that a lot of this the way I interpret it is a lot of like subconscious thought and stuff because so is it yep when when when we curated the last exhibition. We were looking at some 20 images collectively and when you look at your work. In that sense you can kind of see these different ideas and stories, and we sold a couple of them as well and it’s interesting the way people identify with the work like there was a there was there’s, and I think I’ve told you this before there’s like a lot of religious influence in your work, you know, the crosses. And that’s why like I know kind of going back to what you’ve told me I like kind of where you grew up and this kind of the churches and stuff yeah it’s it’s definitely there and I don’t I really don’t know like why not why but I’m not a religious person at all. You know some spiritual but I don’t go to church at all but I went to churches in Russia just for the sake of beauty inside the you know there’s certain energy and churches that built in like 1400s and 1500s there’s certain energy and icons is just in terms of technical abilities you know it’s just beautiful icons and stuff it’s always some reason I always gravitated to that though cemeteries, you know, Russian cemeteries are beautiful like in St Petersburg, you know, also in Russia.
0:18:00.9 Sasha Krivtsov: In St Petersburg, you know, old cemeteries. It’s like in its sculpture garden, you know, I mean so I always, it was actually legal to go to church in Russia.
0:18:10.8 Sasha Krivtsov: Illegal during the Soviet Union you could not go to.
0:18:13.5 Michael Goodman: What was the reasoning behind that? I just separated religion and and communist propaganda you know you weren’t allowed to believe in God, you can go to jail if you like, per se, you know. It’s weird hearing these ideas and knowing like something happened because like it’s interesting your experiences with like kind of like the Soviet Union and it’s like, I hear about it but I don’t know about it. So, I can only know about it is by like hearing stories from people of like, who kind of experience because like I have different friends from Russia, some younger some older and it’s amazing kind of like the different experiences of like the life, some people are living now in retrospect to like what it was. Yeah, well now we’re back to, we just took a step back about 100 years with all this war with the Ukraine happening, you know what I mean? It’s terrible. But, yeah, I mean, and it was changing like my sister is four years younger than me, and she has completely different experiences so it was changing like very frequently, you know, rapidly, yeah, exactly.
0:19:20.5 Sasha Krivtsov: And yeah, like when I was growing up, you couldn’t listen to band Kiss, you know, you could go to jail for listening, literally, they can put you to jail for five years for if you get busted for listening to band Kiss, or watch American movies. The accessibility to it then too was much harder than we have today. Almost impossible, like impossible, literally had to go like on black market and get like some tapes and group of like, like how the on VHS that’s how we used to watch the American movies and neighbors would call to KGB and KGB will come to the apartment building shut down the lights. This way, old VHS you could not get the, the actual tape out if the lights are off. That’s how people get busted, get arrested and I got, you know, beat up in my own apartment by KGB, you know what I mean?
0:20:20.6 Sasha Krivtsov: Wow. And no reason whatsoever because on my Russian band we travel a lot so we would bring some foreign goods to sell per se you know because there’s nothing in Russia and somebody, one of the neighbors saw me coming home, it’s like bunch of, you know, boxes is like some American writing so they call KGB and they just raided my apartment thinking that I am like, because, because you could not sell for profit there because that’s you go to jail for that. So that’s like it’s so wild like kind of hearing it and thinking like wow that was a certain time where just people kind of had to adhere to certain things. Yep. I want to know, you’ve, you’ve traveled quite a bit because of your music career. Is there a place that kind of strikes you where there was like an aha like I went to like this place and it just changed my perspective. Yeah, like what places like shaped kind of Paris, Paris. Yeah. Okay. Matt is just a little side note. He asked me a couple weeks ago should he moved to Paris I said, you’re young enough to it doesn’t matter so just go live in Paris for however long you want to do it.
0:21:29.8 Michael Goodman: Yeah, just go live anywhere you know what I mean? Yeah, absolutely. You’re getting an endorsement here from the man himself. It was amazing you know well maybe because I was coming from Soviet Union and then we went to Paris and it was like oh my god it’s like a literally until this day every time I visit I go for a walk for like 10 hours, you know, like everywhere you look is just artistic, just artistic the vibe of the city, you know, just a smell of create. I want to live there. That’s a real question.
