Chased Magazine: Interview with Maria Naidyonova

Chased: You seem to have a very unique style of painting. How would you describe your style and your techniques?

M.N.: As Picasso once said “Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.” I have gone through an intensive way of self-improvement. Starting in Kiev, where I received fundamental technical knowledge and finishing with Berlin where I grew as an artist, gained artistic freedom. Each step of my development has influenced my style that will probably keep changing. As long as I live I will be looking for something new, experimenting, trying to find more strong and sharp ways of expression. I think that when you stop making discoveries you become creatively dead. Also, what I am doing is always the reflection of what I see and experience, of the world surrounding me. My style is the language I use to hold the dialogue with the world.

Chased: You also do animated videos of your works, which is an unusual thing to do. Why did you decide to mix these different genres, and what do you want to show with the videos? In which way do the videos expand or maybe even change your works?

M.N.: I had a chance to show work at Mitte Media Festival, so I thought it might be fun to try to do a video work. I love to draw, so I started to experiment with animating my sketches. It was fun to be doing something familiar using a new media. I like this idea of traditional technique in a contemporary setting. In this case, digital. I think that reflects a lot of my way of thinking and how I look back to the greats in art history and try to connect classics with the contemporary.

Chased: You mainly paint people. What makes it so fascinating for you?

M.N.: People inspire me. I like to watch them. They give me the energy I use to create. I wouldn’t be able to paint if I didn’t have people surrounding me all the time.

Chased: When did you move to Berlin and why? How would you describe the Berlin art scene from your perspective?

M.N.: I was willing to change my environment, was looking for new food for reflection, further ways of creative development. Like Paris was the world’s art center at the turn of 20th century, Berlin is one of the world’s cultural centers today. It attracts artists from every corner of the world. That makes it very particular, international, diverse and free.

Chased: In your last exhibition in Berlin, a painting of you caused a lot of attention and even protests. Can you tell us a bit more about this incident?

M.N.: The painting is called “The Game,” and has two semi-nude girls and their cat playing together in a kind of surrealist utopia landscape.  I showed this piece at the final show of Weissensee Academy of Arts. There was an organized group of protesting people blocking the painting from the viewers and trying to burn it with their cigarettes. Their behaviour was shamelessly aggressive and I had to constantly turn to security for help. It went on for hours and was really exhausting.

One of the semi-nude figures in the painting is Asian, the other is White European. Some people got very angry about this. Viewers are welcome to experience works in their own way. But deciding that your personal perception is more important than everyone else’s and acting like that starts turning into censorship. I totally believe in equal rights for everyone and freedom of expression and could never imagine this incident could happen in such a multicultural metropolis as Berlin.

Chased: Your next exhibition is coming up soon at Fata Morgana Gallery in Berlin-Mitte. What will we see?

M.N.: The show at Fata Morgana is called “2018,” and will include my latest pieces and the most important ones. It will be the conclusion of this fruitful season and a nice reason to meet up before everyone goes on vacations. We are still working on the general display, but most likely it will include “The Game” mentioned above, the “Lovers” painting, successfully debuted at the NGORO NGORO II during the Gallery Weekend, as well as the “Untitled” silver work that has appeared in Munich, Berlin and New York.

Solo Show

Maria Naidyonova: "2018"

Fata Morgana/CoGalleries, 
Torstrasse 170, 10115 Berlin

Opening: July 26, 6–9 pm, 
Exhibition: July 27, 28, 29, 4-9 pm,
Finnissage: July 31, 6-9 pm

 

 

Defying Currents” Group Show

Last Friday, as part of the Weissensee Kunsthochschule's Graduate show, "Defying Currents," artist Maria Naidyonova presented two works featuring duos of female semi/nudes.  For several hours, protestors clad in black blocked viewers from encountering her piece, "The Game," while also keeping their burning cigarettes a few centimeters from the work.  It was a threatening environment which caused confusion and a lot of stress for show attendees, the artist and her supporters.

No one has taken responsibility, but viewers wondered just what the protestors were against.  Many thought it was because of the subject matter.  In any case, an act of censorship was enacted that went on until after the lights were turned off and the show was being cleared for the night.

Curators of "Defying Currents," labeled the work(s) "problematic."  All in all a strange day for arts in Berlin.  

