Arina Gordienko - Video


Arina Gordienko is an internationally acclaimed artist who is often known under her artist’s name of ‘ARINA’. She is passionately dedicated to the renaissance of the realistic traditions in painting and widely proclaims revival of Beauty in Art. She uses the old Masters classic ‘sfumato’ technique in her work but with her own contemporary essence. She has developed her own significant style, combining traditional classical techniques with surreal imaginative compositions and a contemporary palette. 

Russian-born, now based in the UK, ARINA exhibits her paintings all over the world and is recognized with a number of awards in the UK, USA, Europe and Australia. Her paintings were featured at venues such as Saatchi Gallery in London, Museum of Fantastic Art in Vienna, Museum of Modern Art Vittoria Colonna in Italy etc. Her works are in private collections worldwide and featured in numerous publications including Reinhard Fuchs’ book ‘Masterpieces of Visual Arts - The Great Female Artists from the Middle Ages to the Modern Era’ alongside works of Frida Kahlo, Georgia O’Keeffe, Bridget Riley etc., ‘Masters of Contemporary  Fine Art’ in the UK, ‘Strokes of Genius -4’ and ‘Strokes of Genius-6’ in USA. She studied at Central Saint Martins College of Art having graduated with Master’s Degree (MA) in Fine Art at Chelsea College of Art, University of the Arts London, UK. ARINA is a full-member of Society of Women Artists in the UK, Portrait Society of America (PSA) in USA and an Associate Living Master of the Art Renewal Center (ARC).

Recently within contemporary art there has been resurgence in using the portrait genre as a tool to explore concepts that reach beyond pure appearance and likeness.  ARINA’s faces stand out from the crowd with a graphic signature style that is memorable. 

The compositions have a bold directness with the monochromes and reds creating a visual language that communicates across cultures.  Her use of light, composition and pose has a sense of a 17 Century Dutch artists like Vermeer but the use of scale, tone and reference to realism bring it firmly into the 21 Century. The qualities of her art have hints of her Russian background within the context of Western influences. 


On close inspection ARINA’s handling of paint is not of bold gestures but the quiet, slow build-up of tonal values which beautifully suggest the sensual surface of the skin and underlying bone structure. The lack of hair accentuates the features of the face with the folds of the head scarf contributing to the architecture of the head, creating an almost sculptural object. 

ARINA uses herself as a vessel for her ideas; the likeness is striking and her expressions are beguiling; she occupies her face with the confidence of an actor trying to communicate to a broad audience. ARINA’s portraits are ambiguous, she does not reveal too much about herself but presents an icon of a woman that can be contemplated and interpreted in many ways; this is where her paintings’ strength.



(Peter Monkman MA, Director of Art Charterhouse, First Prize Winner of the BP Portrait Award 2009 at the National Portrait Gallery, London, UK)

I describe my style as Hyper – Surrealism. It is quite a surreal combination of colours in my paintings (monochromatic figure surrounded by the red fabric) as well as compositions -the images on my works are positioned in a surreal environment, in a middle of nowhere without any recognizable signs of any given time or place, or any other particular characteristics. Anything can be imagined behind the images on my paintings, any centuries, countries (real or surreal), any eye, or skin or hair colours or no hair at all. The monochrome palette helps me to bring certain anonymity to the image.

My paintings are full of symbols helping me to convey my philosophy into my work. I would like to consider my work as not a traditional portraiture, but rather a performance of movements of the human spirit where I ‘use’ my own face the way any actress does, performing emotions and human’s spirit conditions; and then, as an artist, I transform this performance into the images on canvas.

The colour red in my works has, from my very childhood, a deep meaning for me. In Russian language, particularly in folk’s fairy tales, the word ‘red’ has an equal meaning to the word ‘beautiful’. One of the best known Russian writers Fyodor Dostoevsky said ‘Beauty will save the World', so I believe that in my works I transform my perception of the ‘red’ as ‘beautiful’ into a symbol of ‘saving the world’. Also, according to Tibetan philosophy, the colour red is a symbol of connection with the Universe, with everyone and everything at all levels of the entire world.

My belief is that a purpose of art is to keep the world in balance and harmony. It’s an honour, but also a huge responsibility to be an artist, and all the artists are responsible for what we are bringing to the world within our creativity, for every single brush stroke we produce. I believe that images and objects created with passion can take an immense power, a powerful energy that can alter one’s mental state and even transform reality. We all create the world around us, and the more positive and beautiful art objects created today, the better will be the world to live in tomorrow.

