My work draws on themes of identity, specifically the intersection of my queer and Russian experiences, as well as childhood memory, nostalgia and aspirations for collective unity and personal freedom. I attempt to balance my training as a perceptual painter with more abstract strategies to create this type of narrative figuration. Formally, an awareness of the surface, colour and varied attitudes towards finish all constitute important drivers in my creative process.
Broadly speaking, the paintings I have made over the past few years fall into two categories. First, there are motifs of intimate queer portraiture in quotidian domestic or outdoor settings. Many of these works attempt to recreate a spontaneous, snapshot-like aesthetic in paint, and capture private moments of joy, innocence or desire.
Secondly, I have made more narrative works that seek to process aspects of the Russian immigrant experience, which have become more central to my practice in the past couple of years. This work draws on memorabilia, childhood photographs, postcards and found video stills that stand for tokens of a previous life, now shed and left behind. In all my work I wish to capture something of the psychology of the sitter in an empathetic way.
My educational background includes a diploma in Classical Animation form Sheridan College (2005, Oakville), a one year apprenticeship with the Norwegian figurative painter Odd Nerdrum (2007, Norway) and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art (2012, Philadelphia.)