0:21:58.6 Sasha Krivtsov: I don’t know. I mean, I never. I stayed there for like three. I mean two and a half months or whatever it is. That was great but living somewhere is completely different, you know, from always want to be in America for some reason, you know what I mean? Yeah, that’s the, you know, I read Fenimore Cooper books about Indian tribes and I just want to be dude with the bow and arrow. You’re gonna hunt your own. I’m not great. I’m politically incorrect. Sorry, Indian people.
0:22:30.4 Michael Goodman: You have, you have, well, you know, it’s so funny. I was telling people contextually of like, you know, there’s nothing that’s correct, incorrect. It’s just how we perceive and take it in. That’s interesting. So Paris was the place that clicked for you like kind of like artistically. Do you find like when, when traveling in these places, were there like artists along the way that you said, Oh wow, like, cause you’re self-taught, like, but where, where did you like, who’s the one who started kind of mentoring you in art then if any at all?
0:23:11.1 Sasha Krivtsov: Well, growing up back in the Soviet Union, we, it weren’t, there weren’t many like contemporary or modern artists and stuff. It was more like, was more social realism, like, you know, propaganda art and all that stuff. Like realistic art was promoted, but like Picasso, you know, like even those kinds of guys weren’t really, you know, Really? But then like mid eighties, you could go to Hermitage and see Matisse and Picasso and all that. But then in Paris, I went to Pompidou and the center of Pompidou. And then, then you get introduced to Francis Bacon and then your life changed, you know? And so you go, holy crap, I was going to say, cause like, if I, if I had to say to like describe your work visually of what, if someone said, Hey, what does this work look like on this podcast?
0:24:00.8 Sasha Krivtsov: I’d say some works could be the love child between Francis Bacon and Dali. Yeah. Dali. Absolutely.
0:24:07.2 Michael Goodman: Somehow Dali was accepted in Russia. So you could get ahold of like books of Dali for some reason, you know what I mean? Was it probably because were he politically aligned or something? I don’t know. I mean, Picasso was like in the communist party for a second too. So, yeah, like during, yeah, he, he, he was, you know, and so, yeah, I mean, even Beatles weren’t like going back to music, weren’t allowed.
0:24:33.7 Michael Goodman: Only one song they played every New Year’s Eve is back in the, back in the USSR thinking that this singing about the going, they were telling us like, see, even Beatles want to come and live in the USSR. So, so dumb. No, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s very fascinating. There’s, you know, you have this kind of worldview of like kind of a world of how it was and here in America, anything goes. I mean, today, if like, whatever you want to do, you could be, there’s no limit. You know, you want to be a tree today? Well, I’ll address you as a great redwood if you want to. Cool idea. And it could pass. So it’s interesting, like, you know, when, when I think about art and, and maybe I’ll ask this about your music and stuff. Is there like, because you’ve done, I don’t want to say you’ve done everything in music, but you’ve done everything that you feel like you needed to do in a music career. But do you ever find yourself looking to push the envelope of like, oh, you know what, I’m going to write a song with my band or something like.
0:25:35.5 Sasha Krivtsov: No, I, I don’t want to sound too cocky about it, but music at this point, it’s very, it’s come so naturally and easy because my music career been for what, 40 years at this point, you know what I mean? So, I don’t, I find art is more limitless, you know what I mean? So music is very like structural form of like, I’m talking about popular music or whatever, you know what I mean? So, and music always been my moneymaker. So I treat music that way as well. I mean, I don’t, it’s always a question to me, like, I should probably dive in and play like, get really like play jazz music and stuff like that. Yeah. You can dive in and, and educate yourself that way, but you’re going to make like $75 a year, you know what I mean?
0:26:27.6 Michael Goodman: I was going to, I was going to, when you said jazz music, my experience with jazz music, and maybe I just don’t have the ear for it. I hate good jazz music, meaning I know good jazz music is like, like it’s the point where you don’t understand anything. Yeah. I’m like, okay, this is beyond my kind of like scope of my ears because I’ll be honest. I like commercial good. Yeah. That’s what I consider good music.
