LIVES & WORKS IN New York, NY
YOUR ART WEEKEND My son
BOOK The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
GUILTY PLEASURE Paint
LATEST PURCHASE Paint
SUGARLIFT PICK Dina Brodsky
Today we are catching up in the studio with Moscow-born artist Svetlana Rabey. Svetlana, a trained dancer, brings movement and music into each and every one of her artworks. In her own words, "Painting for me is a hypnotic internal process of chaos and choreography. Arc like shapes are repeated and layered, leaving behind a plastic continuity of movement and memory. Tension lies in the controlled, silhouetted line of the painting gesture against the impact of gravity on the materials. The repeating icons are painted in thin layers so that the shape emerges from within itself. Transparencies blur the perception of foreground and background." Learn more about Svetlana's work below, and check out some shots of her working in the studio. You can shop her exclusive Sugarlift collection here!
Where do you start with each piece you create? Do you know how it is going to turn out before you begin?
I start with a few colors in a thin glaze and I work in layers. The shapes reduce in size but increase in saturation with each subsequent layer. I have no idea what the result will be. Decisions are made from colors calling other colors.
Where does your inspiration for art making come from?
Art making is a daily practice for me . It's where I'm happy. I'm inspired by the quality of a movement in dance but also in inanimate objects, sculpture. architecture, and also music. I have a background in classical dance so I value the daily repetition of something over time. The value is in the process. Strangely there is a freedom in the discipline.
How has your work evolved since you first started out, and what new mediums or processes are you hoping to work with next?
I first started working with these shapes in Ink on paper and then oil on canvas. The shapes were first monochromatic. Very slowly and gradually I started using different colors together and understand what I wanted the color and the layers to do. It's a delicate game of control and release with the materials. When my son was born in 2013 I switched to watercolor on paper because it was a safe medium to work with. This has been the medium of choice for several years. Despite my resistance to it initially, I’ve learned a lot about my process with watercolor. I am currently working on some oil paintings. It is nice to return to an older medium with new information gained from these years of working with watercolor.