Like many others I was affected by Covid-19 in a dramatic way with show cancellations and disrupted residencies and travel plans. I live and work with my partner Olya Dubatova in our studio loft that is very disconnected from the outside world and when the pandemic hit I wanted to create an interconnected series of portraits of an artist who “escaped the apocalyptic disaster” and is confined and isolated.
The figure of the artist appears enigmatic and mysterious. I wanted to contemplate on the meaning of creation in a vacuum and the inner struggle of a creative person. In this new work my goal was to explore the dreams and multidimensionality of an internal life both through the symbolism of colour – black and purple – the colours of dreams, vastness and consciousness and through the compositional elements of a figure too large and restricted by a canvas.
I experimented with perception and perspective, both actual and psychological. The narratives I try to evoke are meant for a contemplation on isolation and inner mystery. I did not want to show exactly what takes place in the life of an artist, but to still invite a viewer into her private space. My goal was to allow a glance, to almost pry, into the life of an artist in isolation, where the outside world does not seem to exist looking at this work. I attempted to navigate the many interlaced layers of the psyche. In this work I continued my research of natural pigments from Italy. I am very interested in the materiality of paint and its kinesthetic properties and have been creating and modifying recipes to achieve a very specific “gritty” and “raw” texture.
Canvases are made with natural pigments, tempera and oil on linen, 100x80cm.