I am a Russian-Dutch artist who has moved around some in my life. And every country where I have lived has managed to inspire me in its own way – and has left enduring influences in my work.
I was born in Russia and studied art in Belgium. After living and working in the Netherlands and the United States, my home is now in the beautiful province of Abruzzo in Italy.
So, in my recent work you may well see reflections of Abruzzo. The colours of the soil, sea and sky. The hilltop villages which suddenly appear as you round a bend in the road. An unhurried espresso on a terrace while contemplating snow-topped mountains.
I create art that explores human behaviour because people intrigue me. I have always had a fascination, bordering on the voyeuristic, with how humans act. That’s why it excites me to use art as my way of exploring emotions, strengths and vulnerabilities as we go about our daily lives.
Each collection of my work has been triggered by events that have moved me – maybe something in the world news, in my neighbourhood, in my family and friends, or in me myself. When I say “moved me”, I am talking about a visceral excitement in my head – like pins pricking into the fabric of my brain.
Those pin pricks in my brain are the start of a process that results in an unstoppable urge to paint. A process which tattoos pictures inside my head. A process which eventually defines style, palette, medium and the scale of what I am going to paint.
The style may be conceptual realism, expressionist, or abstract; the colour palette may be vivid or muted; the medium may be oil on paper and small, or oil on canvas and BIG. Whatever, the process gives consistency of style for a collection and lets me paint it in the most striking and forthright way I can.
So, I work to a process – not to a style. And hopefully it’s a process that stimulates people who see my art to delve further – exploring their own perceptions of the world and human behaviour.
These paintings explore the worlds people create in contradiction to reality, in a hope to control and manage at least part of their existence. They create an illusion of calmness and serenity in a world gone mad.
Singular young people look in on themselves, crouched, prostrate, alone, calm, quiet. Around them flowers blossom, trees bloom and the bright vivid colours of summer flourish with a flat graphic boldness, inviting a sense of calm and serenity in contrast to the more subdued, opaque familiarity of floors and walls of dull suburban homes.
A domestic bliss that strangles the life out of humanity while offering the hope of a new beginning, a summer to come, a possibility, a desire, in the face of the ordinary banal everyday existence of reality.