0:26:49.9 Sasha Krivtsov: Nothing wrong with that. You know, I mean, yeah, jazz music is just literally you got to really study and really, it just, well, music is form of communication, right? So it’s like, if you have two like super high end professors talking to each other, you probably won’t understand like half of the crowd is saying, you know what I mean? So it’s kind of jazz music in a sense. Yeah. It’s a very intelligent way of communicating by playing your instrument and with each other, you know what I mean? So, and so yeah, for average people, even musicians, it’s hard to understand or, you know, I mean, I can fake it good enough, you know, for average listener, it’ll be, oh my God, he plays jazz, but true jazz musician.
0:27:31.3 Michael Goodman: You know, you’re laying in. So what would you say, like, because right now the thing you’re doing, it’s an open format, you have to do everything. Yep. Is there something that you would say like, oh yeah, this is what he’s known, you’re known for in the music industry in that sense? Like, I don’t know, you could shred the bass or something. I don’t.
0:27:48.0 Sasha Krivtsov: Yeah. No, I just like I said, I mean, it’s, it’s like we cover every, the beauty of this band that’s like if you play country song, it sounds like a country band from Nashville. If you play R&B song, it sounds like a bunch of musicians that grew up listening R&B, you know, it’s. So I don’t know what’s the specialty. I mean, maybe, I mean, I played rock all my life. So maybe rock, but I love. You have an affinity to it. But Motown music, that’s what speaks the most to me, like Marvin Gaye and all that. So I love playing that music. And I’ve done gigs and people come to me like, oh yeah, you really feel this, you know, so.
0:28:25.2 Sasha Krivtsov: Because I had an experience with music. I went to an art school where it was multi kind of discipline. We had visual artists, we had musicians, we had actors. And one of my friends went to Juilliard and she studied viola. And they have like these sight reading parties. It was like the biggest nerd fest you could ever go to, like just a bunch. Matt was there actually. He was there assisting me, making sure people paid their dues to come to this party. And this was a couple of years, a couple of years back when I went to the first one and I could finally, like, I felt like I could appreciate, I don’t want to say classical, classical instruments where I was able to singly, like, hear a certain instrument. I’m like, is this what musicians always do? Like they could like, and I want to say like the guy who was playing, he’s like the first chair violinist at the LA Phil. So he’s a big time, he’s really good. But I was like, wow, it was like, it was like the most serene experience I ever had. And I wonder if that happens in different formats where, and I think you’re the perfect person to ask because you’re a professional musician in that sense of like, is that the experience like where you can sing?
0:29:44.8 Sasha Krivtsov: Like when the whole orchestra comes together, it’s one thing and it’s beautiful, but when you can just, wow, like just appreciate why that is the way it is or why that the violin. I think it’s, comes to any profession, like super pro guys, you see super basketball player, you know, you look at LeBron, you go and how that like what, you know, so you get amazed by, you just when you’re on top of your game and anything you do, I think that’s going to give that effect. You know what I mean? So that’s what I, well, so there are you like, so you being in that league of like, I mean, how many musicians get to say they’ve had a career like you’ve had in music to say that and professionally kind of even be in business of music.
0:30:32.9 Michael Goodman: Not many can say that.
0:30:34.4 Michael Goodman: Not too many. Yeah, it’s a lot of musicians in this, especially in this town, a lot of people come in, but it’s, I would say maybe what group of 25 musicians, 30 musicians that work all the time. So when you get on that level, you don’t need to audition for things, you just get a call to do things and do records and stuff like that. And yeah, like, I mean, coming from Russia, I don’t think anybody ever accomplished as a musician what I come, again, I’m not going like, look at me, look at me, but it just, that’s a fact, you know, in the classical world, there are plenty of Russian musicians like in Philemon and stuff like that. But in terms of pop rock and all that stuff, it just happened again. I’m the only one since I came here that actually done something on the, yeah, that did something on the highest level in terms of playing with this, this, this, this and this, you know, plays a lot of people.
