What do Peter the Great, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and classic cars have in common? It might sound like the beginning of a joke, but all in fact are pasta art made by sculptor Serghei Pakhomoff in the central Russian town of Krasnokamsk in the Urals on the Kama River.
"It began as an advertising idea for a local pasta factory in my hometown," Pakhomoff told The Local. "Then the factory closed so I decided to continue as a hobby," he says.
Pakhomoff's pasta sculpture of The Leaning Tower of Pisa. All photos: Serghei Pakhomoff.
Pakhomoff uses penne, spaghetti, fusilli and other pasta contortions to create sculptures for galleries and private art collectors. Prices start at €20 for smaller models, says Pakhomoff, but more intricate designs can cost over €200.
Pakhomoff's sculpture of Russian Tsar Peter the Great.
While Italians swear religiously by certain kinds of pasta, Pakhomoff says he is happy to work with all kinds. "I've used pasta from supermarkets, nothing special," says the sculptor. "Sometime I get Barilla, but it could also be unfamiliar brands. Now I have over 40 kinds of pasta on my shelf."
Various pasta sculptures.
Pakhomoff patented his sculptures in 2008 but he is keen for others to learn his trade. In 2013, the sculptor published a book, Models from Macaroni (published by AST Press), in Russian with master classes for beginners to learn his pasta art.
Sculptor and author Serghei Pakhomoff holds a copy of his book, 'Models from Macaroni,' published in 2013.
Pakhomoff works out of his gallery in Krasnokamsk, where many of his sculptures can be seen on display. Some models have also featured in other exhibitions. Enthusiasts wondering whether the sculptures are edible however might not find the taste exactly to their liking.
"The most popular question people ask me is: 'Can I cook and eat it?'" Pakhomoff told The Local. The sculptor suggests a better sauce might be preferable.
"I don't think it's the best idea for dinner because I use a crazy glue in my designs," says the sculptor.
A pasta tram sculpture.
Pakhomoff has also created a Statue of Liberty pasta figurine.