‘I am inspired by everyday reality to create works of pure imagination.’
Welcome to my creative world. My name is Natalia Tsyganova and I have had a love of drawing since I was a child. My artistic tendencies led me to participate in creative activities and competitions at school, through which I found a way to express my inner thoughts. I then went on to study folk crafts, including painting Matroyshka dolls on trays. It was the most exciting time of my life and I continue to find fulfillment in my creative pursuits.
I take my inspiration from many sources, including modern trends in Russian art as well as international influences. My work contains references to commonplace social issues that I like to present in a fantastical way, perhaps reaching the depths of human fantasy. Each creation springs from my impressions and perceptions about life, and my ideas are transformed on canvas for all to explore.
From sketches to watercolors, Natalia Tsyganova creates paintings and prints that express her world view on contemporary social issues. Through her preferred medium, she lays bare the dark underbelly of human nature and the complexities of relationships. Creating works in both black & white and color, the artist offers a surreal commentary on the psychological disposition of her protagonists as they carry out mundane daily tasks.
At first glance, the artist’s works look like innocent scenes from everyday life. It is only on closer inspection that we detect surreal elements that invite us to ponder on what she wants to convey. Her watercolors are often presented in black and white, giving an illusion of nostalgic domesticity where everything appears to be normal. As a reflection on the inner workings of the human mind, it is the small details that reveal the real psychological state of the protagonists. There is something disarming about her work that stirs our inner demons; an echo of Harold Pinter’s classic weasel under the cocktail cabinet, just waiting to jump out and bite!
Take her work Don’t Torture the Pig, a black and white scene of a woman holding a meat cleaver behind her back while chopping up pigs. The male figure listens while she bares her exaggerated teeth at him, ready to make mincemeat of him. The reference to domestic conflict is clear, as is the unexpressed emotions of the woman who perhaps feels dissatisfied with the confines of her existence. In Feel His Taste we observe yet another reflection on relationships, this time with the woman sprouting tentacles from her face as she engages in an amorous embrace. An everyday scene with dark undertones that the observer is left to reflect on in their own time.
The artist uses oil colors to create a surreal image in her work Matreshki, where the well-known Russian nesting doll is used to make a political comment on her homeland. The popular folk symbols are dressed in traditional peasant costumes and stand in front of the Kremlin – an outsider’s view of Russia that is not truly representative of reality. Tsyganova’s art is subtle, beautiful, and foreboding at the same time, making it exceptional in every way.