Beauty will Save the World and Art is this powerful tool to bring the Beauty to the World - to Save it.
• 2016 Museum of Modern Art Vittoria Colonna, Biennale PESCAART, with Gall'Art Roma Gallery, Italy

2016 Mall Galleries - London, UK. Society of Women Artists Annual Exhibition (also - 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008. Private Views Opened by SWA Patron Her Royal Highness Princess Michael of Kent)

2016 ARTE Genova, with Gall'Art Roma Gallery- Genova, Italy

2015 Phantastishe Venus Biennial - Viechtag, Germany     

2015 Museum Complex of Dioscuri, with Gall'Art Roma Gallery - Rome, Italy

2015 'ITINERA' Exhibition of Contemporary Art, Arte Padova, with Gall'Art Roma Gallery - Padova, Italy

2015 ARTE Genova, with Gall'Art Roma Gallery- Genova, Italy

2014 BEEP Painting Prize Biennial, Elysium Gallery - Swansea, Wales, UK

2014 Master of Art International Painting Prize. Margarita Feaks Gallery - UK              

2014 Art Gemini Prize Finalists Exhibition, Rebecca Cossack Gallery - London, UK

2014 Mortimore Art Prize Finalists, The Very Best in Realism - Australia

2013 Gold Award Winner of Master of Art - Participated as Invited Guest

2013 Mortimore Art Prize Finalists, The Very Best in Realism - Australia         

2013 Sidney, Brisbane, Canberra, Dubbo etc.- touring around Australia

2013 SOLO-Exhibition  ‘ARINA-The Theatre Of One Artist’ - London, UK                       

2013 20th Century Theatre – Hotting Hill, Master of Art International, The Art Pavilion Gallery - London, UK

2013 Gallery of Art Critics (Adria Palace) - Prague

2013 World Gallery of Drawing Awarded Artists Exhibition Museum Sant’Oreste, with Gall'Art Roma - Rome, Italy

2013 International Exhibition of Contemporary Art, The Peace Project International, touring around USA. Venues include Affair of the Arts,The Whole 9 Gallery, Culver City, California; Art Zone 461 in San Francisco, California; 29 Pieces in Dallas, Texas; Open House and Landmark Arts Building in Chelsea, New York

2013 Gallery Métanoïa - Paris, France, 'A Single Grain of Rice'                            

2013 Manhattan Arts International - New York, USA, ‘Art That Lifts Our Spirits’            

2013 ARTicle Gallery - Birmingham, UK, 'The Femail Pproject'                                   

2013 Gall’Art Roma Gallery - Rome, Italy, 'Stars With Stars'                                            

2013 Off the Wall Gallery - Wales, UK, 'Touch of Women'                                           

2013 Coningsby Gallery - London, UK, After the Monet'                                               

2012 Mall Galleries - London, UK, 'Show me the Monet’, BBC2 series                           

2012 Museum of Fantastic Art - Vienna, Austria, 'Uncommon Vision'                          

2012 Elysium Gallery, Volcano Theatre - Wales, UK

2012 BEEP International Painting Prize Biennial, 40 Gallery and Museum of Drawing - Skopje, Macedonia

2012 OSTEN Drawing Award Biennial SOHO20 Gallery - New York, USA, 'Backlash' Exhibition on Women's Rights

2012 Gallery Vista - Rome, Italy, 'RinfrescARTE'                                                  

2011 Pen and Brush Gallery - New York, USA, 'Is it Fine Art? Challenging Traditions'                     

2011 The Passion for Freedom Art Festival - London, UK                                           

2011 Galleria Espositiva Ex Roma Club Monti - Rome, Italy

2011 'Colorissimamente' International Art Exhibition, Pen and Brush Gallery - New York, USA, Award Winners Artists Showcase

2011 Marseille Project Gallery - Marseille, France, Artist’s Portrait  

2010 Saatchi Gallery, London, Art of Giving International Exhibition

2010 Saatchi Gallery - London, UK, 'Art of Giving, With Sir Piter Blake, Banksy, Gavin Turk, Mark Wallinger, Terry O’Neill, Steve Goddard, Leonardo Drew, Christian Furr, Alexa Meade, Zak Ove Participated stars - Derren Brown, Anthony Quinn, Vic Reeves, Noel Filding. Among VIP guests appeared Julian Lennon. Lord Jeffrey Archer was hosting Live Auction.

2010 Mayfair Gallery, Legende Celebrity Art with Art of Giving - London, UK, 2010. With world famous artists and photographers Terry O’Neill, Gerard Mankowitz, Danny Clifford, Allan Warren, Gavin Turk etc.

