A Critique by Carl Anthony Straus of Peabody Massachusetts USA
"Fog" by Tatiana Sokolova of the European Union, 30 x 21 cm., Watercolor on Paper, 2017.
"Strange summer, incomprehensible weather and unclear view." ~Tatiana
Here, as mentioned by the artist in her own memento of the inspirations that drew this greatly-executed work out of the dark recesses of her mind, it was a very "strange summer", perhaps an eerie and outright scary one, at that! This great artwork reminds me of the great classic mystery horror film, "The Fog", with American actress Adrienne Barbeau as its' main, enduring, heroine character. Just as in this salt-marsh-like scene of a dismal, haunting, blue-gray pallor, with a thick blanketing fog rolling in on a small coastal community, this stark and mysterious image has the same creepy undertone of the movie's seaside setting. In the movie, as in the artist's mind... there was something very odd and unsettling about this frightful vision. Something was surely amiss, every time the fog would overwhelm the town, and people would turn-up missing... or dead. No-one had any clue what was happening to the town's missing citizens, and it seemed that only the birds in flight may be safe from its' dark and sinister secrets. In the end, the dark, departed spirits that freely roamed in and out with the fog were finally satisfied when they got the victim they had so eagerly longed for, which allowed them to give the whole haunting thing an eternal rest. It appears that the spirits were quite satisfied having been satiated by their heathen blood-lust for the descendant of the man who was responsible for all of their deaths at sea, causing them to seek temporary atonement in their killing of the others, until their restless souls could finally feel justified, vindicated, and released from their roaming, forever to rest from their grisly wanderings. It was quite a movie, and this is quite a painting. It was done, like the movie, birthed in a few creative and fearful minds! The mood is the same, on canvas or film. It is the fear of the unknown and unseeable things that may come around to haunt us, to frighten us... to come in with the fog... to render us DEAD!!!
"Out of Frame" by Tatiana Sokolova, 2017, 30x40cm, acrylic on canvas, from her collection "SmartArt".
"Art is the way to get out of frame". ~Tatiana
In this imaginative representation of her artistic spirit, this spritely young visionary artist has literally stretched our grandest imaginations. Here we see a self-portrait of a bright-eyed, wonderfully gifted, and artistic young lady who literally thinks and perceives of art "outside of the box", not limited by frame or flattened dimensions. In her mind is a fusion between flat 2 dimensional art, and yet with a 3D sense of surrealistic external form. In her mind are fusions of art and sculpture, and with a playful sort of musical undertone. Here she is seen holding her palette and brush as-if they were a guitar with a lean neck, "playing" her art like a cacophony of flowing musical tones. Her choice of bright saturated colors are as rich as her own inner artist's spirit within... a spirit she lets loose best on canvas. She is very-much in tune with how her art is seen by its' many admirers. Her long, flowing, golden hair, leg, and entire torso are all literally outstanding, just as her art truly is. Yet she is anchored to a degree by traditional art techniques and art media, as her one trailing leg so symbolizes. She is an artist who is stepping-out from among the crowd with a strong sense of individualism, and her own private take on perspective. She is so unique in the art world, as an Eagle in the nest of mere Finches!
"Boat" by Tatiana Sokolova of the European Union, from her collection "RelaxArt", 30 x 21 cm., Oil on special Paper for Oil Painting, 2017.
"I sail and travel among the flowers. It is possible if you have an art as your power."
