When people ask me what medium I am working in, I always hesitate. I love printmaking and specialize in monotypes, but I equally love stone-carving and sculpture in general. In recent years most of my projects happened to be in painting (because color is so meaningful and so seductive), but probably, underneath it all, drawing is the most important thing for me. I draw almost constantly. Ultimately, to draw is to connect with the Essence of the Image. Some images cry out to be painted, must be in color; and some images equally demand to be monochromatic. Some images just need to be carved. The image comes to me first, and it decides what it will be: drawing or painting or print or sculpture. Sometimes it is great to have a stand-alone work—and sometimes it is interesting to have preludes and postludes to one image, characters traveling from one work into another, so that a series emerges.
Born in Russia and having spent my first 21 years there, but now having had lived more than a half of my life in the US, I feel very much between the two worlds. A position that is rather familiar to any artist and makes one look hard for something deeper than cultural roots, for something Universal. I look to Mythologies and my own shamanic experiences to get me there.
I do work on commission sometimes, which is an interesting process: I have to be myself (otherwise there is no purpose to anyone asking for my work), but I also have to “tune into” the client and see where they are and what they truly need from my work at this time. It is a collaboration, finding a common space where I and they can co-exist without losing our identity.