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Vera Persiyanova

Vera Persiyanova exhibits regularly in Cambodia and her work remains in collections in 20 countries around the world. She has executed murals in France and Cambodia. Vera’s story remains an interesting one as she dropped out of a PhD program studying science in order to pursue the life of a painter, escaping to the exotic landscape and culture of Cambodia for inspiration. 

The paintings are extremely loose and painterly with vivid brush strokes which almost reflect impressionist and post-impressionist tendencies. Although the colors in the paintings usually reflect more natural variations rather than expressive bold colors as can be found in the works of the impressionist and post-impressionist masters such as Monet, Van Gogh, and Gauguin. Some of the paintings may come as more expressionistic (such as her self portraits) than other works as Vera clearly works from both direct observation and her imagination. As evidenced by her instagram account, many of the paintings are executed from life as Vera’s practice varies from landscapes to portraits to still lifes. Some of the paintings are imagined scenes such as Mango Rain (top of article) and Lost Dreams 3 (pictured below) which seem to have flattened perspective and fixed distorted figures such as in the post-impressionist paintings of Paul Gauguin. 

Mango Rain (top of article) remains one of Vera’s most mysterious paintings, the piece appears as if portraying a woman walking on water towards a man who perhaps may be selling mangos or setting up a picnic of mangos for a partner. The woman may not be in fact walking on water as possibly the earth to the left of the barrier may be painted the same color as the distant shore line however the appearance of walking on water remains evident even if not intentional. Vera smears strokes of Naples yellow light over the entire surface of the canvas creating an atmosphere as if the entire scene becomes hit with intense and direct sunlight. A remarkable painting which portrays various textures of illumination, with an overall sfumato of sunlight and a softened pastel palette. 

Insomnia (pictured above) and Insomnia 1 (pictured below) are self portraits of the artist engulfed in darkness portraying a darker side of herself. These two paintings are much more expressionistic than most of her paintings portraying figurative distortions and contain flattened shadows and form. The paintings still appear naturalistic however have soft touches of blue contrasting against dark backgrounds. Signaling a sense of isolation and loneliness in the darkness therefore portraying the condition of insomnia. 

Self Portrait (second from top of article) portrays the artist in vulnerable form but with confidence. The brushwork remains fresh and expressive, yet naturalistic. She stands facing the viewer just slightly off-center with her dark eyes and tight lips penetrating the gaze of the audience. Her body, although naturalistic, almost seems smeared with paint matching the moving background. She remains entirely comfortable with her surroundings and herself in natural form.

Vera Persiyanova creates fine art which emboldens atmosphere, philosophy, and mood rather than stale narratives. Poetic and deeply nuanced, her paintings reflect art as a means of exchanging concepts through interpretations and the expression of the how rather than the what. Her life story and passion show through the paintings and reflect a life of pure freedom.


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