2010 Arte Laguna Art Prize, Venice Arsenale - Venice, Italy                                      

2010 Marseille Project Gallery - Marseille, France, Futureproof-2010                           

2010 B.J.Spoke Gallery – New York, USA, EXPO-2010, Juried by Cornelia Seckel, publisher The Art Times

2010 Cork Street Gallery 'Open Art Competition' – London, UK, (also 2008, 2009). Juried by Edward Lucy-Smith

2010 Mall Galleries - London, UK, 'Art Liberating Lives', (also 2008, 2009)

2010 Marziart International Gallery - Hamburg, Germany, 'Best of 2010'

2010 Occidental Dimension - Brighton, UK. The first of a touring show to be staged in 3 cities across China

2010 The National Open Art Competition – UK, (also 2008)

2009 Pen and Brush Gallery - New York, USA, 'Fall Brush Exhibition', Curated by Margaret Kelly Trombly, President of the Forbes Collection

2009 Praxis Art International Gallery -  Miami, USA

2009 MFA Now Award Winner’s Exhibition. Juried by the international panel of judges, including Kay Saatchi, Edward Lucie-Smith and Judy Chicago

2009 The RBSA Gallery - Birmingham, UK, Open Portrait Award Biennial

2008 The Art Club, Dover Street - London, UK

2008 Exhibition of Prize Winners, National Open Art Competition, Marseille Project Gallery - Marseille, France, 'Housewarming'

2008 Brenda Landon Pye Portrait Prize, Red Room Gallery - London, UK

2008 MA Fine Art Final Degree Show – London, UK, Chelsea College of Art and Design

2008 MA Fine Art Chelsea Interim Show - London, UK,

2007 'Nearly Me, Nearly Now, Nearly Show', The Arts Gallery, Davies Street - London, UK, XHIBIT-07

2006 The 36 finalists works were selected by Tom Hunter, Lethaby Gallery – London, UK, 'LANDMARKS', Central Saint Martins College of Art                            

1985-1993 Variety of exhibitions in Russia, Including Regional Exhibitions at the State Art Museum of Zauralie, Russia
• 2016 Winner, 2nd Place Award, Berliner Art Prize, Germany

2016 Honorary Diploma for ‘bright and remarkable contribution in the conservation and development of the artistic values in Modern Art’, Berliner Art Prize, Germany

2016 Finalist, The Artist's Magazine 33 Annual Art Competition, Portraits/Figures category, USA

2015 Winner, ‘Strokes of Genius 7: Depth, Dimension and Space’, USA

2014 International Drawing Competition, North Light judges and series editor Rachel Wolf selected the winning images from a record number of over • • 2000 entries, Winner, 3d Place Award, ‘Outside the Box’ category, Portrait Society of America, Members Only Competition, USA

2014 Finalist, ARTGEMINI Prize, Painting category, London, UK

2014 Finalist, BEEP International Painting Prize Biennial, Swansea, Wales, UK

2013 Finalist, Mortimore Art Prize, Surrealism Category, Australia

2013 Exhibition tour around Australia include Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra, Dubbo, Mudgee, Orange, Bowral, Bendigo and Geelong, Winner, Award of Excellence, Lisa Cooper Contemporary Art Gallery Award

2013 'Art That Lifts Our Spirits' Manhattan Arts International , New York, USA, Winner, Award of Excellence, Renée Phillips Art Essay Award

2013 'Art That Lifts Our Spirits', Manhattan Arts International, New York, USA. Gold Award Winner, Master of Art International, Margarita Feaks Gallery Awards Ceremony, Mile End Art Pavilion, London, UK

2013 Winner, 8 Showcase ARTslant Prize, Painting Category, International Juried Competition

2013 Show Award Certificate, IAF 2013, International Art Festival, New York, USA

2012 Special Award, OSTEN 40 World Gallery and Museum of Drawing Biennal, Skopje, Macedonia. Grand Prix for Life Achievement  awarded to a legendary artist CHRISTO (USA), First Award for Concept - Vitaly Komar (USA). Award for World Cultural Heritage - Pablo Picasso. Works of winning artists become an integral part of the OSTEN Museum of Drawing collection. 

2012 2nd Merit Award, Portrait Society of America, Outside the Box category, USA. Members Only International Painting Competition

2012 4th Merit Award, Portrait Society of America, Self-Portrait category, USA. Members Only International Painting Competition

2011 Winner, 2nd Prize, ‘Is it Fine Art? Challenging Traditions’, New York, USA. Pen and Brush Gallery, Juried by gallerist and auctioneer Kenneth Hutter and auction appraiser Jennifer Elhardt

2011 Winner, ‘Strokes of Genius-4: Best of Drawing’ International Competition, USA. North Light judges and series editor Rachel Wolf selected the winning images of 112 artists from a record number over 1650 entries

2010 Finalist (Top 10), Art of Giving Competition, SAATCHI GALLERY, London, UK. ‘Silence, Opus 3’ and ‘NARADA’ by ARINA were selected out of thousands of entries amongst  Top 10 finalists in Painting/Drawing category of the Art of Giving National Art Competition in the UK. Winning works were selected by a panel that includes representatives from the Tate, Frieze, Scream and FAS London, Gavin Turk, Christian Furr and Terry O'Neill.

