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Checkers Artist Elena Zolotnisky

Elena Zolotnisky, born in 1961 and living near Moscow, Russia.
Today she lives in California.


Checkers Cheating by Elena Zolotnisky

Checkers Cheating
  • Elena Zolotnisky graduated from the Moscow State College of Art and School of Cinematography in 1987 with an MFA and a Masters in the Arts of Animation.
  • Before she began a professional career in art, Zolotnisky commenced work in illustration as a director of a short animated movie and other work.

  • In 1989, she created her first painting with the influence of her favorite artists, Pieter Brugel the Elder and Andrei Tarkovskii, called "The Guest"; artist Elena Zolotnisky created her own world in this painting by combining a blend of the surreal with reality, 16th and 20th C visual palettes as well as the textures of two different media: cinematography and fine art.

  • In 1991, Zolotnisky left Russia to immigrate to the U.S. and settled in Baltimore, Maryland, for close to 10 years and then moved to Berkeley, California at the turn of the millennium.

  • During the past 20 years of her career as an artist, Elena Zolotnisky's style has developed a life of its own and her paintings tell the story of her personal artistic development as well as her individual philosophies.

  • Though her work was a unique blend of the styles and symbolism from the Italian and Dutch Renaissance periods, there was also an element of Abstract Surrealism in her unusual themes.

  • Artist Elena Zolotnisky's early work was representative of a period of ‘social realism’ based on the Russian artistic style prevalent in the first half of the 20th century; though her themes carried a touch of irony and humor, they often also depicted a sense of the grotesque and sinister in the scene’s atmosphere and a surreal incongruity within the composition.

  • The nature of her artistic expression changed since her arrival in the US and took on the appearance of cartoon illustration, which was influenced by her animation studies; the figures became exaggerated, cartoon like characters in genre scenes of daily activities and there was a pervasive atmosphere of the theatre in the motifs; the compositions favored vivid, localized colors that developed the artist’s comedic rendering.

  • Checkers Cheating was reflective of this style of artistic expression where two stylized figures faced each other across a checkerboard and only the slightly arched eyebrows and raised arm gesture of one character suggested any emotion between the checkers players; detailing was created more through color juxtaposition than lines or shadows; the angled position of the checkerboard between the opponents called attention to the game of checkers, though the whole composition appeared more decorative than emotionally expressive or in fact, the theme depicted a more entertaining spirit than a commentating one.

  • The checkered motif was used as a decorative element in several other compositions as well.
Checkers Man  Checkered Room  Checkers Players
  • However, when the themes became stiff and artificial and limited her artistic vision, Zolotnisky moved on to a completely different artistic philosophy and emotional theme within her oil and watercolor paintings.

  • In this time of ‘spiritual growth’, she changed to a style she has called ‘metaphysical realism’ in that her theme is now one that reaches for absolute beauty and emotional rebirth through a variety of figurative poses or portraits placed in different settings imbued with a somber imagery.

  • No longer are the scenes cluttered with objects and patterns expressed in localized, bold colors, but rather, the figures or portraits of girls or younger women are represented with serious facial expressions and somewhat rigid postures; all the faces resemble one another as if they might be representing the same young woman, perhaps a self portrait from earlier years; instead of loud checkered designs, the scenes are painted in almost careless splashes of subdued tones, other than the touch of red that appears in some motif.

  • The loose depiction of the theme might represent how the artist Elena Zolotnisky, is still searching to find herself within this metaphysical realism called life.

    Zolotnisky at Home

    Checkers Artist Elena Zolotnisky









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DeerLake Online Store Items

Wonder Mugs Play checkers online, and enjoy drinking from this cool wonder mug.
When adding hot liquid, the colors of the mug will change, checkers cool.

Checkers is a two-player game, where one player is assigned white-chip checkers and the other red. The aim is to play checkers online, capture all of the other player's checkers or make them impossible to move.

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