"Sky, mountains, waterfall - everything is imbued with a natural spirit of peace and power," says artists Ani and Andrew Abakumov. "Our ancestors lived in harmony with these spirits and created a way of life that goes with the natural path. The feeling that nature gives us is contrary to the general anxious mood of modern society. It makes us forget about worries, and transfer us to another, special world."
Ani and Andrew work together to create their signature series of fiber artworks. Andrew, a mathematician and programmer, developed an algorithm that creates a blueprint for each new piece. He also prepares each canvas by driving nails into the perimeter of the surface. Ani then strings different colored and sized thread layer upon layer, from hours to months until the image appears. She uses anywhere from 4 km to 20 km of the material for a single piece.
Selo Romashkovo, Russia
Husband and wife duo Ani and Andrew Abakumov create stirring vintage-style portraits and landscapes. Combining their unique backgrounds in programming and art history, they use mathematics and many kilometers of string to bring their subjects to life. Ani comes from a career as a French professor in the Faculty of Art History, where she immersed herself in the works of the French Impressionists. Andrew grew up passionate about programming. He eventually graduated from the prestigious Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology before working at a large Russian IT company. A chance encounter with black and white fiber art led them to question whether they could produce color portraits with just straight lines of string - something that had never been done before. "We realized that we needed to combine our efforts and talents to make our dream come true," says Andrew. He put all of his energy into developing a special algorithm for Ani to use as a blueprint for weaving their artwork. "Of course, we took risks, socially disapproved risks," says Ani. "Relatives turned their backs on us because they expected a couple to have a 'serious' career." In spite of this, Ani and Andrew continued to pursue their art, eventually becoming full-time artists. Today, they are known in Russia and across the world for complex and mesmerizing fiber art. When they are not creating, Ani and Andrew love walking in the forest near Moscow, breathing fresh air and enjoying the tranquility of nature.