Vladimir Nuzhdin was born in Leningrad in 1961. From an early age, Vladimir took up ship modeling as a hobby and took classes to perfect his craft. It was part of a family tradition, as his own uncle was an expert ship modeler, and this seemed like a natural choice during Vladimir's childhood. After graduating to the level of engraver at a specialized technical school, Vladimir honed his craft in on many different types of materials.
It is worth nothing that Vladimir's work and skills are influenced and based on European historicism. He is most well-known for his work as a master of counter-relief engraving. This stone-engraving technique requires not only skills with specialized tools (simple engravings require up to 10 burins, while more complex ones require more than 25), but creative talent in miniaturization as well. This is why there are only 20 masters of this craft worldwide.
Vladimir's artwork are evidence that there are no limits to his creativity and style. Forming compositions of all kinds of subjects and styles, a master shows the viewer not just the gorgeous details of the author, but also the astounding degree of the technical work involved.
Since Vladimir is highly involved in the historical reenactment movement in Russia, one of the most important domains of his artwork is in his tin soldier collection. In 1990, Vladimir initiated and organized modern Russia's first big tin soldier exhibition. At the 1996 International Engravers Competition, Vladimir took home first-prize and was recognized as the best engraver in Europe. More than 20 works of his took home first-prize at other prestigious events and competitions in the UK, US, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Canada, France, and Russia.
In 2000, an exhibition of Vladimir's works took place in Tsarskoe Selo called "Fairytale in stone and metal." In 2003, the artist took part in the exhibition "Russian and Germany Relations in the Form of Tin Soldiers," which was organized by the German Consulate in Saint Petersburg. In April 2011 in the Account Chamber of the Russian Federal, another exhibition of Vladimir's took place, in honor of Cosmonaut's Day. In September 2011, another exhibition dedicated to Vladimir's 50th birthday took place at the Russian Geographical Society in Saint Petersburg. He also took part in many co-exhibitions, organized by Russian as well as German museums.
Throughout Vladimir's career, Vladimir produced many works at the request of the Hermitage Museum, the Museum of Tsarskoe Selo, for Saint Petersburg's International Economic Forum, the Russian Geographical Society, the Bavarian National Museum, the Military Historical Societies of Japan, Germany, the Netherlands, Australia, as well as for the Holy Order of Saint Benedict. Vladimir is also the author of more than 50 dioramas and models, many of which were requested by museums in Russia and Germany. For example, for the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II, the Russian Ministry of Defense requested that he create a diorama of the victory parade for the Central Museum of Defense Forces, which required about 2000 figures. For most of his counterparts, Vladimir became a living symbol of his craft. One of the "last Mohicans," Vladimir not only keeps the tradition alive, but also the innovates techniques no longer used in the mass industrial complex of miniaturization. The inefficiency of such techniques in a hyper-engineered and mass-produced world has made the last few shun such old-fashioned skills. This is why Vladimir Nuzhdin is not just an artist and technical genius - he is the keeper of past wisdom.
Film about Vladimir Nuzhdin