Belarusian artist Artsiom Malakhouski lives in London and creates wax figures for Madame Tussauds museum. He arrived in the capital of the UK eight years ago together with his wife - now his ex-wife.
"If I stayed in Minsk I would have had no future because I had not graduated from the Academy of Arts. If you do not have a diploma, the Union of Artists will not accept you. If you are not in the Union of Artists, you are nowhere," Artsiom says in this KYKY.org story.
When in London, he immediately wrote a letter to Madame Taussauds museum. At the time, there were no vacancies but later they found a job for Artsiom. "At Madame Tussauds you have yo pass a two-week exam: to make someone's portrait. My task was to mold Angela Merkel's face - just her face, no hair," Artsiom recalls. "For hair, there is a special unit called hair and coloring. It has some 30 female artists inserting hairs one by one into wax."
After passing the exam, the musem hired the Belarusian artist to mold fugures of celebrities. "Contract is usually signed for one figure. I think I have had a total of thirty contracts, including the figures of John Travolta, Han Solo from the Star Wars, Robin Williams. But in most cases, I made the figures of people who are not known. For example, last year I did the figure of Korean singer and actor Choi Si-won," Artsiom says.