Swan Lake. Sculpture Catalogue. 1998

In ancient times people thought that the beginning was chaos. It's seething nature had everything. Chaos is contrasted to order – the sign. Extremely organized and simple. Mediator between deathly-still nature and a human being. Withdrawing signs from out of chaos is the process of creation. Thus silent and reserved becomes speaking and free – cognition and reanimation.

A sculptor has strength. He starts a struggle against soil. He overwinds it's copper, tin and silver veins, makes it change it's shape to find a new body. Soil for him is a wire, clay, bronze model, whose arms and legs the sculptor breaks tenderly and implacably with the "armour - ardour" granted to him, shifts her head to the new neck, opens her eyes and puts in a heart in search of a vague reflection of an image of his soul. As it is prescribed to a master, he has an underground kingdom, where dwells the oven, diligent gnomes who are experts in the casting process, and many bronze creatures, who live motionless in the darkness of the studio. They are the ones we meet when entering the studio – everyone wants to say something.

The search of speech in the silent metal... How can it be?
Speech is a stream of nervous tension. If one creates tension in the sculpture line – it will speak. Here the sight of hands – the sense – is more important. Hands can only see the pure line. Eyes, maybe, hinder the modeling. They are also able to see the pure line, but it is smooth and impassionate like a mathematics sign. Fingers need roughness. The relief, created by them, imprints the movement – efforts, doubts and small discoveries – and later, when you – look with your eyes at the ready sculpture, in your hands the feeling of shape, surface, heaviness and cold of metal is born by itself.

From the chaos of the metal mass the hands take out a standing still old man – valenki, quilted jacket – signs of Russian hopelessness. But in his hands the old man has a saxophone, and a melody appears. Leisurely and quiet. Like life. Thus the morning normally comes. The clear and simple beginning. Music becomes the essence of the picture, it dominates the metal, the shape.

Melody is above-material. It's mounting is material.
Is it not here that the topic "a man with no face" starts? The face is also a sign, also a material expression of the man's spiritual essence. Appearance is secondary and that, means, changeable under the influence of soul. And how many eyes does a soul have? One, two, three. And, maybe, it has two noses, because the man was cut by doubts and he became two in one body. And he became two-faced, two-nosed, sad. Sitting on the stone, looking into the distance. Or completely turned into "the man with no face", who walks along the road with broad step, having pulled his cap low on the emptiness.

The way beyond the material essence of the subject becomes a discovery for the sculptor. It is that the invisible world yields to the modelling, like the local, material one. One just needs to give it frames, to make an artistic kind of cath-one-anode of bronze, and then (unlike a primitive set) the creative energy will create in the space an invisible, but distinctly sensed sculpture – an invisible sculptural creation on a bronze, artificially made support, which will be the only one, seen by an insensitive man. And nothing more "wrap me up a kilo of bronze, please".

Two almost similar little men are brazed. The heads to the feet. Yes – no, plus – minus... Almost absolute. And if chaos is deathly-still lowing, then the absolute is triumphant silence. Man is a speaking creature and can communicate only with his equals. And we return back into the hollow studio, where the bronze equals stand on the shelves, the tables, the floor.
Two collocutors, sitting nearby, having condensed their bodies inside communication, so that it became evident – they have a common soul for both of them. Arms and legs are only crosspieces in the unified friendly body.

The wooden fish thinks that it is good, when there lies another fish in it's inner emptiness. But it (the first fish) does not know that if it has emptiness inside (into which one could put something), then it is, possibly, not a fish at all, but a suitcase! "But you, fish, have a suit-case's handle instead of the fin..." A game. What role does the weakened neck play in the figure of the sitting man, that has become limp, if the head is held by the hands, ringing of tension? The head is growing on the palms that support it!

Perhaps, that is how the sculptor creates his bronze signs. From the shapeless bronze mass he squeezes out other lines with his strong paws, pulls out the appendices-extremities, rolls heavy balls-heads.
Oh yes, what a pity, as bronze is not clay and is not modeled by hands. In life everything is different. At first plasticine Adam is modeled – the ancestor of the future plasticine posterity, then he pupates into the plaster out of which the wax likeness of the plasticine forefather arises. It will be burnt, evaporated, squeezed out by a scorching bronze little monster – clumsy, in cinder. But solidly-heavy and strong grandson And only the author's imagination will see the former perfect shapes of Adam in the newly freak. Only a sculptor will be able to take the pure original out of the poor likeness. And the very first incorporation of the creative thought – the plasticine cripple on wire crutches, with all the scratches, prints of the author's fingers, the stuck cosmic dust, in other words, with all the traces of the live work – will return it's ashes to soil, that is to a plasticine clod, out of which all sculptures, all masterpieces and failures have come out... Production of the product.

Looking at the sculptor Mikhail Dronov, it seems that there is no routine technology between him and his works. And if he modeled from metal. So much life is crammed into metal by his hands, such strength bursts the bronze sides of the sculptures open, that you feel the pulse and warmth, warmth, warmth, not peculiar metal...

Victoria Frolova