Ilya Fedotov-Fedorov

Born in Moscow in 1988. Lives and works in Netherlands.

Ilya Fedotov-Fedorov studied genetics (bioengineering) and philology in Moscow. He also studied at the Jan van Eyck Academy and the Institute of Contemporary Art. His works are found at the State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow Museum of Modern Art and private collections.


The main motif of Fedotov-Fedorov’s art is the use of natural scientific knowledge. The artist adopts its main characteristics: the depiction of biological processes and forms from the cell to the habitat, linguistic features and ways of presenting knowledge (formulas, drawings, and so on), methodological principles and types of representation (entomological collections, card catalogues). With their help, he reveals the subjective nature of the acquisition of knowledge and its dependence on individual experience.

This pre-eminently derives from his biography. When Ilya was eight, he started to have serious health problems and spent a lot of time in hospitals, health centers, medical institutions, etc. That environment became natural and interesting for him. Fedotov-Fedorov barely communicated with other children and had a lot of interactions with doctors instead, read biology books and spent plenty of time with insects, such as ants. The artist dreamt of becoming a biologist. In 2004 he had enrolled at a university to study genetic sciences, but after two years the university administration dissolved his faculty due to very high costs of its maintenance. That was a disaster for Ilya. He transferred to philology studies, hoping that he would be able to write articles on biology topics. Gradually, the artist switched from texts to arts and found his own way.