About Katya Kvasova

Self-portrait by Katya Kvasova

Katya Kvasova is a painter whose practice explores the conventions of portraiture as a means to express an emotional state. Focusing on the female form, she creates a narrative between the figurative elements of her subject, and the abstracted background of her paintings. The connection between these two elements allows her to convey the tension between the exterior mask that individuals often present to the world, and the contrasting depth and vulnerability of their interior thoughts.

Her paintings seem to be private moments; each piece has its own character and mood. In her body of work ‘Emotional Spaces’ her series of paintings looks into their subject’s subconscious mind, imagining their feelings. The key to understanding is not in the subject’s façade they present but what is hidden behind it. She uses the traditional medium of oil painting to depict her women, whose faces tend to be highly detailed and tightly painted. The direction of their gaze differs throughout the series but they are always deep in thought. The style of painting loosens as it moves across their bodies and through their clothes, to gradually merge and abstract into their environment. Although the marks used in the background are abstract, they read as a metaphor for the sentiment of the painting. Kvasova knowingly applies layers of emotive colours such as blue, red and white to indicate the melancholic, passionate and enlightened ambiances of her characters’ spaces. She draws together what can be read on their faces with the underlying connotations of colour, gesture and mood displayed by their setting.

Kvasova’s work has a dreamlike quality, inviting you to step into an alternative world with her. Despite the strong sense of storytelling, she does not tell the viewer what to think but instead encourages them to connect with their own perceptions. The focus of the paintings is their subjects’ mood of inner contemplation; they open up a space for thought and self-reflection. They tread on the fragility of our emotions and the challenges we face in expressing ourselves, yet they are strangely reassuring. These very personal works channel the artist’s energy and act as a form of therapy. Looking beyond the paintings’ initial beautiful charming naïveté, on closer inspection their maturity and emotional depth shines through.


Website: KatyaKvasova.com
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Image & text © Katya Kvasova, 2017. All rights reserved.