Employing techniques from different fields, Aksiniya Misyuta veers between figurative and abstract imagery, though avoiding depictions executed in pure abstraction. Often rendered with cubist attributes, the emerging artist‘s works are characterized by a geometrically stylized approach that conveys magnetism submerged in a dystopian environment. Without clear facial features, her obscure figures become articulate with the shadowy topological framework of the well managed space. Misyuta is a painter of voluptuous forms focused on situational portraiture, while her paintings are signified by their proportionally oversized or exaggerated figures. Regardless gender, the artist illustrates rough-textured gigantic appearances in an alluring way. Besides the bulky sizes, the enigmatic bodily development of significant geometry is providing alternative perspectives in the viewer’s eyes, underlining motion and rhythmic play.
Words: Yannis Kostarias
Despite the stony and rather remote shapes, an uncanny, amiable -or even latently romantic- body language can also be seen. Aesthetically there is a strong counterstatement that deepens the engagement with Misyuta’s creative method and visual vocabulary. Cumbersome-looking or not, the bodies reveal not only beauty in volume but also a strong sense of spatial depth. The notion of dimension varies when looking at the exaggerated bodies; their elongated feet or hands could be seen through a flexible and less dramatic prism. Art is inordinate in Misyuta’s work as her inflated visual images are reflecting feelings of irony, humour, and mystery, and are even suggesting a social commentary.
The recent body of work is characterised by a coherent, moody, pale and earthy colour palette. Very elegant blue, white and oneiric grey hues are easily identifiable on her canvases. In some works, such as If only Adam had seduce Eve, 2019, or Overconsumption, 2018, the red colour and its hints dominate the artist’s visualizations and are rarely blended with other colours. Black colour offers a dynamic presence on the silhouettes creating dim and indistinguishable expressions. Paintings, such as the Stone from the wall, 2019, or Night Picnic, 2019, remarkably deploy a dark atmosphere. The facial features are almost absent and the black colour covers significant parts of the canvas illustrating a striking contradiction with the rest of the painting. The reserved body position resembles feelings of anxiety and loneliness. Although these huge bodies barely seem to fit in the limited surface of the canvas, the artist implies a sense of harmony through her painterly attention to details, such as the well-shaped fingers in the enormous feet, the beautifully-shaped noses, or even the nicely done parting of the figure’s hair style, despite the other facial features being hard to distinguish.
Additionally, the artist offers an even more subversive aspect regarding her work mentioning that ‘portraying my characters as still lifes, I still see them as impersonalized objects of different shapes, something yet to cognate. But they no longer live in vacuum, the setting is gaining more depth and psychologism to it’. The pictorial construction of the final image attains more effectual readings, while the less flexible forms on canvas can be variably understood in a multi-dimensional manner yet under a unified concept.
Born in Bryansk, Russia, Aksiniya Misyuta lives and works in Istanbul, Turkey. Her work has been exhibited in galleries around the world, such as in London, New York and Moscow.
Art Verge: Can you tell us about the process of making your work?
Aksiniya Misyuta: Although I enjoy the process of painting, for me it is more about spill the images from somewhere behind my eyes on a surface mainly. The whole thing is mostly intuitive. I just take canvas/paper/board, look at it for a few moments, kind of starting to see the picture and follow those lines. I do not do any preliminary work, no sketches, no studies. If I managed to capture “the idea”, I’m satisfied. Quite often it happens, that I look at my work and it doesn’t speak to me anymore. Thus I repaint. You can imagine the number of palimpsests in my works.
AV: How would you define your work in a few words (ideally in 3 words)?
AM: Humourous, enigmatic, romantic.
AV: Can you name any artists you, lately or generally, take inspiration from?
AM: I’m inspired by creative genius in general, by the ability to create and feel free expressing your mind. What inspires me comes not from certain techniques or palette. There are a lot of things in art which give me goosebumps when I see how smart they are, how humorous and fresh. Among all-time favorites are Bruegel, Max Ernst, Bacon…
AV: According to your art statement: ‘The framework of my art is an Adamic view, an attempt to provide a viewer with a sensation of the first ever glance, eyes of a newcomer when the brain has no information to rely on and starts the process of cognition’ Could you elaborate on that a little more?
AM: I’m absolutely captivated by the idea of seeing things without superimposing any knowledge on them. In real life, you can switch to this mode just for a second or two, but it’s still marvelous. This made me experiment a lot on the border of figurative and abstract…Frankly speaking, describing the process of converting a sensation into something tangible may sound nonsense to others when it comes to art. As an artist should, firstly, interpret their feeling to a creative method and then again translate to a verbal language. A lot of things gone missing this way. Although I still strive to work through this prism, I’d say that focal point has slightly changed during the past year. Portraying my characters as still lifes, I still see them as impersonalized objects of different shapes, something yet to cognate. But they no longer live in a vacuum, the setting is gaining more depth and psychologism to it.
AV: Could you share with us some further details regarding your recent painting named ‘In the garden of Dichotomy’, (2018)’?
AM: This piece is about untiring work of accepting and declining, love and hate, which takes place both within a person’s own, and in our relationship with the outer world. I love the theme of interaction and often use it.
AV: Creating a new painting can be a solitary process. If this applies to you, when you concentrate on a new artwork does it affect your social life at all?
AM: From practice I know, that it is impossible to avidly draw from a source without feeling emotionally drained in the end. As painting (drawing) is a natural part of my everyday life, I need balance to stay sincere and prolific. Enjoying nature, reading, studying is very important to me. But, at some point, painting is a form of escapism, for sure, when life is tough. I’d say, it is life who affects my work, work is only a reflection, never on the contrary.
AV: How do you know when an artwork is finished?
AM: It is finished when it feels done to me, I rely on my intuition.
AV: What about the place where you work? What’s your studio space like, and how does it affect your process?
AM: I like working in a space that has plenty of natural light and enough space for at least three steps I could make backward to look at my work. Working from home is ok (as I do now). Don’t think it has any impact on my creative mechanics.
AV: Which exhibition did you visit last?
AM: Lately, I’ve been to Pilevneli Gallery for the “At the faсtory”: 10 solo shows of 10 artists at once; also been to Russian avant-garde exhibition a few times in a row.
AV: What do you hope audiences will take from your work?
AM: A friend of mine, who is not into art, said to me not long ago: “I have no idea what’s going on [on your paintings], but I keep on looking and guessing”. I think, there it is, I mean, art is all about feeling: either you feel something or just remain unmoved. No artist could predict the sentiment their art would give to a viewer.
AV: Are you a morning person or a night owl?
AM: Morning person who often works late into the night.
AV: Is the glass half empty or half full?
AM: Half full, no matter what.
AV: Which are your plans for the near future?
AM: I do not plan, plans are fragile. I hope to complete some of my illustrative works soon in order to focus on painting on a larger scale.
© All images are courtesy of the artist