Woman in the Landscape, 2009, Oil on canvas, 72 x 72 inches
Untitled, 2009, Oil on canvas, 72 x 72 inches
My art is a reflection on time. In our everyday world time is dynamism, change, movement, progress, and anticipation. In my paintings time is permanence, reflection, stillness, and introspection. My perspective on time has grown from observing the Kazakh steppe during long railroad travels between Moscow, where I studied, and my hometown Almaty in Kazakhstan. I was captivated by the feeling of immobility and constancy of this isolated and sparsely populated place, where a chance encounter with a person or even an animal is a unique event that transcends the routine of everyday life. The Kazakh steppe has been an important source of inspiration for me even after I came to the United States to pursue my master’s degree in painting at the Tyler School of Art. I have used the steppe’s immobile presence to render my paintings a sense of monumentality and immanence.
During last year I became interested in the idea of poetry in painting, and also in psychological content of an image. In my paintings, I strive to reach an effect of contrast between a large format and intimate, mythic, and quiet contents. In this sense, the subject is not very important for me; the essential theme in my paintings is pure form. My goal is to create simple yet expressive shapes and to structure the canvas as an interrelated whole. My paintings tend to be built up of numerous layers of paint to give me an emphasis on the essential elements of pictorial facture: color and texture. The medium of oil paint is particularly suitable for this goal, since it allows me to enrich texture through many coats of paint. In this process of layering, my colors lose their original brightness and become restrained. By combining simple shapes with rich texture and tamed coloring, I escape superficial decorativeness and create a synthetic world, a landscape, where time stops and gives way to meditation and concentration. I believe that in our fractured world, my paintings would be an attempt to give a viewer a sense of wholeness.