The other day during my regular trawl through deviantArt I stumbled across the work of a person calling himself ‘Razead’ who had a pretty interesting portfolio that for some reason reminded me of dirty ashtrays in the armchairs of passenger jets.
The stuff looked a bit grimy but pretty unique and also kind of funny, so I sent Razead an email asking him if he’d be interested in collaborating on some work. Well, he wrote back and sent me a link to his website. Turns out Razead is a Russian guy named Theo Sorokin who was running a ‘company’ called Take Five out of Paris.
After a closer look at the large collection of work which included drawings, illustration, photography and photo-manipulation(which is what first caught my eye), I sent him a few photographs. And he returned them after running them through what looks like a dirty scanner and a few random jazz images scooped from probably the weirdest Flickr page I’ve ever seen.
I decided to ask him a few questions.
Q. Who are you?
My name’s Theo Sorokin, I was born in Russia about 16 years ago and I moved to Paris, France, where I’ve lived for about 15 years now. I love design, photography, drawing, music and lots of forms of art and I practice it doing illustrations, making websites, webdesigns, shooting things and people with my camera, drawing and making collages in sketchbooks, and playing guitar in a band.
Q. When do you get started doing what you do? What is Take Five?
As far as I remember, I started with drawing. I used to copy characters from comic books when I was 7 or 8. Then, when I was something like 12, my parents bought me a computer with internet and I discovered great artists, fantastic art communities and they all impressed me. I started to design with Paint Shop Pro, then I got to The Gimp, and finally Photoshop. I made an enormous amount of artwork and my meticulous conscience said: ‘Tss tss tss, boy…Make it proper! Make a good website!’…and I did The Take Five Company, which is a fake company, because there’s actually only me in it, but it was a good occasion to unite everything I do in one place.
Q. Your photo-manipulation jumped out from thousands of images on DeviantArt. Where does your style come from?
I think that each has his own great style, but needs a little idea, a little spark to express it. I can’t think of making an artwork without visual inspiration. There’s always a little something in an illustration or a photograph that gives me an idea, so when I see a good thing on the web, I immediately bookmark it and come back to it later or shoot it when I see it in the street: it’s the concept of The Take Five Research Institute Ltd. But there are also artists and photographers that constantly inspire me: they are Steven Klein, MiraRuido, James Dylan, Mario Wagner, Julien Pacaud, Craig Atkinson, Levi Wedel, and all those I forgot.
Q. There is a clear 70s influence in much of the work we are profiling. What is it about the 70s that makes it so dominant in your work?
First time I’ve been influenced by the seventies, it was in music. I love Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, James Brown, Hound Dog Taylor, Chuck Berry, AC/DC and they recorded their best songs in the seventies. Then I’ve been interested by the whole seventies thing, I mean the art, the graphic universe, the movies, I adored it so much and I thought it would be interesting to put allusions to it in my artworks. It’s actually the message of my work: “That’s the seventies! Look at it! Look at what we miss!”
Q. Where do you plan to go with Take Five?
The Take Five Company is my way to become rich and famous !
Check out the Take Five Company for yourself at http://tkfv.free.fr