Obviously, this bright-eyed, brilliant-minded, and completely-gifted young artist Tatiana has art as "her greatest power". It seems her perceptive mind lives in a dimension all of its' own, in a land where both surf and turf are just riddled with floral elements, on land as in her sea of very fragrant waves of exceptional ideations. Her "Boat" may just be her vehicle to get her to such a wild and extremely enchanted land, a mere euphemism for her fully loaded artist's paint box, with her colorful palette and living brush as her greatest sail and mast. In such a land as this, she wafts upon the water, riding the crest of such intensely-imaginative waves. She treads surrealism like others tread profound depths of water, unhindered by the very propensity of its' very acute and flirtatious fantasy. Hers is a mind that dwells in a neverland fable, a "never-ending story", if you will, betwixt reality and her own wonderfully skewed perceptions. The way she verbalizes or writes about her own artist's inspirations and modes of thinking is purely astounding too... giving us insight into the workings of her artistic mind. She is unmatched in the world of art as being equally expressive in artistic media as being a masterful wordsmith, as well. The day the Lord created Tatiana, he had thrown away the mold. Perhaps when he created her and filled her with such spirit-filled gifts, he then stood back and said "WOW!!!", he most definitely had even startled and amazed himself! I think it was when he had decided to rest, as he looked around himself at his great creation to say "it is good". It surely is a joyful thing to behold Tatiana's wonder-filled art. Sail-on, mighty Queen of the art-world! AMEN!!! :-)
"Tentacles" by Tatiana Sokolova of the European Union, from her collection entitled "SmartArt", Pencil on Paper, Size Undetermined, 2017.
"When we are mad we can easily lose our face. It is important to use your cons right. With tentacles you can cut and make a collage."
Here we see a figure of a female, perhaps part woman, part mermaid, part fish, part crab, or part octopus. In reality the elements of her body are not suggesting any of those... they are merely symbolic. As the artist had so graciously stated "When we are mad we can easily lose our face", and so we first may note that this figure is faceless... but that's a euphamistic way to suggest how a woman can give us a blank stare, often accompanied by "the silent treatment" when bitterly angry at us, hence and therefore, not even a mouth is pictured here, at all. Her faceless face, like her cold, deep-sea body is not very warm toward us at the moment, and may indeed never thaw again, in our case. Only time may tell. Her scaly fish-like torso represents her love and even eros physical love that is shielded now, and protected from us entering in... perhaps never again. Her crab-like claws are indicative of two main things, that she has of late become very crabby toward us, perhaps even snapping and sniping-away at us... her love has not only grown cold toward us, for whatever reason, but it has become even damaging and snips-away at any former relation we may have ever had with her, and most probably irreparably so, judging from the solemn and immovable look of this great figurative, figural composition. The artist's own commentary about cutting and making a collage may be one aspect, or crushing and cutting with claws as well... perhaps even slicing us to ribbons! Her feet, which may have once run to us, now have become like powerful and punishing tentacles, slapping-us as we try to re-approach, and flipping-us away, with harsh, impactful, powerful thrusts, with which to further drive us away, and to keep being repulsive toward us, potentially forevermore. This seemingly mindless, emotionless, impenetrable female character will simply not let us in any more. Her body, mind, soul, spirit, and emotions are now closed to us, like a mighty and overwhelmingly powerful, steel bear-trap. It is so true that "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned." But pray tell, what have we done to deserve this? Perhaps we shall never really know. It seems that she totally has no heart for us anymore, at ALL!!!
"She's Always A Woman to Me" (Billy Joel)
"Birds on a Branch" by Tatiana Sokolova of the European Union, from her collection entitled "RelaxArt", 30 x 21 cm., Watercolor and Inks on Paper.
