Ekaterina Abramova: the Russian painter who gives life to dreams

(Graphic Art Gino Aloisio)
(Graphic Art Gino Aloisio)

A new and interesting week is coming for the online column “PIAZZA NAVONA”. We are lucky to meet Ekaterina Abramova: the Russian Artist whose signature paintings strike balance between Neo-Expressionism of the 21st century and Spiritual Ornamental paintings based on ancient cultures of the world, notably India’s and Pre-Christian Russia’s.

I am so proud to give space here to Ekaterina Abramova’s art and talk about her. Before starting this exclusive interview with this extraordinary artist, I would like to introduce her to the online column PIAZZA NAVONA’s readers.

Ekaterina Abramova is a Russian-American painter. Having been born in 1979 in a small Moscow suburban town of Khotkovo, she took to the brushes and canvas for the first time when she was 9, when she applied to the art school, her parents unaware, and got accepted. And at the age of 15 she entered the Vasnetsov Art School’s woodcarving department, taking after her father, an amazing woodcarver, who taught her to love fairy-tales, folk art, symbols, and ornaments. He died putting out the fire in the house where they lived when Ekaterina was 11. After this accident, with pencils and brushes, she went deep into herself to search for answers to her life questions. Since then, one of the main themes of her art became exploring the people’s relationships with each other and a man’s relationship with God and the Universe.

In 2007, Ekaterina graduated summa cum laude from the I.E. Repin Academy of Fine Arts, Saint-Petersburg, Russia, one of the finest art institutions of the world, and received her M.F.A.

Ekaterina Abramova
Ekaterina Abramova

Her numerous awards include Gold Medal “250th anniversary of the Russian Academy of Arts,” Gold Medal “National Treasure” of the International Charity Fund “Philanthropists of the Century”, citation from the Russian Academy of Fine Arts for the participation in the exhibition dedicated to the 250th anniversary of the Academy, the Peacekeeper Fund Medal, and AVISKAR – 2016 international VAN GOGH AWARD, Birla Academy of Art & Culture, CALCUTTA-LONDON, UK, among others. She was nominated for the State Presidential Scholarship in the Arts. She is a member of the Union of Russian Artists, Art Fund International, Creative Union of Professional Artists, Art Indulge Foundation.

In 2014, she was awarded an International Artist Residency in Hyderabad, India, organized by the State Fine Art Gallery and Kalanirvana Foundation, to represent Russia among 20 other artists from all over the world; as well as similar artist residency in Goa Chitra Museum, Goa, India.

Ekaterina Abramova (Ph. ©Richard Ryals)
Ekaterina Abramova (Ph. ©Richard Ryals)

In 2015, she has been awarded a 3-month International Artist Residency, at the Eileen S. Kaminsky Family Foundation located in Mana Contemporary Art Complex in Jersey City, NJ, which she had completed in the end of 2016. And in 2018, she completed an Int’l Graphics Arts Festival-Residency, the University of Khairagarh, Chhattisgarh, India.

Among her most recent exhibitions are: Solo Exhibition “The Nature of Relationship” at 3Squared Gallery, Chelsea, New York, NY, USA (2017); Solo Exhibition “Portrait of Dream” at Prak-Sis Gallery, Downtown Chicago, IL, USA (2017); Townley Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA, USA (2017); Sitka Gallery, MA, USA (2017); RedDot Art Fair, Miami Beach, Florida, USA (2016); Miami River Art Fair, Miami, Florida, USA (2015); Artnado Art Fair, West Palm Beach, Florida, USA (2015); Solo Exhibition “Expressions of Color” at Gateway Arts Center, New York City, USA (2015); Kolkata Art Biennale, Kolkata, INDIA (2015); ArtExpo New York, New York, NY, USA (2015); Art India Festival, Mumbai, INDIA (2014); Exhibition “Golden Age” at Russian Cultural Centre, Berlin, GERMANY (2014); International Art Festival, Tumen, CHINA (2014); Exhibition “Innovation of Color” at Westside Park Art Gallery, New York, NY, USA (2014); Solo Exhibition at Woman’s Academy, Moscow, RUSSIA (2014); Exhibition “Art Through Light II” at the State Gallery of Fine Art, Hyderabad, INDIA (2014); Exhibition “On The Right Way” at Central Artist’s House, Moscow, RUSSIA (2014); ArtExpo New York, New York, NY, USA (2014); Exhibition “Artistry” at Artery Fine Art Gallery, Chicago, USA (2014); Exhibition “Art Cocktail” at D.E.V.E. Gallery, Bruges, BELGIUM (2013).

She has also had numerous personal exhibitions of her art all over Europe, India, China, and USA.

Her works are in the Eileen S. Kaminsky Family Foundation Permanent Collection, New York, NY, USA; as well as in private collections in UK, France, Germany, Russia, Belgium, Finland, Italy, Switzerland, China, India, and USA.

She lives and works in the New York City Metropolitan area.

Ekaterina Abramova’s Art is a unique painter. I mean – as I said before – that her paintings are a perfect balance between the 21st century Neo-Expressionism and Spiritual Ornamental paintings. In fact, she combines the art styles of the past and the present. For example, watching her paintings we can find Indian and Oriental elements, as well as the elements of the Russian traditional art. Her use of colours and composition is remarkable. Her art is her soul talking to us. It is live, it gives us a sense of confidence in the future, in our own lives. It gives us the idea that we are never alone.

