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 Oleg Kuvayev

Born:   February 6, 1967

Artist, Designer, Animator


It was Masyanya who brought fame to Oleg Kuvayev. Masyanya, an amusing and touching heroine of the witty flash-animated series that first appeared in the Russian internet on October 20, 2001, has become nearly a cult figure. Oleg Kuvayev started everything on his own: he made up the characters and the stories, drew the flash animated cartoons, recorded the sound, and uploaded the series (each of them about 3-4 minutes long) in the internet.

Oleg Igorevich Kuvayev was born on February 6, 1967 in St. Petersburg (Leningrad). He studied first at a school specializing in the English language, then at school majoring in physics and mathematics. Afterwards there were a number of higher institutions (including the Academy of Arts), the glorious Soviet army, working as a professional designer, and many other things…

Oleg Kuvayev Quite a lot of interesting and valuable finds belong to Oleg in the sphere of arts, especially in painting and sculpture. Painting turned so very absorbing for Kuvayaev that he dedicated about 6-8 years of his life to this activity only (his experimenting took place in Germany then).

Much energy was spent also on music and self-made 16 mm films. Besides, Oleg played the flute in the Spleen band before it came to existence and made some courageous attempts at singing.

Masyanya From 1988 he was mainly into painting and sculpture, and from 1994 he turned to computer graphics. Kuvayev worked as a designer in several studios, in his free time experimenting with various computer technologies. He also published some of his paintings in the internet.

In 2001 he founded “” studio to promote Masyanya. This resulted in epidemic masyanization of the whole country, which is perhaps the major achievement of Kuvayev. Full of fresh indigenous humor (sometimes caustic and absurd but still kind at bottom) the series about Masyanya appealed to the young generation whose life, interests and problems they actually focused on, at the same time embodying an alternative to commercial mass-culture.

Masyanya The crazy popularity of Masyanya made Oleg Kuvayev waste lots of efforts on fighting for the copyright to his own creation.

Who made money on Masyanya and, what is much worse, distorted the essence of the personage (anti-commercial to the backbone)? Those were the TV people, sellers of piratical DVDs and fancy goods. Kuvayev had to apply to court to compel the closing of the shoddy commercial talk show “At Masyanya’s” broadcast at the Russian pop-music TV channel “MUZ-TV”. By restoring the authorship of Masyanya Kuvayev got back the right to deal with his personage the way he wanted to. In June 2006 Oleg Kuvayev was negotiating with Ukrainian TV. Masyanya was expected to “learn” Ukrainian and “live” in the country “much more democratic, than Russia”. According to Masyanya’s creator, “she would feel much better there”.

Masyanya Until quite recently Oleg Kuvayev worked as the art-director of “” and owned 51% of the studio’s share holding. Besides “Masyanya” the studio releases animated cartoons “Eji and Petruche” and “Magazinchik Bo”. Just like Masyanya they can be downloaded from the internet free of charge. Masyanya brings the studio about 50 per cent of the income: the studio receives copyright charges from companies that used to piratically exploit her. Ice cream, cookies, and T-shirts with Masyanya’s symbols are produced legally. Mobile operators selling pictures and ring-tones from Masyanya bring stable income.

However, as can be seen from the artist’s recent interview he is pretty much fed up with all these dealings: “We have celebrated the 5th anniversary and the hundredth series of “Masyanya”. It’s a good occasion to finish it all. But I will start everything afresh. I want to go into cinema”.

    Works by Oleg Kuvayev
         Masyanya’s official site



Vera Ivanova and Mikhail Manykin

Tags: Russian Painters Oleg Kuvayev Masyanya   

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