My first reaction would be to say that I want to express myself and make something meaningful that will be interesting for people to look at. I am sure it is true on the surface. I don’t have the typical life-long story that I knew I was an artist since I was a kid or I had that burning desire to create a masterpiece.
I became an artist gradually, like a person who went through numerous rooms and finally opened the right door. I make art because I can’t not make it. I have so many ideas that need to be completed and finalized as tangible objects.
Why do I make art?
It’s my life, the everyday necessity of existence.
I create my own world that I can immerse myself in and disappear.
All my work is an attempt to deal with psychological issues and explore emotions and feelings in depth. I am interested in examining the entity of the form during the process of transitioning from one realm to the other, from one stage of development to the next one. I use an abstract figurative shape to suggest the ambiguity of the process, signify the importance of the change and difficulty of the transitioning.
In my creative process I explore the relationship between sculptural form and the surface treatment and integrate the idea of interchangeability between a flat image and the three-dimensionality of sculpture. My sculptures convey the inner-world of a person – a world remembered or imagined from the past; a world of a dream, or a nightmare; a world of unfulfilled expectations.
I didn’t start my adventure with clay at a young age, it was a surprising discovery. I took my first clay class in order to avoid spending time in traffic and it changed my life.
I was born and raised in Russia where I studied biochemistry and developmental psychology that later became a foundation for my interest in the technical aspects of ceramics and influenced the conceptual basis of my work.
To get to the professional level, I didn’t hesitate to go back to school and receive my BFA and MFA in ceramics, since I knew that I finally found what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
All my work is hand-built and one-of-a-kind, three-dimensional canvases that incorporate form and a painted surface into one work of art. I’m a purist, I work only with ceramic materials and embrace the unpredictability of the firings but working with underglazes gives me control over the colors.
On a conceptual level, I explore psychological and emotional issues of a deep personal nature and in addition, I raise common, universal questions that are understood without explanations.
I am a member of the ICA – International Academy of Ceramics, Switzerland and International Ceramic Artists Association (ICAA), China.
My work has been shown all over the US and internationally (Italy, China, Romania, Latvia, Turkey, France, Serbia, Finland) at different galleries and museums.
Selected prizes and awards:
2023 National Endowment of the Arts distinguished fellowship at the Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences
2022 Jurors Choice Award, Clay National XVI: Say It With Clay, Carbondale, CO
2019 Bronz Medal, International Teapot Exhibition, Yixing, China
2018 Grand Prize for Texas International Teapot Tournament, Clay Arts Museum, Huston;
2017 NICHE Award in the category “Ceramic Sculpture”;
2017 Honorable Mention at 3rd Cluj Ceramic Biennale, Romania;
Area of Expertise
International Academy of Ceramics (IAC), Switzerland
International Ceramic Artists Association (ICA), China
Association of Clay and Glass Artists of California (ACGA) 2009 -2022