“Sometimes I dream of creating the space of a dream…I quite rarely have dreams, but I often see reality as a dream,” says Ukrainian painter Polina Kuznetsova. Born in Kharkiv where she studied at the Kharkiv State Academy of Design and Arts, Kuznetsova fled to Tallinn, Estonia, at the onset of the war.
Kuznetsova often focuses on the landscape of dreams in her work, contrasting deep backgrounds with elaborately textured portrait subjects. There is an emphasis present on silhouettes, the folds of fabric, and ambiguous geometric forms – Kuznetsova’s is a unique and cohesive artistic language that creates a sense of ease and intrigue.
Kuznetsova’s style is perhaps most clear in Dreams (2020), an almost mystical portrait of Ukraine’s leader. Against the darkest of backdrops, stands calmly and serenely as a beacon, and welcomes the viewer with open arms. The breadth of Kuznetsova’s technical ability is clear, from the wide, haphazard brush strokes of the background to the fine details of the hair.
“My landscapes are full of magic and are idealistically beautiful. But this year the land that inspired them, the land that I drew inspiration from for all of my life is covered with terrible wounds…”
I look around and see only dreams! There is no hope, no faith, and no plans… But, there is a dream and it is so magical.
The Cage – it’s an image, for many people who found themselves in occupation or in captivity, it’s reality.
At first, even time disappeared, and then appeared and flew according to new laws. A day for a week, a month for a year.