Russian artist makes 'Spirit of Detroit' sculpture out of pasta

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ARIEL WHITELY
  • Ariel Whitely

Russian artist Serghei Pakhomoff takes creating arts and crafts to another level. Though he resides in Russia, for a month he was given the opportunity to participate in an international artist residency at Hamtramck Disneyland. This is
Pakhomoff's fourth time in the United States, but his first time in Michigan.

Pakhomoff says he worked at a local advertising agency in his hometown, who had a pasta factory as a client at the time. That's when Pakhomoff came up with an idea that would influence the rest of his career.



The idea was meant for an advertisement for the pasta factory, but then in 2006, the owners closed the factory. In turn, Pakhomoff was left with a whole lot of pasta.

Pakhomoff began creating pasta models and sculptures based on details he’d notice from the world that remind him of a specific pasta shape. He says once he notices a resemblance between what’s real and a type of pasta, he begins creating a new sculpture of what he sees. If he goes to the supermarket and sees a new type of pasta, it will remind him of something in life. On every supermarket trip, Pakhomoff makes a stop to the pasta department.



ARIEL WHITELY
  • Ariel Whitely
“When I see people’s reaction, it is good motivation to make something new, from exhibitions, mass media, people on Facebook, everywhere,” Pakhomoff says. “We can eat it, but when you’re cooking pasta it’s just a plate of pasta nothing more, not a car or a man.”

Pakhomoff had a book of his sculptures released in Moscow after the artist was presented the idea by a publishing and distribution company. Pakhomoff says he doesn’t know of any other artists who have the same skill as him, so many private collectors look to purchase his work for exhibitions. Everyone asks him to make something different.

“Sometimes people want me to make something special, for example, a tank, a postman, a chief, a windmill,” he says.

He also says he likes to gift his sculptures to people because he enjoys seeing others reaction. A favorite sculpture of his is a model of a Chevy pickup truck.

ARIEL WHITELY
  • Ariel Whitely
Pakhomoff says a simple sculpture can take a couple of hours, but a more complex sculpture could take up to a couple of weeks. After a long project, he usually takes that time to take a break from pasta.

“I sell my time, pasta is free for collectors,” he says.

Pakhomoff is able to travel with his work by using shoeboxes and aluminum foil. He says it is possible for his sculptures to break, but not easily. When traveling Serghei keeps his sculptures intact by using super glue.

The hold of his sculptures depends on the quality of the pasta. “Different companies, different hold,” he says. For that reason, Pakhomoff has more than four dozen different kinds of pasta on his shelf at his in-home studio. Pakhomoff's advice: “macaroni is good for a hard based and spaghetti is good for small details.”

ARIEL WHITELY
  • Ariel Whitely
Pakhomoff says he plans to see what direction his business is going to go with pasta and advertising as it pertains to his lifestyle. He hopes for his skills to improve over time.

“For me, if a museum of professional sculptors asks me to give them my sculptures, and I am not a sculptor or an artist, and they ask me for my work, then why not?” he says.

You can see more of Pakhomoff's work on Facebook.

Ariel Whitely is an intern at Metro Times.

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