Sometimes I don’t know what my paintings are about when I begin them. Exploration of the formal elements of a composition fascinate me and are often what reveal to me the conceptual impulse. Having lived through many contrasting formative experiences, I am, as if drawn by gravity, attracted to contrast in my paintings, to things that don’t “work” combined together in an image. I let my subconscious guide me towards a visual solution, using the skills I have acquired through the years.
Since childhood my life was often nomadic and it had a fair share of contrast in it. When I was seven years old I ended up in a war zone which my family and I managed to escape. I grew up with my aunts and an uncle, but without my parents for most of my teens. After living in Russia for eighteen years I moved to US and have been here ever since. What I paint today comes from my thoughts about my family's dynamics and these major, numerous relocations. I am aware of the contrast between being with one half of a family and then the other, and the contrast between life in a war zone and the total relief of life on the other side of the world.
My early career efforts were primarily objective observations of the world through still life and plein air painting. I am moving towards a more symbolic visual practice, but still using the vocabulary of Realism.