duo show with Natalie Rosin

Curatorial+Co, Sydney
14-24/07 2021

THE GOLDEN ROOM is a metaphor for a mental space that stores an archive of memorable or imaginary places and the emotions associated with them. This is a jewellery box from which I carefully take out images and place them in the light. That’s why the rich palette of works is reminiscent of precious stones—emerald, ruby, amber.

The paintings are inhabited by female characters who are each in a state of deep thought, as if they are not really here but somewhere in between. Self-portraits rhyme with portraits of my twin sister and our history recorded in photographs, like multiplying in the mirror with imaginary characters. There is a sort of unsettling stillness to works, a type of peaceful meditativeness, where figures make an imperceptible journey in elusory spaces.

I aim to create works that are lyrical, powerful and deceptively simple. For this I use laconic composition in which immersive space captures the figure. In this series the distinction between water, forest or room space becomes irrelevant. The empty landscape and the sunlit room are equally poetic and precious to me. Subdued, as if suspended, the painting is derived from a sense of the dramatic. Often composition of works appears rich and agile, but then calm in their dense asceticism never losing their energetic feeling.

By creating a collection of images, I strive for the crystallisation of the moment. My goal is not to lock in a state or situation, but rather to convey the fragility and fluidity of its every facet. These works reflect many references—images from family photos, visual impressions from walks and watched films, fleeting charm with light and colour. I would like these paintings to be perceived as open, like poetry, where the image created by the author is only a guiding thread for the reader, but its endpoint is not defined. Through fluid figurative painting, I propose not escapism, but a journey.

Maria Kostareva

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