MY STORY BEGAN IN MOSCOW, SOVIET RUSSIA, WHERE I LIVED FOR THE FIRST 26 YEARS OF MY LIFE. THERE, MY CULTURE WAS SHAPED BY CLASSICAL RUSSIAN NOVELS AND TRADITIONAL ACADEMIC TRAINING AT THE MOSCOW INSTITUTE OF ARCHITECTURE
Having lived in the US since 1989, I am still carrying a little bit of the Soviet Union inside: a mixture of idealism and skepticism.
STUDYING ARCHITECTURE AND ACADEMIC ART BACK IN MOSCOW, I NEVER KNEW WHAT TO DO WITH MY EMOTIONS. THEN I SAW THE ART OF CHAIM SOUTINE. FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE I SAW THAT ART WAS MUCH MORE THAN DEMONSTRATION OF A SKILLED HAND. SOUTINE’S VISUAL LANGUAGE HAD THE POWER TO EXPRESS THE DRAMA OF HIS RESTLESS JEWISH SOUL.
Experimenting with visual languages has become my passion. Seeking freedom of expression, I’ve progressed from figuration to abstraction and even whimsy.
I NEVER “REMEMBERED” THAT I WAS A JEW IN ANY MEANINGFUL WAY UNTIL I WAS 39 YEARS OLD. VISITING ISRAEL FOR THE FIRST TIME, I FELT SPIRITUALITY IN MY BONES.
Seeking answers to the deepest existential questions lead me to my current Judaism. The answers I get work for a while and then they don’t anymore. But I am sticking around. Maybe I don’t want the permanent answers because if I do get them, I will stop making my art.
PHYSICAL MOVEMENT IS EVERYTHING FOR ME. I PAINT AND DRAW. AND I DO IT QUICKLY. IT’S MOSTLY ABOUT MOVING ENERGY. FEAR IS STATIC AND RIGID WHILE ENERGY IS ALWAYS ALIVE AND MOVING.
SPEED TAKES ME PAST MY OWN THINKING WHERE I CAN EASILY GET BOGGED DOWN IN CONCEPTS AND IDEAS. I LET MY BODY TELL THE STORY.
I SEARCH FOR SUBCONSCIOUS ENERGY.
Scuffle – acrylic on canvas, 44” x 38”
I AM AN EXPERT IN INTERNAL CONFLICT. SO I PUT IT ON DISPLAY IN MY ART. LOOK FOR DOUBTS, INDECISION, AND MISTAKES IN MY ART. ALL ARE UNDERWRITTEN BY AN URGE TO LEAVE MARKS ON A SURFACE.
MY ART HEALS ME. THE PROCESS IS HIGHLY INTUITIVE. I NEVER KNOW THE RESULTING IMAGE IN ADVANCE. EVEN IF I PLAN THE COMPOSITION, I CHANGE IT MANY TIMES DURING THE PROCESS BEYOND RECOGNITION.
ALL I KNOW IS THE ONE NEXT MOVE, NEXT COLOR, AND THE NEXT LINE.
Dissonance – acrylic on canvas, 36” x 30”
EVERYTHING IS MORE ATMOSPHERIC AND LESS SECURE NOW, WHICH IS A TERRIFYING AND EXCITING VENTURING INTO THE WORLD.
Because of the ever-present fear (which to me is just another form of excitement), my strokes have become nervous and percussive.
My marks have become more varied: while some stayed flat as before, others became more three-dimensional or translucent, being suspended in the 3d space as opposed to being painted on a flat imagined background.
All images are courtesy of the artist.