In 1966, Alexei Kazantsev was born in Alexandrov, Russia, a small town outside of Moscow. At the age of 14, he began to carve marble. His uncle, who was one of Russia's premiere sculptors and Alexei's mentor, soon recognized his talent. When he was 18, the Minister of Culture for Russia bought his first marble sculpture which was shown at one of the most prestigious state shows.
At 19, his name was submitted to the Moscow State Art Institute. Founded by Peter the Great in the 18th century, the Institute is one of Europe's finest art schools. After 30 days of rigorous testing, 6 hours a day, seven days a week, he was one of only eight students accepted from Russia's total population. After six years of study, Alexei received a M.F.A. with honors.
In 1992, he chose the best presentation hall in Moscow to open his first one man show. Broadcast on three Russian television channels, and written up in seven newspapers, it proved to be highly successful. He emigrated to the United States in 1993.