What is your background?
I graduated from VGIK, the best Russian film school, and started my career in screenwriting. I had a fairly succesful career writing for television but realised over time that this was not my passion. I was more interested in telling a visual story.
I've always been fascinated with art and loved drawing and painting, and when the time was right something clicked. I became so consumed with art that it left me with no choice but to make it my career. I was initially taught by my parents who both have a degree in visual arts and i am currently continuing to study, my mentor is Steve Huston, a fantastic American painter.
What does your work aim to say?
My sister, who once kindly modeled for me, says that when she looks at her portrait she likes herself because she can see herself through my eyes. And for me, this sums up my approach quite well. I sincerely love my models and my art is a visual product of admiration. However portraiture isn’t my only interest and i have a few big projects coming up. I am working on two series of nudes that tell stories of women, what it feels like to be a woman, what challenges we face in everyday lives, relationships, motherhood and so on. It’s based on my experience, it’s what I know and what I want to have a visual conversation about.
What are the obstacles that female artists still encounter today in regard to their art, or the fact it's made by woman?
For a man having a career is natural. Creating a family and having children doesn’t usually stop a man from working and pursuing his dreams. But if you are a woman and you have kids, people expect you to give up everything for them, at least it is like this in Russia. You are supposed to spend years at home not able to work or create and if you don’t, you are selfish and a bad mother. I am a mom and an artist. Balancing these things is extremely hard. I wish people would understand that a woman isn’t just a housekeeper. She may be just as driven as any man and while she is a mother, she is a human being as well and her life counts.
Krasnodar - Russia