Arina Gordienko

Born in the Artic Circle, where she lived until the age of 4, a period in which she only witnessed 4 long nights and 4 long days, 6 months each. From there, she moved to a valley full of vibrant colors, where the world resembled a daydream, a new palette that contrasted with tons of black and white to which she was used to. When she first saw the flowered fields for the very first time, it was an emotional and unforgettable moment – one that gave birth to her artistic side, she believes. However, her painting is essentially monochromatic, with an exception to the rule being the elements painted red.

In Arina’s paintings, there is something that immediately catches ones’ attention, something happens to time and space, it is as if they were compressed, or perhaps expanded. As if the world had stopped and so did time, as if the moment had been frozen by time, turning itself into a timeless zone.

The figure is somewhere between two worlds, in a calculated mishmash of tones and shapes which has no previous parallel in the canvas, nor in our intellect, turning the invisible into the visible. The frozen glance materializes, at the same time, one and all thoughts. Everything got reduced to its very essence, a world stripped of everything, of nothing, emptiness, the boundless nothingness, without frontiers, contours, a white in which one can see everything and almost nothing, as if it was the atmosphere of a distant glacial landscape. As mysterious as ethereal or divine.

A glance that holds the child’s curiosity and the wise man’s knowledge, the joy and the sadness, the doubt and the certainty, the equanimity and the concern, it has in it all of the paradoxical feelings tied together in a single expression that is as insecure as it is assertive. Evidently, that glance will not blink and will spend centuries without doing so. That glance stares at us without hesitations nor detours, and we question ourselves about its luck. Even when the figure turns its back to us, we are still able to watch its glance, to feel its feelings and to predict its thoughts. 

Arina seems capable of breaking down the classics, reassembling them in a rather unique style, encompassing an approach that breathes freshness. The pronounced volume of the planes contrasts with the neutral mantle in the background. The detail and the minutiae are calculatedly shaped on a satin skin, on a silky anatomy. Under the skin one feels the voluptuousness, a volume, a movement, a harmony, muscles and bones belonging to the very same frame. The light slides, as if it were silk, through the contours of its face, as if it was on the wings of an angel. The shadows grow in a slow ballet, presenting shapes that are as beautiful as they are perfect. A delicate, poetic, seductive and melancholic anatomy, entangled in a mixture of purity and maturity. There is something similar to a radiography, but one in which the soul is depicted instead.

The satin red outpours itself as if it was a layer of lava running on a grisaille canvas’s surface. The inanimate comes to life, sucking its energy from the soul of a monochromic being. The scarf tells a story that is as rich as the figure, sometimes overlapping the latter, others just sliding to other planes. It carries the emotions and the thoughts in every single wrinkle, with each contour encompassing all of them in a harmonious unity.

The features are mysterious and revealing. The sensual mouth in which one corner goes down and the other rises up. The question contained in one eye and the answer in the other. At long last, we all have the questions and the answers inside of us.

For all these reasons, I have decided to ask a few questions.

Pedro Boaventura



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