Size: 11"W x 14"H x 1"D
Year Created: 2017
She came one morning to ask how I was doing and if everything is all right. Just being next to her helped to get the feeling of content that was missing all these years. Time between her visits is getting longer, and sometime I scold myself for volunteering to be here, because I miss my home and our happy community. It might have felt different, if I thought that I’m making a progress toward beauty and peace for everyone, but most of the time it feels that nothing is changing for the better. She said that everyone said hi, gave me a hug, promised to take me home soon and flew away on a little vessel back to our stars.
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.