Alexandr Zhikulin is on the cutting edge of compound metal sculpting. Using modern techniques and varnishes to create an effect which evokes Art Deco marquetry, Zhikulin is carving a unique space for himself within contemporary design.
Born in 1985 in Lviv, Ukraine (then part of the Soviet Union), Zhikulin lived there until 1994, when he immigrated to the United States. The artist went on to earn a BFA at the Maryland Institute College of Art. With a background in painting, Zhikulin expected to major in two-dimensional art and design. Instead, he left school with a degree in interdisciplinary sculpture.
Zhikulin spent seven years working in the artist Rodney Carroll’s studio. While there, he concentrated on producing monumental sculptures with characteristically whimsical themes. During this time, Zhikulin was also focusing on establishing and maintaining his own studio. It was in this space that he would hone his own artistic practices and style.
The style employed by Zhikulin results in a striking blend of materials, finishes, and design styles. In particular, his method of steel patination creates an effect which closely echoes the straw and wood marquetry of the Art Deco age. By employing such modern methods and stylistic processes to create pieces which are evocative of an earlier era, Zhikulin is turning expecatations upside down and creating a place for himself within a tradition of design. But while the motifs which he is recalling are steeped in a legacy and intent for elegant living, Zhikulin is putting an industrial spin on things.
The artist now runs the LANIN Design studio in Baltimore, putting to use his love of metalworking and keen eye for design. Naming the company for his grandfather, an engineer, Zhikulin is channeling a history and a tradition through his unique creations, just as he does through his wholly unique body of work