Now let’s start this interview!

Enjoy the reading!

Kate Sitting Clear X
Ekaterina Abramova
  • Your Art is a mixture of Oriental style and Post-Expressionism. What does inspire you? And who are your “Teachers”?

My daily life inspires me — the people I love, family, friends, traveling, reading books, and I think just everything inspires me))! Life itself is the biggest inspiration! My oriental style came from my love for India, where I was living for 7 years; I love oriental art, folk art, symbols from all over the world as well. Post-Expressionism came from my classical art education, personal feelings, and my love for Post-Expressionism.

My “Teachers” are: Pavel Filonov, Marc Chagall, Andrei Rublev, Gustav Klimt, Georgia O’Keeffe, Frida Kahlo and many others.

My real teachers were: first, my father, he was a woodcarving artist; he passed away when I was 11, and this tragedy changed my life forever, from that very moment I understood I would be a full-time artist. Then there was my teacher at the art college, then at the Russian Academy of Fine Arts, — all my teachers are amazing. I am who I am because of them. I am a very lucky one due to great people, teachers, friends.

"Luxury" by Ekaterina Abramova, 2003. Acrylic on canvas (90x45cm)
“Luxury” by Ekaterina Abramova, 2003. Acrylic on canvas (90×45 cm)
  • You said that through your Art you are searching for a Man. And I can say that your Art is able to speak to other people! So what is the message that you want to deliver?

Searching for Man means digging the best out of you, the best out of each of us; so my art message is to remind you about your nature, about your true deeper self.

"Unverse of Love" by Ekaterina Abramova, 2011 (oil on canvas, 110x85)
“Universe of Love” by Ekaterina Abramova, 2011. Oil on canvas (110×85 cm)
  • What are the artists do you prefer to work with?

Interesting question. I am so open for everything that life gives me that I really don’t know exactly with whom I want to work. I am working with amazing artist Michael Somoroff, and I didn’t know about him before I met him. Now I know I want to work with him and I already do it!

It will be great to work with Mihail Shemiakin (Russia, France), learn and see how Takashi Murakami (Japan) is working, many others as well, Zhou Brothers (Chicago, USA), Philippe Dodard (Haiti). Philippe is my great friend. Actually life is bringing people when you have your goals.

"Braces" by Ekaterina Abramova, 2015 (acrylic and marker on canvas, 100x85)
“Braces” by Ekaterina Abramova, 2015. Acrylic and marker on canvas (100×85 cm)
  • Could you tell me about the way you see Icons? And what does it symbolize for you?

Icons are windows to the higher realms. Windows to your soul. It’s doesn’t matter which religion you live in, Icons just connect you to yourself. Symbols are my language, and not only my. They are metaphors, instruments that allow us to express very complicated ideas in a simple way . Without them, important things will be hidden from most of the people. They are very important tool of communicating the knowledge.

"Self Portrait" by Ekaterina Abramova, 2017 (acrylic gold leaf and markers on canvas, 101x111cm)
“Self Portrait” by Ekaterina Abramova, 2017. Acrylic gold leaf and markers on canvas (101×111 cm)
  • I live in Rome, Italy. Do you have future plans to come to my country with an exhibition of yours?

Sure! I will be happy to come to Italy and show my works there. Florence biennale is a dream for all artists, including me. Rome is the city where I want to go and spend time in museums, meet artists, art communities. Waiting for your invite, dear Chiara!

"Night" by Ekaterina Abramova, 2005 (acrylic in canvas, 80x110 cm)
“Night” by Ekaterina Abramova, 2005. Acrylic on canvas (80×110 cm)
  • What style of Art do you like?

I love powerful art. It’s doesn’t matter which style, if art isn’t powerful, it’s ugly. I love when art is unique, when you can recognize the artist from very far! When art comes from artist’s heart and his/her deeper self. I love when art represents Truth. Educated artist with unique style, devoted his/her life to art and working, progressing all the time — this is an ideal for me.

"The Window" by Ekaterina Abramova, 2017 (acrylic, gold leaf, gold and silver ink on canvas, 183x193 cm)
“The Window” by Ekaterina Abramova, 2017. Acrylic, gold leaf, gold and silver ink on canvas (183×193 cm)

My interview to Abramova has just finished and I would like to continue to talk with her. She has a wonderful soul. We can see it reflected in her works. Her colours, her images, her figures tell us about her soul, her life, and her sense of Love. This is her strength. Her simplicity, and both her inner pain and joy are the key to read and to understand her paintings.

"Sleep" by Ekaterina Abramova, 2003 (acrylic on canvas, 70x110 cm)
“Sleep” by Ekaterina Abramova, 2003. Acrylic on canvas (70×110 cm)

Dearest Ekaterina, I hope to see you soon in Italy. I am inviting you officially. I can’t wait to shake your hand, to tell you “thanks” personally. In the meantime, I want to tell you that I am so proud and so honored to have you in my “PIAZZA NAVONA”. From now on, my virtual square is brighter and has a one more sweet soul.

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