PAINTING & INK
Disappeared Worlds (2021)
Following archival traces, memories of familiar faces, documentary work, architecture, and photography, this project recreates haunting images of the disappeared worlds of the Soviet Union and communist Eastern Europe. The paintings in this series include reflections on the powerful mythology of authoritarian dictators, scenes of everyday life, and emblematic architectural landmarks of the era. In many ways, this is a personal project that traces and recreates images that are both strikingly intimate and familiar to me growing up in the aftermath of the collapse of this world and unsettling in their remoteness. This painting is inspired by the extraordinary display of mournful affect captured in historical archival footage at Stalin’s funeral, recently restored and edited by Sergei Loznitsa for his film “State Funeral.” The film is haunting in its imperial magnitude and the expansive collective affect of the funereal crowds, gathered to mourn the extinguishment of a myth. Loznitsa’s documentary ends with a warning about the powerful mythology of dictators. According to historical research, Stalin’s regime led to the execution, imprisonment, torture and deportation to labor camps of over 27 million people. This includes members of my Bessarabian side of the family who spent decades in Siberian labor camps simply for being village school teachers, thus part of the “local elite” to be eliminated for swift re-colonization of the region.
INK: CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT (2019-present)