In its subject matter and details, this painting depicts the artist's everyday life since the beginning of the pandemic. Working loosely from reference photographs, Barskaya creates figurative works with a diaristic quality.
Barskaya's paintings frequently depict herself and her family in domestic spaces. Mired in quotidian details, each composition is a psychological drama charged with longing and self-reflection—honing in on the strangeness of place. Barskaya's paintings are quiet and still, with rumbling undertones. The artist's works are stories about the human condition, unraveling the complexity of life through a combination of vulnerability and power.
Speaking about the impetus for her recent paintings, Barskaya said: "Time has passed very quickly these last 19 months. A daughter entered my world and my paintings. Every routine, ritual [and] schedule has been rearranged. Of course, my paintings have changed as well. At the same time, the mood of the world has shifted. Life has never been more isolating. We left our Brooklyn apartment to live in the countrysides of Croatia and Italy. We watched our baby grow and I slowly made paintings. The pace of painting this way gave me more time to reflect. The routine of bathing and feeding, and simply going on with life, are present. Spending more time at home meant life seemed stiller and quieter. These paintings come from a place of new feelings, new fears, new anxieties and new ways of seeing."
Working loosely from photographs, Polina Barskaya creates figurative paintings with a diaristic quality. The artist’s work depicts herself and her family within domestic spaces, either in the artist’s home or in various accommodations visited throughout her frequent travels—ranging from Upstate New York to Italy. Combining vulnerability and power, Barskaya’s confessional self-portraits unravel the complexity of life in stories about the human condition.