0:31:30.8 Michael Goodman: So that’s why I think I told you before that if my music career stops tomorrow, I’m totally cool with that, you know what I mean? Because I played, I accomplished all my dreams, whatever my dreams were in terms of music. So that’s why art is like, I literally want to have a place like some place where I can just create all the time because I want to work with wood, I want to work with, on giant sculptures, all that stuff, you know what I mean? Yeah, tell me about like your first shows of where you felt like you started arriving because before the exhibition we did, you had done some exhibitions before. So what was that experience like kind of navigating the art world? Because even where you’re at in the art world right now, I mean, for someone like me, this is all I do, this is all I know. You’re still much further ahead of where I’d say most artists.
0:32:21.3 Sasha Krivtsov: I don’t know if I’m much farther ahead because I really never, I mean, I’ve done exhibits like KP, Project Gallery, Mary Kronofsky, I know her for a while, we’ve been friends per se, you know, and I love her. I’ve done a show at this gallery. She’s great, and I’ve done a retrospective show at her place a few years ago, like maybe 10 years ago, I showed like 72 pieces so far. A lot of times I do, I work with different galleries but I find myself, as you know, art business is really weird. Like I would have a deal, I have a deal with this gallery. I’m not gonna name the gallery but it was in Studio City and we got a deal to put my paintings up and they sold one and then they call me up and they said, can I come to the gallery? And I said, yeah, I go to the gallery, they said, look, we like your backgrounds on the paintings but the figures are too freaky. People don’t buy it. Can we just, can you give us something, just eliminate the figures, can we just have a background? So I just went to UHO, I said, I’ll be back, I went to, I got the UHO truck, walk into the gallery, load everything out and left.
0:33:36.8 Michael Goodman: Pick up everything else. And then just go, peace out, wait, what, okay, bye. We were just having this discussion earlier of like someone asking what’s the difference between like commercial art and fine art. I think in music it’s pretty clear maybe. In art it’s kind of what the intention of it is. So it’s in the fact that you have a gallerist who’s saying, hey, we want you to paint a certain way, it’s taking away from the artistry of it. That’s the whole fun of it. That’s interesting, like, and that’s why I find it so fascinating with your music career. Because it’s your music career, you’re just subject to play whatever is thrown at you and you’re able to do it.
0:34:15.1 Sasha Krivtsov: Yeah, and that’s why it’s with art to me, it’s like, it just really comes from my heart, whatever it’s come from. And I don’t want to compromise because it’s not my main source of income. So I don’t have that pressure. And a lot of artists probably have that pressure.
0:34:32.6 Michael Goodman: That is a true struggle of like, I have artists who do that.
0:34:35.9 Sasha Krivtsov: Absolutely, because if you know, like, if I know I can just, I mean, I can make a lot of money doing art because I know what sells, like, but why, you know, I do that with music.
0:34:47.3 Michael Goodman: Yeah, that’s the fascinating thing to me, where the kind of the treatment of it is different because a lot of artists like just, just as, as you have the kind of tools in your stable to play anything let’s say, you have visual artists who come from, let’s say, an illustration background, a lot of illustrators are phenomenal, like, like in paint, like really well and there’s artists who take that route and then there’s artists who kind of like, it’s more passion driven of, of what you’re doing. And I would think like, a thing that you lead in that you were like, you must like, I think, I think music you do need to have like some type of aptitude for it from a young age because I think some people they really gravitate to it. I know I wasn’t one of them. My parents tried to get me to play like the piano, the guitar, just, I feel like I would be actually a very good music judge though, like Simon Cowell or something. Well, here you go. I’ve predicted a lot of, a lot of artists that people said, nah, these guys won’t make it. I was like, oh, I.
0:35:48.7 Sasha Krivtsov: Yeah. Well, I mean, maybe that’s the question to you. How do you select artists for as a gallerist? You know what I mean? How do you select artists to represent them? You know what I mean? So based on… There’s a huge balance. I’m sure it’s a different levels of like long career, short careers, quick money make. No, it really depends how I’m looking at the art itself. And today we did a studio visit with an artist who had a show in a museum, for instance, and when talking to the artist about his work and how he felt on it, just even where he’s trying to go with his art aligns with the program that I’m putting together. So when I’m interested in artists that aren’t chasing the dollar, we know the dollar. I like that you can comfortably talk about it because a lot of people like to think that like, oh, if there’s a monetary aspect, you know, it’s not pure. No, everything has a monetary aspect to it. Of course. It has to be. It helps you to develop. It gives you more freedom to do more, reinvest and develop and travel and see and you know what I’m saying?
