Toma Vagner

Hi Toma, i don’t think so many people in Italy knows you, so tell us where you and your culture come from

I grew up on the remote island of Sakhalin in Russia. I was influenced by Japanese and Korean culture because of the island’s proximity to those countries and the Japanese occupation of the territory before World War II; we have some architectural and cultural remnants. While growing up, I was interested and influenced by Japanese visual culture as well as Soviet Union visual culture. Drawing and expressing myself through images has always been my passion. For the past two years, I’ve been working with many different people and also making a few personal series of illustrations.

Which are your favorite works?

Some of my personal projects, including Scissors, Adamand Jenga. My best work comes when I have the most creative freedom and a good theme/subject to work with.

How do you approach your work?

I must work with integrity, and stay true to what I want. Even though I work in the illustration field, I never think of my work as being one-time disposable images that only serve the purpose of being illustrations. As artist Michaël Borremans says, “It must move me, cut me at a certain point, ‘a knife in the eye.’” Great images stay in memory and stand the test of time.



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