"We are sitting and chirping like birds on a branch." ~Tatiana
Yes... we are all online, via smartphone, tablet, netbook, notebook, laptop, or desktop computer. We "chirp" and even "Tweat" quite often... throughout the day, and well into the night, like morning doves and nighthawks, one and all... we burn the midnight oil in our own little roost, just to have real branches of connection with others of our species, who are in their own unique roosts, too. Many are the colorful characters perched online, from moment to moment. We are as proverbial birds of a feather, finding similarity, unity, and harmony with many other "peeps", far and wide, with which we have something in common, if only our humanity. The more we chirp and call-out to others, the more commonality we find that we have with them, too. We are just like these birds, the tres amigos on their own familiar directory tree, who no matter what shape, or size, or particular variety they are, they are all still very-much, mainly, just that... other Birds, or other good Peeps, as we may find that we are, as well! In this wonderful, whimsical, and very artistic analogy, we are all going in the same direction, and playing follow the social leaders. Here this gifted artisan has colored each individual in their own bright colors and hues, with all of the brilliant tones of the rainbow. Just as in the avian world of birds, no two ever really look totally alike, sound totally alike, or act exactly like any other, either... we are all individuals, created by a masterful creator God... a God with endless designs and color gradients in his unlimited abilities to create, as it should be with a master so eternally new and refreshing... invigorating... enlivening... and Almighty. Even the clouds here put forth by this talented and very passionately bold, artistic wondergirl try so nobly to mimic our creator's many pastel colors, hues, tints, and tones, and so our artist-creator Tatiana here is seemingly endlessly creative in mind, in concept, and in deliberate creation also, just as the one who created her to be... she's a radiant and energetic, creative image of himself... a potent reflection of his own vast majesty, embodied in a mortal woman. As with all of God's creatures, we are strong when we are connected to the vine, grafted onto the branch from the root of Jessie, as we tightly grip on his steadying, life-giving branch, for we are his abundant fruits, so we hold fast to him, as our providential and most wonderful support ever, for all times, times time! We rest upon him in comfort and consolation, knowing full-well that the branch beneath us is strong and eternally supportive. This great mystery of faith in the branch shall sustain us, at work, and at play, and at our leisure, too... in fact... forevermore!
"Dreams" by Tatiana Sokolova of the European Union, from her collection entitled "RelaxArt", 30 x 21 cm., Watercolor and Ink on Paper, 2017.
"Dog, dreams, sweet home... I miss you all." ~Tatiana
Here are many diverse elementals, seemingly floating in space... and they are... in the vast semi-conscious, twilight-world between this diverse and interesting conceptual artist's ears. It is a mostly uncharted space of dreams and visions, of flight or fancy, of the real, the imagined, and the surreal intertwined. Our only tour-guide in this supreme home of mystical, magical illusion and emotion-provoking existence is the artist herself, and our only map of that great adventureland her artist's canvas or papers, with her pen and her brush as our compass and bright signal flare. It is a space more fascinating to me as one who can merely peer-in to get a basic, rudimentary glimpse of that wondrous and adventure-filled place that is much more exciting than "the outer limits", "the time tunnel", "the creature double feature", and "the night gallery" combined. It is here where her fond memories of her comforting home, her endearing pet, her dancing pink elephants, and her soaring imagination take wing, to shock, awe, and simply amaze us! We are humbled by such a lovely, beautiful, kind, caring, impish, child-like, creative, and very expressive imagination... one which may stimulate our own dreams and visions!
"In Dreams" (Roy Orbison)
A candy-colored clown they call the sandman
A Dream Within a Dream
BY EDGAR ALLAN POE
Take this kiss upon the brow!
"Mother Tree" by Tatiana Sokolova, from her collection "SmartArt", 2017, 30 x 40 cm., Acrylic on Canvas.
"Mother is a home, sweet lovely nest. She cares about her babies and never rests". ~Tatiana
Our imaginative artist friend Ms. Sokolova has certainly done it again here with this wildly vivid rendering of her highly creative art. Her Mother as Tree character here is deeply rooted in family, and her progeny's ultimate well-being, for life. A mother's love is as strong and unshakable as her broad trunk, massive deep-rooted base, and thick, unyielding boughs. Her structure and form are a as a symbolic and often solitary pillar of strength and endurance in every family, even when no spouse or father is present in the home, a mother somehow manages to muster all of her strength and will-power to care for her burgeoning brood. She is often the singlemost great example of determined persistence that many children ever have, and that alone may be the saving grace for all of God's children, if we are lucky enough to still have our moms around well into adulthood. A mother's love is endearing and enduring... a love for all time for her children, and even for the children of others at times, too. She is often the lone source of strength and example of unending persistence that most little-ones ever see in their lives. That is a good thing, and why there is hope for this world even still. Here, we must note that mom's door is never fully closed to us, and her provision of herself and all that she has is a sort of open domicile to us. We are always welcome in her home, forever and a day. Her inner chambers are brightly lit-up, like an ever-welcoming beacon of light inside her, a radiant and very brilliant light generated from deep within her fiber, originating in her every atom, and shining forth from her warm, glowing heart. Here is the form and figure of a symbol of fertile and productive femininity with enduring power, as the shape of this supple, mature, and matronly tree-lady implies. She has determined to uphold us, her children, all of her days, and to provide us a safe haven in her life-long presence and undying care. No-one could ever take the place of our mother, like the greatest growth in our garden of nurture and love, we must appreciate her and honor her all of her days, for all that she truly is to us!
