As the thunder rumbled in the background of Berlin I was invited into the studio of Maryna Baranovska, a Ukrainian born artist now living and working in the German Capital. As she began to talk about her work, passion emanated from her very being, filling the room with an intense kind of optimism despite the rain outside. She leapt about the space showing me creations from her past and present, animatedly pulling canvas’ twice her size from the mob of work which lay in every corner.
In her most prolific pieces, layer upon layer of visionary delight sprawls in both foreground and background as characters and stories leap out of painted chasms. Engagingly narrative, fantastic scenes tinged with doom stood before me as if escaped from a dark and twisted fairy tale. On my left a gaunt figure vomits a silver stream as Maryna speaks of how “painting is her language”. Her mind exploding with elaborate and imaginary worlds, she likens herself to an author who has no way with words. Instead she turns to art; for her, the perfect medium to transfer her ideas to the realms of physicality whilst still granting her audience permission to enter.
Enter they do, thanks to the heavy emphasis she places on artist to audience communication; she declares ‘I like to transform the exhibition space into a work of art, as well as just the paintings on the wall’. In this way she merges tradition and modernity; presenting both narrative painting and conceptual installation side by side. She avoids being plagued by the creative world’s eternal squabble over the classifications of art and entertainment; instead she embraces the endless bounds that come hand in hand with the present day, turning galleries into visionary spaces.
Unable to shake the feeling of astonishment I felt at her breath of imagination, I asked if she found her stories in her dreams. ‘Dreams are places where I find solutions for my works’ she says, and she explains that in dreams her work continues; each night she explores her paintings and sees what they could become. By morning, she finds herself enlightened, either aware of every brush stroke she must make or conscious that she must push herself beyond the familiarity of her night time visions in order to elevate herself to a whole new level of ingenuity.
As she says goodbye she takes some pastel pink business cards out of a silver case, a sure fire signal of success, but after what I’ve seen today, my, does she deserve it.
Maryna will be exhibiting the works she is currently working on in November. More details to follow.
- Artist Information: Hasenheide 52/53, D-10967 Berlin, www.marynabaranovska.de
- For further information please contact: marynabaranovska(at)googlemail.com.