About “The Game”

A painting by Maria Naidyonova

In her large-scale figurative work, “The Game,” Maria Naidyonova makes an offer to viewers which practically cannot be refused.  Loaded with art historical and literary references, “The Game” starts off simply enough before spinning into almost infinite perspectives that reveal as much about the viewer as the painting itself.

It’s a beautiful day in a utopian setting.  Two women play with each other happily while their kitten looks on.  One white, one Asian, the two figures laugh and smile easily, tempting viewers with an apple offering entrance into “The Game.”  Take a bite.  Is it the end of Eden?  Or is it the birth of knowledge?  Both figures seem to know how you feel, but like Alice in Wonderland, it’s only after ingesting the magic that you experience yourself. 

Notions of a post-racial, lesbian/gay utopia have been raised, while others have seen colonization of Asian women by Whites.  Both perspectives may be valid, but is it the artist’s intent to lecture about a particular point of view?  Or is the true intent to reveal what’s already latent in each individual viewer?  Is it global or is it personal?  Is that even the point? 

In the current climate of “fake news” and polarized realities, “The Game” reminds us that yin and yang BOTH exist.  Every perspective justifies its opposition.  Thus, “The Game” supports each stance while denouncing intolerance and lack of empathy.  Like every beautiful work throughout history, “The Game” is ultimately about balance and how you stand on your own in an ever-shifting world.

Leo Kuelbs

 

Travelling Exhibition "Zeitpunkt: Art From Observation" in Berlin:

Opening a New Creative Space in Berlin-Weissensee and Celebration of Berlin Gallery Weekend!

 

Zeitpunkt: Art from Observation

Group show with the works of Maria Naidyonova, Sandra Ratkovic, Daniela Imhoff, Anatoly Rudakov

March 16th-April 16th

Atelier Alen

Baaderstraße 34

80469 Munich

Germany

April 26th-April 29th

Studio Weissensee

Pistoriusstraße 100

13086 Berlin

Germany

Zeitpunkt: Art from Observation” begins with artists working from what they see.  No pure concept or abstraction, but inspiration drawn from a moment observed.   Four different artists approach this notion through photography, drawing, painting and video.  Capturing a second in one’s imagination, then growing it into a freestanding representation of life, a flower from a seed of everyday existence.

2018 Open House

Leo Kuelbs Collection

DUMBO, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Preview: Wednesday, February 28th, 6-9 p.m.

Open House with Tacos: Saturday, March 3rd, 2-10 pm with Champagne Toast at 6 p.m.

Final Look: Sunday, March 4th, 2-6 p.m.

 

“When We Talk About…”

Paintings and Drawings by Maria Naidyonova

When We Talk About…
Hudson SuperMarket and Leo Kuelbs Collection are proud to present, Berlin-based artist, Maria Naidyonova’s second program at the MeatLocker Gallery, “When We Talk About…” Obsession, love, solitude, observation and varying degrees of togetherness are contemplated and presented in a selection of over a dozen new drawings and one new painting. “When We Talk About…” takes place in the formerly frigid confines of the MeatLocker gallery: a fitting setting for this set of shimmering works in shades of white, gray, black and silver.

Meat Locker Gallery
Leo Kuelbs Collection 
310 Warren St
Hudson, New York
12534

Saturday, November 25th, 2017
5-6 pm

Through January 4th, 2018
 

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Spring Forth

New Figurative Paintings and Drawings by
Maria Naidyonova and Kai Teichert

“Spring Forth”
Celebrate Spring in full bloom with a selection of new figurative paintings and drawings from Maria Naidyonova and Kai Teichert at Fata Morgana/coGalleries. Once winter releases its grip, and spring finally comes into its own, comedy has begun and romance can begin to blossom. This group of work finds itself somewhere in this annual dance out of irony and into a new season of fertility and promise.

Leo Kuelbs Collection
Fata Morgana/coGalleries
Torstrasse 170
Berlin, Mitte

Opening Friday, June 2nd, 2017
7 pm – 10 pm

June 3rd and 5th, 2017
12 pm-5 pm or by appointment

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Schauwerk 2016

Welcome to our group exhibition at Art Stalker!

Kaiser-Friedrich Str. 67,  10627 Berlin-Charlottenburg.

4th - 7th November 2016.

Art Project “Kunstmittenmang”

Art Project Kunstmittemang is an open air exhibition along the wall on Lehrter Str. 23-25 in Berlin-Mitte, initiated by the Groth Gruppe

June 22nd - July 4th,  2016.