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Alena Vavilina

Alena Vavilina is a mixed media artist who has exhibited extensively internationally including in Europe, North America, South America, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. She is represented by Gallery Artistry in Vienna, Austria, ART WEME Contemporary Gallery in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and IAM Gallery in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Alena participates in international art fairs on a regular basis such as Art Basel, Miami, Carrousel du Louvre in Paris, and Art Expo Malaysia. Although Alena has worked in a variety of mediums and subject matter, we will be focusing on her most recent work which includes mixed media works on paper with the theme of butterflies.

Often incorporating precious metals such as silverleaf and / or goldleaf in her works, Alena often rotates through watercolor, ink, charcoal and usually mixes all the elements together. Her most interesting works on paper tend to have silverleaf because of the metallic sheen which sometimes reflects on the butterflies. In some works, the butterflies almost appear like machines with lines of silver, black, or white hues in their wings complimenting the pristine sheen on the precious metal on the paper. Without focusing too much on the subject matter, the paintings may come off as perfect layouts in design, often incorporating asymmetrical diamond shapes leading the eye geometrically across the surface.


Observing Butterfly Series #27 (pictured above) we come across what almost looks like the shape of a continent in silverleaf spread across the surface, perhaps the eastern seaboard of the United States for example. What we have are two distinct surfaces separating a swarm of butterflies from a single one. Collectively, the butterflies frolic so closely together in over a dozen groups to the point of various X-shaped-forms. While all the other butterflies are happily socializing and flapping their wings, the lone butterfly to the right side of the painting sits idly by resting on the surface as if she just landed from flight. In a sense the work could be interpreted as a metaphor for socialization and solitude. Reflecting a sense of introvert to extrovert commentary. 

Butterfly Series #23 (top of article) reflects a rough, minimalistic surface with a swarm of blue butterflies spread out in an asymmetrical diamond shape. Perhaps Alena’s best example of execution in design, the viewer may notice the rare occurrence of blue and silver being the main tones within a painting, and surprisingly just how well they go together. Both reflecting cool tones, the butterflies almost look as metallic as the surface in which they fly above. The butterflies are most concentrated slightly off-center flying around in an impressive vertical cylindrical spiral. 

Playful and pure, Alena’s paintings reveal the nuance of design which can be broken down into placement of specific subjects which help reflect the surface and the composition. These butterflies, almost mechanical and metallic in appearance, represent such a simple subject matter but with an elegant and imposing impact. Whether isolated, in small groups, or entire swarms she uses the power of numbers to determine how we approach the veneer. From an aesthetic and meditative point of view, the work remains incredibly easy and restful on the eyes. Perhaps if placed in a room, her work will set the tone of a space rather than conforming to the volume or pre-determined theme. The paintings are best enjoyed in silence and in space to appreciate the nuance in intricate and action of design.

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