Alexander Shishkin, a native of St. Petersburg, graduated from the Architectural College in 1989; after that he became a student of two higher schools: the Architectural Institute and the Leningrad State Institute of Theater, Music and Cinematography (LGITMiC). After one year, he quit the Architectural Institute and graduated from LGITMiC in 1995 (A. Slavin’s class, majoring as Art Director). Since that time, Alexander Shishkin is an active theater artist; he is engaged in painting and creating installations. He is Laureate of the Moscow Seagull Theater Award (“Macbeth,” director Yu. Butusov, Satirikon Theater); Chrystal Turandot Award (“Richard III,” director Yu. Butusov, Satirikon Theater).
Alexander Shishkin is one of the most highly demanded, productive and successful artists among the junior generation of the national theater artists. Still a student, Alexander Shishkin decorated three performances that became a part of the repertoire of acknowledged professional theaters. One of these – “Waiting for Godot” (directed by Yu. Butusov, with actors Trukhin, Khabensky, Porechenkov and Zibrov, then all students from the same institute) had been later awarded with the Golden Mask as the best performance of the season. Alexander Shishkin mostly works with directors of his own generation: Yury Butusov, Victor Kramer, and Andrey Moguchy.
The theater space invented by Shishkin reveals his architectural background – he is attracted to complicated structures and paradoxical forms. His theater jobs are quite unlike his colleagues’ and seem to be surprisingly centrifugal, as if falling apart, full of unexpected and even occasional items and incompatible factures. But this is exactly what makes the space created by the artist especially rich. The artist himself says that lately he has been most interested in chaos.
Simultaneously with his theater work Alexander Shishkin remains a painter. He practices traditional oil painting (participated in creating collection for a Sheikh from Saudi Arabia and a private gallery in Ireland) and bizarre digital painting creating huge and very similar to “oil” paintings with the help of computer (his exhibit took place at the Russian Art Festival in Nice in 2003). Alike many modern artists, Shishkin has performances in his service record: after winning competitions, he arranged big actions in Turin and Helsinki. Just like in the theater, the most astonishing was his daring fantasy and his ability to inhabit any space in the crankiest manner. In all probability, this is exactly this quality that is constantly pulling him out of the theater – to build up huge park and square festival stages, or to the circus where the very height of the cupola strikes his imagination.
Performances in Alexandrinsky Theatre: “Petersburg” by A. Bely (Director A. Moguchy, 2005), Official ceremony of the Alexandrinsky Theatre Opening on August 30, 2006 (Director A. Moguchy), “The Ivans” after “The Story of How Ivan Ivanovich Quarreled with Ivan Nikifirovich” and other writings by N. Gogol (2007, Director A. Moguchy), M. Durnenkov’s “Izotov” (Director Andrey Moguchy, 2009) - artist Alexander Shishkin was honored with the top St. Petersburg Golden Soffit Theater Award.