Statement | Xenia Prokhorova

My art is based on a single principle: artistic presentation of esthetic interests. These interests define the goals which I set to myself as an artist.

Creating the Portrait of a Human Being is at the center of my interests, it is the end goal of my artistic work. I like watching people, their facial expressions, their body language, movements and silhouettes. Revealing human character and individuality through uncovering those of their aspects that prompt adoration and admiration—this task never makes me bored, and it will always be the source of my inspiration. I have a feeling that a person’s inner character, the portrait of his soul is always expressed through his special, unique, yet very tangible and specific body mobility. At times, when I am absorbed in my work, I feel as if I were like clay, pliable, clinging to someone and surrounding his form without omitting even a single small bump or corner so that the person’s inward nature can be experienced through the physical sensation of his movements. I encounter such people everywhere, those, whom I cannot but draw or paint when I see them, noticing their facial expressions, their movements and silhouettes, their choice of clothing. My artistic inspiration, my creative impulse, at times bordering on suspense, might happen suddenly, at any moment, and then I would use any available materials in order to capture my mental image, my insight and empathic vision. Jogging in the park, for example, I may see a complete stranger sitting gracefully, with his legs crossed, at the shore of the Yusupov Pond and smoking. Then I may get agitated noticing his disproportionately long, ungainly legs that look just like those of marionettes. Or the splash of his simple white scarf against the background of his black garment: a bubble coat, which underscores his expressionist stooped back, and jeans hugging his overlong legs. Or even how his scarf is awkwardly tied in front of him, dangling as on a child. Capturing his wild gaze—he stares at me with one eye, the other hidden by his hood—I stop there and start drawing sketches of him with my fingers on my phone screen.

I am a synesthete, so text symbols and visual images are inextricably linked in my head. Thus, I develop the idiom of my pictorial art, its graphic and its meaning, on the level of text. Painting becomes a flow of graphical narrative, yet, as it is incapable of revealing all of my ideas and feelings, it keeps demanding words, poems, and stories. Stories, however, demand sounds and movement which leads me to animation. And when I get tired of movement without the beauty of the stroke of the paintbrush, without the tranquility of statics, I return to painting. But I do so on different level, while having new targets and new means of expression, renewed and revitalized esthetic perspectives. At present, for example, I am particularly interested in fashion: fabric joints, seams, textures… I have no idea where I may end up in because of all this enchantment with fabrics and with the outlines of the dresses. Some images seem to be akin to my ideas and feelings, to the images that were divulged via my paintings, so they become my source of inspiration while they may either provide responses to my artistic problems or, perhaps, pose new challenges. The only crystal-clear fact for me is that I will never be able to figure out in advance what my new painting would look like, even though I might have completed a sketch for it.

In painting I choose primacy of form over content. My heroes are blots, lines and colors; they play their own game, they unite themselves into their own narrative, yet reflect the person who is central to it. This painting is in front of me: a green blot climbs the blue zigzag against yellow background towards a long pink blot. Well, for me it is a knight storming the tower of a princess. Such insight that happens when I examine a painting is something that enriches the narrative itself. This is the poetry of blots and lines, the song of colors. Anyone may hear it if he or she were to look closer. Thus, my heroes help me create a person’s inner portrait, they highlight the main features of his character, whatever makes him be himself and unlike anyone else. They also provide to the spectator the narrative of a person’s life history. This is what makes up the metaphysical core of visual arts.

Whether I want it or not, all of my creative work is influenced by my desire for intimacy. It is not only sexual intimacy, even though the simplest form of intimacy is still so much better than endless darkness of inability to love and to empathize. Only love can prevent my falling through into the darkness of desperation. Seeing old women on a bench in the Yusupov Garden discussing some of their everyday trifles, I feel close to them and I want to become a part of their world. So, I stop there and I draw them. For me, the void is lack of love. And color black is life. And life itself, including my craving for intimacy, is manifested in filling up the void of the white in canvasses. Eternal craving, beguiling and unreachable, is a dialectic of unity and struggle of opposites. The dialectic nature of existence is very important for me.

In my opinion, creative work is, first and foremost, about having trust in myself and being responsible for what I am involved in. It is the process of updating my brain in order to become utterly, exceedingly free. It is an opportunity of raising the level of my emotions so high as to be able to see the creative source of this world in the most commonplace manifestations.