My work is driven by the desire to explore the complex relationships between personal identity and the larger social environment rooted in life-changing experiences of overcoming the autocratic rule of the Soviet Union while growing up in Belarus and later immigrating to the diverse society of the United States.
Through my art practice, I aim to eliminate social barriers created by identity politics. My paintings represent my values, beliefs, and vulnerabilities as I use self-portrait as a means of self-examination. In the modern, highly polarized society, to see each person as an individual worthy of equality and respect regardless of their group memberships is a healthier perspective. My body of work is a powerful reminder that understanding oneself is necessary to understand others; it helps to honor human individuality and creates authentically inclusive spaces.
The honesty and psychological presence of Alice Neel’s and Francis Bacon’s work inspire me to employ contemporary figurative realism in my art practice. While exploring new materials, unconventional application methods, and subject matter, I depict intricate connections between an individual and society at large in the context of globalization by marrying figuration and abstraction.
My paintings illustrate the individuality, power, and vulnerability of the figure portrayed in its psychological space, where objects, forms, and feelings are mixed and abstracted. The oil medium allows the build-up of layers of paint, simultaneously creating feelings of depth and translucency. The juxtaposition of the gesture and impasto, with the exactitude of the rendering, creates dynamic tension and conveys both the physical and emotional qualities.
Painting is my way of learning, processing, and recording. Nevertheless, my art practice contributes to the creative growth of the contemporary art community through engagement with relevant social problems and an aspiration to push formal and conceptual boundaries.