"A Man" by Tatiana Sokolova, from her collection entitled "SmartArt", 2017, 30 x 40 cm., Acrylic on Canvas.
"People are a complex of contradictions". ~Tatiana
Here is a simple and seemingly featureless image of a man, devoid of any distracting background or detail. The artist's own comment gives us a clue on what is the whole point of this masterful and very conceptual artwork. Tatiana here is not so much concerned about the man's surroundings, or even his status of wealth, virility, or anything like that at all. She is merely focused on understanding what he has on his mind, and how he thinks, and why he thinks such. She ponders what his misty if not smoky or smoldering thoughts really are. Is he thinking deeply and critically, or is he confused and befuddled as he looks back at her... never quite knowing the mind of a woman either. It's a lovely paradox, and a tragic divine comedy all rolled into one. Will men and women ever really learn to understand one another, or will they just sit back and stare, as they wonder what vague and smokey thoughts each other manifest. The man is thinking, of that we can be assured, just as when a percolator is brewing some tincture or refreshment. If only she knew, as easy as determining coffee from tea, but to read the man's thoughts is almost never correct in her guessing. Her thoughts and ideations to him are mysterious as well... her true feelings he cannot easily comprehend either. But the man and the woman throughout all history keep coming together, often in spite of their mutual misunderstanding and seeming inability to blend perfectly at all. Like water thrown into hot oil, at times nowadays it seems that the sexes don't mix well for very long, before separating... going their ways in adversity and diffusion. Such is life, in our relational universe of misconceptions.
"Way" by Tatiana Sokolova, from her collection "SmartArt", 50 x 70 cm., Acrylic on Canvas, 2017.
"Sometimes we all find ourselves somewhere on a road. We need to take a time and realize where we are and where we'd like to go." ~Tatiana
Here is a way, a simple yet most important crossroads in life. In this simply-rendered artwork, it posits many questions in our observer's minds. Is this the way to matrimonial choices, with several options laid-out before her? Is it the way she is contemplating going with her majors for her studies, to major in a particularly challenging and potentially rewarding field of study in college? Could it be the way to deciding to bare children or not? Could it be even inquiring how many feel right to the woman? Is it the way to fast-track a profitable and satisfying career for her own good? This way is just that, and only that. It shows none of the trappings nor rewards or regrets of her choices. It does not peer-out into the distant reality of result or conclusion. Can this be "the way", the ultimate way in any of our destinies, as we contemplate matters of faith? What shall we put our faith and trust in... an idol carved by our own hands that we carefully transport in our camel's backpack, a personal God made of wood or stone and gilded with gold or covered in paint... or even a character long dead in their grave? Perhaps, like countless other saints throughout mankind's history, she may follow the gracious path that leads to the one true God, and his redeeming, saving son Jesus, "The Christ", both surname and title. Does she kneel before the cross of Christ, or before a mere cross in the road? Only Tatiana can answer that question there, within herself, in the silence of her heart. We pray that she makes all of the right choices... for this life, and the life yet to come! AMEN!!!
"Look - Feel - Think - Paint" by Tatiana Sokolova, from her collection "SmartArt", 20 x 20 cm., Acrylic on Canvas, 2017.
"When people ask me how do you do it, I have four words for them. They are written above." ~Tatiana
Here in this quarterniary treasure are 4 great works of art revealed. The top
left mini masterwork so ably displays the imagery inspired by the first word of
its' more-than-pregnant title, "Look". In this full-term and very robust
nomenclature are many secrets of the quadrilateral concepts foreshown. The
feeling I get when I look at "Look" is one of keen observation, of caution and
discernment, with an eye (or two) toward security. The general feel of this
great quadriptyche panel is one of distrust or of seeking merit. It has both a
glaring stare and a more subdued and even comforted look, and a third eye that
seems to be totally trusting, as it feels comfortable enough to even look-away.
