Anastasia Russa: painter
From early childhood portraiture has always held a fascination for me. Even after the rise of photography, the painted portrait has never lost its power or mystique. There could be a variety of reasons why this is so but foremost is that it seems to be a way of understanding ourselves from the inside out. To portray a person is a way to know the world, human nature and consciousness as inter-related. It is a way of revealing to people their immanent qualities and also to capture something transient. One might even say that it holds something transcendent, the breath of God that was inbreathed into the first man.
To portray someone is to consider not just an inter-relatedness of that person to consciousness and the environment but also to the artist. The uniqueness of every human is a source of inspiration for an artist. The variety of human life can reveal new insights to the most experienced of observers and artists - one has never “seen it all.” I spend some time with each sitter, observing him/her, speaking about everything or, at times, keeping silence.
This drive to know ourselves from the inside out has determined my proliferation of portraits of those closest to me: my husband, trusted friends and lastly myself. Both self-portraits and those of others come out naturally and fluently. To depict people is an act of love, a growth of knowledge and a window into a fleeting time and changing world.