Size: 20"W x 16"H x 1"D
Year Created: 2017
Ready to Hang
I woke up early one morning, went to a local park, stretched out on the grass and waited for someone to explain to me the setup of the Universe.
Beside the homeless, dog walkers and runners, I didn’t see anyone around.
It was a weekend, so I had some extra time to wait, although I was very curious about what is going on around us. I just wanted a short answer, one paragraph or so.
I felt how the fresh wind surrounded me and I felt the warm sunlight on my face; I saw the birds and butterflies dancing around me, but I didn’t see anyone who could offer a clear answer. I guess it won’t happen today, maybe next weekend. I will be back.
Born in Soviet-era Odessa in 1971 into a family of art lovers who encouraged her painting from a very young age, illustrative artist Anita Zotkina (anitazotkina.com) situates her visionary painting in the surrealist tradition. Writers of fairy tales such as Hans Christian Andersen, for whom everything is alive and has a soul, children’s author Kenneth Grahame in The Wind in the Willows, and, most strikingly, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry in his classic masterwork for lone lost souls, Le Petit Prince, influence her preternatural and supportive dreamscapes. After attending a year of art school at the precocious age of eleven, where she sought to draw/paint “something wild” but found herself assigned to “vases, dry flowers, and fake fruits,” she “had to drop out because it was too boring.” Having immigrated to New England at the age of 27, Anita Zotkina today makes her home in Vermont where she continues her artistic career. When asked about her art she responds, “I love to imagine that I am an extraterrestrial being who was sent to Earth as a peace volunteer. Therefore, the main theme of all my artworks is love and the search for inner peace.” Using varied media ranging from thick oils on canvas to textured acrylics on paper, as Zotkina shades with charcoals and startles with pastels, luminescent beauty darts in and out, arresting one’s gaze. As the viewer explores detailed worlds populated with strangely sentient figures who seem caught in often subconscious spells of solitude yet communicate interconnectedly across works, she indeed finds herself undergoing a kind of interplanetary travel a là Kurt Vonnegut, another strong spirit guide for Zotkina.