SPACE INFATUATION of Ivan Misko

Famous Belarusian sculptor celebrated his 75th Jubilee
For more than forty years, this artist has been faithful in his work to his main theme — space exploration and its heroes. As he explains, this topic became important to him, when he was a student of theatre-art institute in the 1960-s. Everything started with the term project on Yuri Gagarin. By the way, a couple of years ago, in the memorial museum of Yuri Gagarin not far from Smolensk as a present from the Republic of Belarus there has been installed a bronze bust of the first cosmonaut of the planet, created by Ivan Misko.
For the time being, Ivan Misko has created a whole sculpture gallery of portraits of famous aviators and daring explorers of the star space. Among them there are almost all soviet cosmonauts, including Belarusian cosmonauts Vladimir Kovalyonok and Pyotr Klimuk, as well as people from other countries, who have been on the orbit of the Earth through the program “Intercosmos”. Ivan Yakimovich is a friend of many of them. By the way, thanks to the long-lasting friendship with Pyotr Klimuk Ivan Misko had a chance to fulfill his dream and visited Star City that became sculptor’s second home as well as second art studio. At that time, such trips had to be accomplished in secrecy, because Star City had strictly restricted access. But for a couple of decades Ivan Yakimovich became frequent visitor in Star City, coming for a couple of weeks in order to work on the portraits of space heroes, to get acquainted with their life and flight preparations.
A lot of pilot-cosmonauts and other star guests visited his art studio in Minsk. Famous door with autographs of many well-known people proves this best of all.
Ivan Yakimovich wanted even to write a book about his encounters. By the way, he is a brilliant storyteller, especially if it goes about something related to stars and space. Ivan Yakimovich likes to tell following story from his life. Once he took part in sculpture plain air in Lebanon. While he was cutting out a sculpture from marble, on his favorite space theme, of course, local journalists became very interested in his work. At that time, Ivan Yakimovich was not very good with foreign languages, but the main word was pronounced and heard — cosmos. Next day, local newspapers featured an article about cosmonaut Misko, who was a good sculptor as well… However, there is something symbolical about this story.
— Space theme will remain mine as long as I am able to work and hold clay in my hands, — confessed sculptor.
Artist’s hands are almost every day in clay. In April, the National Art Museum will hold a personal anniversary exhibition of Ivan Misko, commemorating the Astronautics Day. It will feature his new art, including sculptural composition dedicated to the mother of the first cosmonaut — Anna Gagarina.

Irina Trofilova
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