Contemporary Russian artist Anna Berezovskaya returns to REDSEA Gallery from 15 May to 14 June 2015 to present her latest solo exhibition, ‘Edge of the World’, featuring 25 enchantingly quirky paintings with imaginative, fairytale-like qualities, and playful and symbolic narratives. In this interview, the young Moscow-based artist shares her inspiration and tells us what we can expect
What inspired this particular series, and what themes does it explore?
It’s inspired by Russian culture and my daily life. I hope to bring together humour and optimism through romantic narratives, and capture that fleeting moment of beauty, joy and playfulness in our everyday lives. The general theme is emotions – what people value and what’s worth doing. Each painting is separate, but they are all united by a sense of feeling and emotion.
You describe your style as “poetic realism”. What does that mean to you?
I generally use different styles, like abstract and surreal, with elements of naïve art; I would even say that my style, in terms of technique, is a collection of inspirations that I take from other artists, as well as an expression of my emotions.
My works are about regular stories but translated in my own unique style. In general, I look at regular life in a funny and optimistic way – I like humour and fun, and try to see the fun and happiness around me. I do not portray real life, but my own life – my own world that I get people to believe in. I don’t try to be modern but, rather, my paintings are meant to be timeless, and symbols are important to achieve that; I use different centuries, costumes and other symbols in my work to convey certain ideas.
What are some examples of the symbols seen in your work?
I use locks and keys to represent mysteries and discoveries, while a king symbolises wealth, and a knight represents courage. There is a Russian superstition that wearing an old safety pin will ward off evil, and I have included that in my work as well. I even use snails in my paintings – I’ve read a lot about them and their symbolism has inspired me; the spiral on the snail’s shell is a symbol of life.
This story first appeared in Expat Living’s May 2015 issue.