0:36:54.9 Sasha Krivtsov: You can be inspired and absolutely. And it gets to a point where hopefully, you know, you get to a point where you have a nest egg or something where you could say, okay, I could really do the fun stuff. And so what I look for in artists is artists that one are really about what they want to do. One of the things I always say is, if I have to tell you what to paint, I don’t want to represent you. Because then that’s another job. Now, I have to be honest, if I could sell what you’re painting and that’s always, that’s the trickiest part about the art industry because there is something for everyone. It’s about can you find those people? Can you kind of make it? So even though I started working with you recently, it’s like, it’s like a marathon. You have to like certain people and certain galleries, much like how you can play everything. My gallery, we weren’t like KP projects where we specialize in some niche of what would be considered maybe outsider art or illustration. She has a broad also program to a certain extent, but still they have their like, they have a style that they prefer.
0:38:07.1 Sasha Krivtsov: So I welcomed all styles and kind of all different walks of life as long as I felt like they were taking it seriously and they were taking it in a serious manner. And there’s been a lot of great talented artists that I wanted to represent, but as a person, they were terrible. So it’s like, that’s another thing. Like you may have a talented musician, but if he doesn’t show up to play the gig, then is it worth it? Oh yeah, that’s what makes you to the high level, but it’s like combination of everything.
0:38:34.5 Michael Goodman: Of everything, the networking and all that. Absolutely. I think what’s changing today in the art market is consumers are going more direct. So as gallerists, the narrative of what a gallery needs to do is just different. There’ll always be a need for a wall and something to fill it. Yeah, how do galleries deal at this point with that? Because like I get, I do a lot of sales, just people literally looking at my Instagram and contacted directly. And of course they understand that I buy art for my own collection contacting directly artists because obviously for financial benefits of it. You know what I mean? So the, but the gallery, I guess it’s still important to have a gallery if gallery believes in you and build your career in the long run. Yeah, I think about it as having a music agent.
0:39:22.1 Sasha Krivtsov: Yeah. You know, what, what are they good for?
0:39:24.6 Sasha Krivtsov: I don’t know, collecting the 10% collecting. So there you get, it’s, it’s interesting. So that I don’t have, I don’t have agents. No idea. I like you said that, but no, but you said you, you actually answered it, which is interesting.
0:39:37.7 Sasha Krivtsov: Collecting the 10%. Yeah, you’re right. They collect their own 10%, but they also, it’s, it’s a lot easier for someone else to ask for money than yourself.
0:39:46.3 Michael Goodman: That’s been proven.
0:39:47.2 Sasha Krivtsov: And I mean the way, sorry to interrupt, but the way like working with you and that was our first show together, the way you organize the show, how it was created. It was amazing. It was incredible job because it was three artists completely different. And I was like, how the hell is Michael going to do this? And you did it, you know, I was worried for a little bit because they’re so drastically different. Very drastically, but it fell and it was one room, but it still fell like three different shows and one room with different experiences, you know, so like kudos to you on that. Thank you. I appreciate it. I think there’s a lot of moving parts. And I think, I think the roles of galleries in the future is going to be more management, kind of like how a CAA or UTA, UTA actually represents artists, CAA as well. And I think, you know, it’s going to be adding value. And I think artists, once they get to a big enough scale, they run these studios. We literally just visited a studio today, Kaylee and I, where the guy’s doing fine, you know, he’s doing fine in terms of what he’s doing.
0:40:50.1 Sasha Krivtsov: And he has his collectors and everyone. But the question is, my philosophy is how can I add value? So I know, maybe for your next show, you’ll think twice about curating your own show, you might be like, you know, I want to get a curator. No, the way you did, the way you did that’s, I mean, yeah, I don’t want to be involved in curating after you did it, you know, because a lot of shows I’ve done, I created myself, you know, so it’s a lot of work. And it’s, you know, Yeah, finding out the right combo.