2010 Finalist, Arte Laguna Art Prize 2010, Venice Arsenale, Venice, Italy

2010 The Best Foreign Artist Mention, Arte Laguna Art Prize, Venice Arsenale, Italy

2010 Special Prize Gagliardi Gallery, Arte Laguna Art Prize, Venice Arsenale, Italy

2010 Special Prize Fiorella Pieri Gallery, Arte Laguna Art Prize, Venice Arsenale

2010 Winner Trophy Award (Top 15), London International Creative Competition. ‘Wide Shut Eyes’ series by ARINA were selected by the International Panel of 12 Judges out of 5000 submissions from 95 countries for a Trophy awarded at the LICC-2010 Award Ceremony at Soho Theatre in London. Each of 15 Final Selection winners received a segment of the LICC Awards Trophy (slate), when each Trophy is fit together it forms a completed piece of art work, like a jigsaw puzzle. On the 10th anniversary of LICC all the winning artists will gather together and present their altered Trophies. At that time these pieces will be united, combined, and put on display at an exhibition in London. After the exhibition they will be returned to the artists. Each artist employs their own unique method to modify these pieces, so when these individual Trophies are placed together they embody masterpiece of collaboration. LICC hope that throughout years these Trophies will be exhibited at museum and galleries and become highly collectible.

2010 Winner, ‘Best of 2010’ People/Today Life category, Hamburg, Germany. International Art Competition, Marziart International Gallery

2010 Winner, EXPO-29 International Competition, b.j.spoke gallery, New York, USA. Juried by Cornelia Seckel, publisher ’The Art Times’

2010 Winner, 6 Showcase ARTslant Prize, Painting Category, International Juried Competition

2010 Finalist, Grant - ARTWORK International, Inc., Painting category, USA

2010 Finalist, National Open Art Competition, Chicester, UK

2010 Finalist, Cork Street Open Art Competition, Cork Street Gallery, London, UK

2009 Shortlisted (top 100), BP Portrait Award, National Portrait Gallery, UK. 'Silence, Opus 3' by ARINA has been through the second round of selection for the BP Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery in 2009 among 100 works selected out of nearly 1900 submissions on the second day of judging that is the point at which the judges make their very final selection of 56 paintings for the exhibition.

2009 Winner, MFA Now Award, International Competition, Miami/New York, USA. International panel of judges included Kay Saatchi, Edward Lucie-Smith, Judy Chicago, John Miley, Maura Reilly, Victoria Lu etc.

2009 Winner, 1st Place Award Full Brush International Competition, New York, USA. Pen and Brush Gallery. Juried and awarded by Margaret Kelly Trombly, President of the Forbes Art Collection

2009 Winner, 2nd Prize (out of 14.000), Portrait/Figure, The Artist’s Magazine, USA. The Artist’s Magazine’s Annual International Painting Competition boasts between 10-14.000 entries, narrowing the field to choose between 50-75 images for the final judging panel to select 6 winners in each category.

2009 Face of ‘Art Liberating Lives’ National British Charity ‘Sue Ryder Care’, UK. Award winning painting 'Silence, Opus 1' by ARINA was chosen as Face of National British Charity Campaign

2009 Finalist, Annual Painting Prize FRINGEMK, Milton Keynes, UK

2008 Finalist, RBSA Open Portrait Award, First Biennal, Birmingham, UK

2008 Winner, Anthony J. Lester Art Critic Award, Mall Galleries, London, UK. SWA Annual exhibition, Prize awarded by Lady Gabriella Windsor, daughter of Her Royal Highness Princess Michael of Kent

2008 Winner, 1st Prize (Out of nearly 14.000) Portrait/Figure Students category, The Artist’s Magazine International Painting Competition, USA

2008 Winner, Public Choice Prize, NOAC National Open Art Competition, UK. Awarded by Kay Austin at the Arts Club, Dover Street Mayfair, London

2008 Winner, Visitor's Choice Award, Cork Street Art Competition, London, UK

2008 Shortlisted (top 100), BP Portrait Award, National Portrait Gallery, London, UK. Painting 'Angel, Portrait of Angelica' has been through the second round of selection for the BP Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery in 2008 among 100 works selected out of 1650 submissions on the second day of judging that is the point at which the judges make their very final selection of 55 paintings for the exhibition. 

2008 Finalist (top 5) Brenda Landon Pye Portrait Prize, London, UK