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Nikolina Kovalenko
Solo Exhibition
July 17 - August 2, 2014
Opening Reception
Thursday, July 17, 6:00 - 9:00pm
Meet Nikolina @ Opening Reception
Artist Talk and Intro @ 7:30pm
Dacia Gallery is pleased to present “МАСКАРАД” an exhibition of new works by Nikolina Kovalenko. Her series of works focus on how individuals interact within their own masks, masquerading (МАСКАРАД) through different moments and circumstances, forming a seemingly infinite pocket catalog of perfectly fitting masks for every life situation. Through her subjects, Kovalenko explores the circus of emotions that provides us a comfort zone in a daily whirlwind of change— exploring, dissecting, undressing, and conveying these complex moments in her oil paintings, through their otherwise invisible masks. Suddenly the totally normal picture creates dissonance between the reality we are used to seeing.
Nikolina Kovalenko received her Masters in Fine Arts from Moscow Surikov Art Institute and Gold Medal from the Russian Art Academy. She also was an exchange student at UDK, Berlin. In the winter of 2008 she backpacked for the first time to India.
“That trip opened my eyes to the world and changed my life. Traveling became my passion and I tried to embody the impressions of every country in my art. In my sketches I wanted to return to Russia with more than just a dry imprint of facts and lines, rather I wanted to keep the hot breath of the wind in the Mexican desert, the gold of Italian cathedrals, the white candles of mosques looming in the Moroccan sky, the flavor of mint tea pouring from a silver teapot in a tent covered with marvelous carpets. In the summer of 2010, I lived in Cuba for two months, portraying the decadence of Havana’s streets and spending hours drawing dancers of Santiago de Cuba beneath the rhythm of sacred drums. I tried to express the importance of dance in Cuban culture as a surrogate of happiness despite everyday difficulties.”
In 2012, Kovalenko moved to New York— the city, which inspires her and nourishes the imagination with its crazy mixture of cultures. The artist's current works explore sensibilities of modern society slightly distorting them through the lenses of humor and irony (masks).
Shopping for a Face, Oil on Canvas, 50x60 Red Mirror, Oil on Canvas, 44x50 After the Interview, Oil on Canvas, 44x50 Fishing for a Date, Oil on Canvas, 60x60