0:41:18.6 Sasha Krivtsov: And I think that’s the thing about putting together a team. I think at the height of the gallery, you’re going to see like big galleries, like when you go to the big galleries, like a Gagosian, Blum and Poe, those are institutions, and they have a lot of resources to promote that. But it’s also promoting a brand of how you even talk about work. So here, I have the privilege of talking to you. But when you’re not, when someone when your work is being shown somewhere else, do you trust the person to then talk about your work in a favorable light? Because that could be a really good thing, or it could be a disaster if someone’s like, you know, not talking about the work in a way where you’re like, Oh, man, that doesn’t make me look good. So there’s a whole art to it. And I think the, the future of it’s going to be these partnerships where, like any good business where you have two people, they find the best way for them to work together much how like a band plays together. There’s been tons of talented musicians, but you’ll just choose the guys you just know, like, I don’t think you need to.
0:42:20.5 Sasha Krivtsov: Yeah, I mean, yeah, absolutely. Yeah, it’s all about who you surround the who you’re hanging out with, you know, on the off time, that’s more important. You do business together, you know what I mean?
0:42:29.9 Sasha Krivtsov: Yeah. And it’s like that back to the same idea, what you were saying that you got to like the person to work as a person to work with work with the COVID changed a lot of things like to think about like, two years ago, going outside of the house was like a scary thing for some people.
0:42:46.6 Sasha Krivtsov: Not for me. I was never scared. Just me. That was the best time. I know there was no traffic. Yeah, we said, he values time.
0:42:54.6 Michael Goodman: That means I value time. Exactly. You know, just like, Oh, I was so happy when there were no cars on the road. I shouldn’t say this, but I felt like I was one of the deserving people. Yeah. And COVID didn’t, I mean, we, I like being by myself. I don’t mind being by myself. It’s freaked a lot of people out because a lot of people don’t know how to be with themselves. Yeah. And of course traffic and all that stuff. Unfortunately, a lot of people died and all that. Yeah, I just was speaking to my brother who’s a doctor. And I was asking him like, what are the highest cause of deaths? One was like, I think, something like, the second one was COVID. Like it ranked like, and it’s kind of hard to think like that, that, that surpassed a lot of things, but we do live in a different world now of like how experiences are. How do you feel about digital art?
0:43:52.1 Sasha Krivtsov: That’s a good question. I kind of thought that you’re going to ask that. I had a couple of meetings with NFT guys. I don’t know. I still, I mean, again, I’m not saying it’s bad or good or whatever it is. I just, maybe I just don’t understand fully. I get the idea that it’s ownership. That’s what you’re selling on NFTs and blah, blah, blah. I still don’t understand the difference between if you have two exactly the same digital images. How’s that? Why is one is 10 million and not a one $5? You know what I mean? So I just mean the same image. Yeah. Well, I mean, if you buy it, like I, that’s why I’m saying I’m not educated enough on NFT to even talk about it.
0:44:37.2 Michael Goodman: I think it’s interesting. NFT is like a medium that I look at it like the non fungible token. And it’s like, essentially, I mean, we assign value. Everything is worth what someone’s willing to pay. But I think it’s when you look at digital art, the NFT is like the medium that now protects of what could be scarce. So someone asked me like, well, I could just take a photo of it. I’m like, you could take a photo of the Mona Lisa and it’s still not the Mona Lisa, right? We can agree to that. Right?
0:45:11.0 Sasha Krivtsov: Of course. Yeah. Yeah.
0:45:11.9 Michael Goodman: So you can take a photo of the Mona Lisa, right? Print out a very high quality print. Maybe that’s going to look exactly like the Mona Lisa. Fool a lot of people, but it’s still not the Mona Lisa, right? So now let’s take the concept of if the medium was already digital, like it was created online. It’s still there’s it that could be a one of one that could be the unique aspect of it.
