About the Book
The idea for this series of collages came to me by accident.
One day I found myself at a flea market - even though I had vowed many times to stay away from such places at all costs.
The thing was that I had had a studio in Chelsea for fifteen years, and a flea market used to lay its snares right underneath my windows - in such a way that I had soon accumulated a collection of exquisite but totally useless objects. Now, years later, I had started to get rid of some of them because there was simply too much.
However, almost despite myself, I decided to take a stroll among the markets stalls and, lo and behold, without realizing it I found myself next to an antiques dealer, a Hindu magician with thick eyebrows selling Roman coins and signet rings that clearly used to belong to Alexander the Great.
He also had old maps printed on broad sheets of paper, and, hidden below them, a folder containing lots of yellowed prints. Those were old etchings illustrating 18th century technical manuals and encyclopedias.
You may well wonder what compelled me to buy them. It was the same question I kept asking myself as well. After all, I no longer collected old stuff and, besides, my studio contained racks and racks of my own etchings.
It was there, on those same racks, that my new acquisitions were deposited.
But they were not forgotten.
They came in handy when I realized that I could use fragments of those prints to make collages. Max Ernst and his wonderful series of collages came to mind right away, as well as the designs of the Russian avant-garde of the 1920s.
Should old works of art be used in this way?
Of course they should be. After all, I give them a new life.
Vasily Kafanov is known for his playful and mysterious paintings that feature his trademark "Fishtower" – an architectural anomaly that combines reality with fantasy. The Fishtower is often seen floating lazily over groups of brightly - outfitted harlequins who dance, fiddle and play amid his dreamlike landscapes. A prolific artist, Vasily often relies on folkloric imagery mixed with beautiful and enigmatic symbolism to bring his vision to life on canvas. Born in Moscow, Russia in 1952, Vasily left that country and settled in New York City in 1990, where he now lives with his family.In 2000, Vasily teamed with the Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan to work on the band's album, Machina/The Machines of God. He produced 20 paintings for the lyrics booklets for the album and designed set for the group's global tour. His work has been exhibited by various galleries and museums in Chicago, San Francisco, Hong Kong, Moscow, Paris and Amsterdam