I paint to find a way of gathering pieces of my childhood lost during my move away from home. I was thirteen years old when I moved to the United States from Russia. The abrupt separation from my home country in my adolescent years created a strong attachment to specific imagery. The nostalgic notes resonating in my work are often subconscious and involuntary.
After visiting my hometown, I was inspired by the rural Russian scenery, which lends itself onto a feeling of fantasy. I am influenced by Russian folklore and fairy-tales and the surreal world in which they exist. The use of unusual and bold color is an important aspect of my work, as it is responsible for the mood the images evoke. My paintings serve as a bridge between the two cultures, which influenced me in the past decade. The process of art-making smooths the contradictions by gently fusing the differences of my homeland and my current location together into an autonomous image.
My paintings vary with the memories they draw from, and often tug between rich exaggerated color and a subdued palette. The surface in most of my work is highly glossy, inspired by the Russian lacquer boxes to which I was exposed as a child. Amplified darkness and obscurity refer to some lost and fading memories, while emphasizing the strength of others. The stark contrast prevents me from becoming overly sentimental, and allows me to create a new found world emerging through the paintings.