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Polina Barskaya
brooklyn, NY
Neighborhood: Brighton Beach



ARTIST STATEMENT: Artist Statement I was born in Cherkassy, Ukraine in 1984 which was still part of the Soviet Union then. When I was four years old, most of my family immigrated to the United States as political refugees. The entire trip took about 9 months as we moved through Slovakia, Austria, Italy and then onto America. I grew up in Brighton Beach, a predominantly Russian-Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn, spending most of my days at my grandparents house, learning the language and absorbing the American culture through television shows. American television was a big influence on me because there were only 3 channels back in Ukraine. My reality was defined by Old World Soviet-Jewish mentality and New World American values and freedoms. This culture clash made me very aware of how people react outside of their comfort zones: the majority of my neighborhood's residents underwent a displacement similar to my own. My work focuses on family. The individual becomes the conceptual framework, containing the multitude of experiences and psychologies of that character, as well as their relationships with others. Currently, I am exploring my own history, recalling the formative years of my life, and my inner thoughts and instincts. Jung once wrote, “everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual's conscious life, the blacker and denser it is.” My efforts have been to expose these defining qualities. Also, I have been interested in Watercolors allow me to work very fast – I can finish a painting in 2 to 3 days, while at the same time forcing concentration on the work at hand. This immediacy gives me the opportunity to learn from my paintings and progress in my technique and content.
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