0:45:37.6 Sasha Krivtsov: But on the digital, can you just drag it in your computer and it’s going to look exactly because it’s created digitally. So there is no brush strokes. There is no, you know what I’m saying? So there are there’s like digital strokes. And that’s it’s interesting because I had an artist.
0:45:50.5 Michael Goodman: That’s a good name for the band.
0:45:52.2 Sasha Krivtsov: Digital strokes. All right, go daddy. Get the domain.
0:45:56.9 Sasha Krivtsov: It’s interesting because I had an artist. He did a piece on illustrator and the client commissioned it and we printed it out on canvas. And if you look at this canvas, you would think it was hand painted. It’s that convincing his. He painted it in illustrator. Yeah, well, I do it. That’s work too. It’s so easy. Yeah, so then you know it’s on the iPad. It’s like, that’s your IP. You create a create. So what is like the NFT is the vessel that carries the IP.
0:46:28.7 Michael Goodman: That’s all it is. Yeah. Now you can decide. Do I want to sell that image a million times or one of one meaning are you going to lock it and say only one person has the ownership of the one because yes, you can duplicate it a million times. But if you said, hey, I only created one of this for like exchange, then there’s just one. Yeah, but that’s up to you. And then, you know, it’s the whole part of the blockchain technology for me. I just like to ask artists how they feel about creating work in that digital work.
0:47:02.2 Sasha Krivtsov: I mean, it’s amazing. I mean, again, it’s so mind blowing and amazing how this could be. I still understand how fax works. Yeah. I mean, so going to understand it like NFT. I just don’t. I mean, it’s all it’s all good. I mean, just I thought of fax was way more complex.
0:47:19.4 Michael Goodman: It’s crazy.
0:47:20.1 Sasha Krivtsov: It’s like you think paper back in the day, the role you guys even know what a fax is. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. The role I remember when I was living overseas and my dad would fax something and it would come. They say they predicted some French guy predicted the fax like a hundred years before it even came out. Like he had a prediction of this device since saying and it’s like, yeah, it is kind of funny. I never understood the technology of how you feed it in. And then somewhere. So archaic that like, how is this paper being fed in one way?
0:47:54.0 Sasha Krivtsov: Exactly. And being said, Yeah, that’s I never really said, That’s my problem. I thought it was a wizard wizard. So we’re just about at our end of our rope here. Where can people find your artwork? Where can we put them? I have an Instagram. It’s Sasha Kryvtsov underscore. You’re going to want to spell that out. Oh, yeah, exactly.
0:48:13.0 Michael Goodman: So S A S H A Sasha Kryvtsov is K R I V as in Victor T as in Tom S as in Sam O V as in Victor underscore art underscore photography. So I do photography. You guys can play that back to you and we’ll have probably a link in bio as well. Yeah, to share this. So this is a two segment part where we have a lot of fun people in the studio today making this happen.
0:48:39.4 Sasha Krivtsov: Yeah. And the last thing I want to say is just I hope the bring the art education back to schools in America. Yeah, it’s very important. It’s very important. I think that’s I think it’s prop. What is that 28 or something like that? I don’t remember exactly, but it’s really important. I mean, because I have children, I saw like, what happened in schools, how it’s got wiped out. And I think creativity. If you make kids be creative at school with through arts and music, it leads to other venues of being creative in other fields of, you know, in the become engineers or whatever, whatever it is. It just opens up your vision.
0:49:19.9 Michael Goodman: Yeah, I couldn’t agree more. I think that’s one of the things that I took away from this kind of segment today is like, you know, it is important for kind of the older parents listening, you know, to not discourage kind of like as if they’re going to be a teacher. And kind of like as if they can’t make a career because clearly I’m looking in front of someone who’s had a very successful and continuous career going on in music and in art. So until next time, guys, thanks so much.
0:49:45.2 Sasha Krivtsov: Thanks so much. Thank you so much for tuning into the art matcher podcast.
0:49:50.7 Michael Goodman: We had an interesting discussion, a great time, and we hope you did too. Please tune in for next week’s episode and like share and follow. For more information about the app, you can check out our website at artmatcher.com or look us up on social. Stay safe and be artful.