12:04 GMT +314 August 2018
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    Russian 'Weld Queen' Alexandra Ivleva

    Russian 'Weld Queen' Reveals How She Got Her 'Magnetic' Attraction to Welding

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    Earlier this year, Sputnik reported on the work of Alexandra Ivleva, a Moscow-based artist who earned the nickname 'Weld Queen' for her unique metal sculptures. Now, Sputnik has managed to speak to Ivleva in person to discover what it is that makes her tick

    Sputnik first reported on Ivleva in May, showing off the metal sculptor's work as she posed in front of her pieces in her custom-made welding dress and a helmet which looks similar to a traditional Russian headdress. Ivleva's work ranges from three-headed dragons of Slavic lore to yokes, angels, Doryphores sculptures and even the iconic Madonna.

    Catching up with Ivleva in her Moscow studio as she prepared to depart for an exhibition in Monaco as part of the 'From Russia with Love!' program, which started Saturday and runs through August 6, Sputnik France got the artist to open up about her origin story, her work, and what inspires her.

    "My mother is a professional cook. When I was little, she told me 'Alexandra, do not ever become a cook. It's hard work; you spend your days standing and carrying pots and pans.' Now I laugh and say, 'Mom, I listened to your advice; I'm not a cook, but I'm 'cooking' too," Ivleva joked, recalling her childhood.

    Ivleva began experimenting in art, drawing and making oil paintings. While she enjoyed it, something was missing. "In 2007, I tried welding. It was then that I began looking for a material which suits me best and best reflects my ideas. When I had a piece of metal in my hands, I felt that it attracted me like a magnet," she said.

    Ivleva family, hearing the way she would talk about metal, realized that her passion was important to her and always supported her, she said.

    In 2015, Ivleva finished her first metal sculpture, dubbed 'The Meditating Cat.' The cat came to her out of the blue, she said. "I woke up and sat on my bed in a lotus pose. I imagined myself as a big meditating cat. I felt if I was within his body. I imagined that people would come, sit down next to me, and become very calm. And so I rushed to create it."

    Two months later, Ivleva's meditating cat was already part of an exhibition.

    Soon after, the artist began making other metal sculptures, and her 'Weld Queen' handle was born. Ivleva's works have since made it to many art shows, exhibitions, museums and private collections. 

    Asked where her ideas came from, Ivleva smiled, and said that they come all by themselves. "I do not think of anything on my own. Somehow it just comes. I immediately see the sculpture as it should be, what people should feel when they see it, and how they should interact with it."

    The Weld Queen divides her art into two categories: "the social, which speaks about life in society…and the spiritual, from which people can draw vital energy." Her latest work, a three-meter piece called 'Mother', is from the second category, and is very important to her, she said.

    According to Ivleva, it takes at least a month to complete a single piece, and usually two or three. Sometimes the process can take up to half a year. The artist creates her masterpieces in her two-story Moscow studio, where she both lives and works. She says she has plenty of ideas and has enough work for at least a year in advance.

    "To a casual onlooker, my creative activity may seem like a reckless gamble. Three years ago I quit my day job and devoted myself completely to art. I went into the unknown, but believed in my work, because I felt it was not just a collection of ideas, but a certain design of the universe which I was destined to fulfill. Time passed, and reality began to adjust to my feelings. Today, I'm more aware of what needed to be done to give birth to the Weld Queen. Most importantly, I was never afraid, because my works are my children, which as their mother I see only with love," she concluded.

    Related:

    This 'Kokoshnik'-Wearing Russian 'Weld Queen' Makes Metallic Madonnas (PHOTOS)
    Tags:
    metalwork, welding, sculpture, art, Alexandra Ivleva, Russia
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