Alexander Livanov was born in Moscow in 1938. In 1955 he attended the institute of cinematography, graduating in 1961 with a degree in arts. Livanov was exhibiting his works since 1960s. In 1983 he started teaching at the Moscow Institute of Graphic Arts and Publishing.
He picked up the name for the book himself. “Spam” is easy to explain. He watches a lot of TV, and shares his observations, which have nothing in common except for everything. He teaches his students to observe and draw, and to draw what they see. Any story he shared for the book could be paired up with any illustration in it. There would be no difference. They’re all random and yet united.
His method of constant observation has a lot to do with his education in cinematography. On the edge of two different arts Livanov picked everything that they had in common to distill the art of observation, depiction of shape and nature.
He inspired several generations of artists. Some of his works are stored in Tretyakovska gallery. His approach to storytelling and cinematographic dynamics is incredibly influential in Moscow. He draws a lot from the TV.