Archer Galley held a virtual Art Talk and opening reception for artist Yulia Pinkusevich to speak about her latest exhibition “Calm Under the Waves in the Blue of My Oblivion” on Feb. 19.
During the Art Talk, Pinkusevich walked through her journey as an artist, as well as the meaning behind her most recent exhibition.
The exhibition starts out in a virtual cave called the “Cave of Undiscovered Dreams.” As the spectator moves through the tunnel, they’re taken into an expansive cavern containing four pieces of artwork: “Sakha Earth Spirit,” “Sakha Air Spirit,” “Path (tree of life),” and “Sakha Mother Spirit.” The three spirits, Earth, Air and Mother, represent the three spirits that ancient Sakha people once believed to reside within every person.
Pinkusevich recalled a pivotal moment in her career which occurred while observing an orangutan in captivity in Argentina. She described watching the orangutan look entirely uninterested for most the time. However, the orangutan became ecstatic when her zookeeper came to visit. She said that moment has stuck with her throughout the years.
“I got back to New York and I started seeing that same devoid look in people’s eyes,” Pinkusevich said.
Pinkusevich also shared the inspiration she draws from her ancestral past. During the Art Talk, she shared photos of her great grandparents from Siberia and discussed how her maternal ancestors likely practiced Shamanism before Stalin’s systemic purge of the practice in the 1920’s. She included aspects of Shamanism’s deep connection to the Earth in her exhibition.