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.
Polina Barskaya was born in Cherkassy, USSR in 1984. The artist received an MFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York and a BA from Hunter College in New York City.
A solo exhibition of Barskaya’s work took place at Rowe Gallery in New York City in 2021; the artist had an online solo exhibition at Taymour Grahne Projects in London, UK in 2020.
Group exhibitions that have included Barskaya’s work have taken place at: Althuis Hofland Fine Arts in Amsterdam, the Netherlands (2020); and Marianne Boesky Gallery in New York City (2019); among others.
Barskaya received an Artist Fellowship in Painting from the New York Foundation of the Arts (NYFA) in 2021, and an Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant in 2020.
Barskaya’s work has been featured in Artforum, New York magazine, Artnet, The Brooklyn Rail and Hyperallergic, among others. The artist’s solo exhibition at Monya Rowe Gallery was included in New York magazine’s “Best of 2021” by Jerry Saltz.
Barskaya lives and works in Brighton Beach in Brooklyn, New York.
In its subject matter and details, this painting depicts the artist's everyday life since the beginning of the pandemic. Mired in quotidian details, this composition is a psychological drama charged with longing and self-reflection—honing in on the strangeness of place.More