"Alive" by Tatiana Sokolova, from her collection "RelaxArt", 30 x 30cm., Acrylic on Canvas, 2017.
"I will take brushes and paints. Spots will live their own life. I will give them body and face. Grey day's better when you fantasize." ~Tatiana
Here is as much life as in a fox's den, with young eyes peering-out from
everywhere, with the serious stare of the mother fox and the counterpoint of the
green-eyed, happy-go-lucky, carefree, and very playful gaze of one of her kits.
In this den, Tatiana's "spots" come to life... with vigor, as they lift right
off of the canvas, as they take on a veritable form of life themselves, and seem
so alive with colors, forms, anima, and movement. Mothers always worry, day and
night, about their precious, guarded, personal treasures... their many offspring
youth. It is no different with foxes than with human moms. They all want to know
who may be approaching their children, and so they keep a sharp eye-out fo
predators of any sort, whatsoever. There are many other eyes watching us as we
gaze into her matronly domain, but none that have as intense a focus upon us,
and with her repelling gaze she may frighten us off, if we know what's good for
us. It is a warning look, a virtual "shot across our bow" before utterly sinking
us! We must never come between any mom and her precious babies. What could even
the tiniest mother bird do to the grandest of eagles who wrongfully approach a
mother's nesting chicks. The word ferocity best describes any mother's will to
protect her every progeny. The most-seemingly insignificant, but protective
little-mom can become like our worst nightmare, or the vilest and most
threatening demon from the very pit of Hell when provoked... especially where
her children are concerned! To dare attempt to enter her den, lair, nest, or
home unannounced is to grab-hold of Satan's very tail and yank it hard... WATCH
OUT!!! She'll come at us like a thundering freight train, full-speed ahead! Damn
the torpedoes, and take no prisoners! She will come ALIVE, and get us!!!
"Summer Face" by Tatiana Sokolova of the European Union, from her collection entitled "RelaxArt", 30 x 21 cm., Watercolor on Paper, 2017.
"Nature is a beautiful woman but she is so changeable." ~Tatiana
Yes, Nature is a beautiful woman... adorned in fine array, from winter, to spring, to summer, to fall, and back again. Her styles, fashions, colors, and looks come round-about and repeat again, just like the ever-emerging cycles of life itself. The woman's daughter thinks mom's style is so old and antiquated... until it comes in vogue again, all-over, as the next generation decides that it's cool-again, like the brisk, early-spring air. Nature follows a recurring path, just like the trends and the fads of the latest haute coutures, the seasons of womanhood blow-in like blustery march, and roll-away just as quickly, a few brief seasons later. Each has its' day in the sun, its' moment to shine, and each will then drizzle-down and fizzle to naught, like the passing rains. Perhaps her "Summer Face" is her best, her sweetest, and her warmest, too... its' cheeks are at their rosiest, her lips are at her most appealing, and her adornments are in the peak of ripeness and readiness... in full bloom! In the summer of a woman's life, in her 30's and 40's, she is most volupté in her fullness of form and figure, and in her sensual ability to give and get the most sensual of pleasure. Changing she is, however, like the merciless march of the seasons, and the unstoppable cycles of life... of birth, growth, ripening maturity, and final demise. Let us enjoy her seasons while we can, and recall them long after her season has passed... with such fond remembrance. She is still the same wonderful, sweet-tasting fruit that we had picked from her father's tree when young, just as she has always been, no matter how painted, attired, young, or old she may be. Like the finest fruit of the vine, her splendor may become most robust with her settling and aging gracefully, through each and every one of her multi-faceted, enriching, seasonal, fragrant, and fruited flavoring-bouquets. We must always appreciate the beauty inwardly and outwardly of the women we love, through all of their ages and outer façades. Doing so will assure her most mellow and splendid character infusions... the very-best of her luscious, complex, and ripened love!
For museums, galleries,
contemporary art centers, exhibition organizers and biennale, art dealers, collectors.
All rights belong to Tatyana Sokolova
All rights to images, concepts and ideas belong to Tatyana Sokolova