I began working on the People project five years ago. the impulse for that work was my father’s illness, then his departure. Gradually, the theme of intercession has evolved. Through my intersession before the death of a single person, my father, i could see the intercession by all of us: pain, suffering, perseverance, overcoming. i wanted to show the humankind as a single flow of life, energy, sensations, emotions. This is why people in my works mix with each other, flow into one another, become each other’s parts. At that stage in my project i began getting closer to the subject of my study, to portrait.
I am fascinated by old people’s faces, which reflect the labor of overcoming, the labor of their souls, an imprint of meaningful beauty. “The most beautiful things in a human being are accumulated slowly, and if one manages to accumulate them by old age, they are a prize for all the losses” (Grigory Pomeranz, a Russian philosopher).
The foundation of my technique is canvas, a background that may be inhomogeneous; the i draw with fusain or sanguine. Then i cover the image with ceruse and draw on it again, with fusain, or sanguine, or acrylic. the image gradually becomes multilayered, a palimpsest of a kind. Some things stand out through all of the lawyers – these are what i develop, creating new optics. i don’t always know what the outcome is going to be: each time i wrestle with the material. Each time, it is a trip along the known route, but with many random encounters, incidents, unexpected turns.
I use the term palimpsest as a metaphor for the many layers in life: the present through which one can see the past and on which the future is reflected. Now i gave myself a new task: a series of large portraits, which makes the image so close to the viewer that you can study faces as geographical maps, with their elevations and low grounds, their rivers and islands.