When I paint, I avoid directness, and when I talk about painting, I avoid overexplaining. I like to leave some room for the viewer’s personal response and interpretation.
The way I see it, painting is an act of putting paint onto canvas through instinct, intention and accident. It’s about finding the perfect balance between exercising control and letting go. Painting is not about manufacturing a best-selling product embellished with marketable slogans and trending hashtags. It’s a lifelong process of exploration and experimentation.
What lies at the basis of my ongoing research are the biological, emotional and psychological aspects of being a human which are universal across the globe. Human sexuality, being one of the fundamental drives behind everyone's feelings, thoughts, and behaviours, has been my core area of exploration both in the art and academic context. When I lived in London, I was immersed in the alternative adult scene and I wrote my BA thesis on fetishism and then later my MA thesis on masochism as a creative force for artists. I am fascinated by the meanders of our psyche, especially its darkest corners. What interests me is what we don’t express and admit: hidden desires, repressed feelings and inner conflicts; the pain and longing. I am interested in otherness and difference, manifested through passions and needs which escape socially accepted norms and fight for their reason to exist. I am drawn to the intersection of the rational mind with the most primary instincts, which we are so unsuccessfully trying to curb.
And whilst my work is not a direct illustration of a political manifesto, what I deeply care about is the freedom of expression, body and sex positivity and mental health acceptance. The experience of living in a multi-cultural and liberal city like London has sensitised me to the importance of tolerance, diversity and empathy. I oppose the societal pressure to fit within a defined “norm”, and the stigmatisation of vulnerability. I want people to embrace our messy imperfect human selves. I feel this is especially important now, when the number of mental health conditions and substance use disorders is continuously rising.
I believe art can allow us to look at ourselves through a new lens, and help us reconnect with the vulnerable side of our human being. It’s a place of reconnection – to ourselves and to others – and of expanding our notion of “we”.
I paint and write out of deep necessity and desire – and it’s a desire both to create and to make some kind of a positive contribution.
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