Alena Levina is My Favorite Person and Painter in All of Moscow


Alena Levina: History #2 2017. Oil on canvas, 40 x 50 cm

Alena is a painter. I have been watching her paint, internetly, for over two years. I have purchased two of her paintings that I look upon at night in my dining room. She is one of the reasons I am no longer a complete geopolitical people ignoramus like Americans are raised to be. I have a new interest in language and places around the globe—similar to upper middle class Oswegonians and Park Avenue dentists at the tail end of the 19th century, who were proud of their childlike curiosities. Their tastes were more eclectic, like Greek statuary and leopard heads stuck in the same vestibule. I prefer painting to take me away from what I see and hear of contemporary society. It helps me to tolerate, not abandon, the trite and inane, which is everywhere, like toothpaste, yet ubiquitous in America as if toothpaste was the air we breathe.

I also adore her sing-song voice that I can hear at will because with big bad there is also big good of society, and I have to think that someone somewhere was dreaming on a favorite painting while delving into the concept of everything at once, which is the Internet, which is the only reason I found Alena and her paintings during this lifetime.

And you can too, this final week at Quintus Gallery. (315)527-4263, or visit them on Seneca Lake where the songbirds tweet even in November.

Alena has given herself.
I have collected her genius.
Kathy and Joe have hung it on a wall.
The Internet was invented.

One statement is out of order, which would make all the others false just a generation ago.

We live in wonderful times but only if you push yourself to seek the sublime. Out with the trite and inane!

Alena has words:

Alena Levina is a Russian illustrator and artist who was born in 1988 in Moscow. She graduated from the Moscow State Textile Design University with a degree in Graphic Design. Since 2014 she has been working as a graphic designer, watercolor illustrator and an art teacher. She is actively exhibiting her artwork. She also likes to draw both nude and clothed models, who pose for her at her art studio. In her work Alena often uses digital interface, the phenomenon of gadgetry and everything that is connected to the realm of social networking, signs and presence of the digital space. All kinds of images from the digital world can be found in her work, i.e., the use of emoji as a way of messaging. The reality of the materials (paint, canvas, subjects) is matched with the emblems of the digital kind and certain static connections are thus realized. It is possible that her paintings deal mainly with static reality, but if they depict something dynamic it is the dynamic of the passing moment. The realized perspective is often similar to the one in iconography, where we can observe the same juxtaposition of the table or mountains with the dominant idea of the aura; however, the use of digital signs often plays the role of the nimbus. For Alena, the sign of communication often equals to the signs of a gadget. However, Alena’s portrait paintings and illustrations can be almost completely devoid of any such followings. Some of her portraiture and illustration do incorporate some foundations of the modern world that underwent the crucible of the digital space. Her concepts are about how it all should be; it is more about the deformation of the visions of the space of this new world, where stone oil morphs into gas and it is the electricity that powers all the light and gadgets around.


Alena Levina: History #1 2017. Oil on canvas, 50 x 40 cm