NBB is proud to present “Change of Heart” by Yevgeniya Baras. The title comes as an invocation to reroute, reinvent, to be renewed. It is both a call to herself as an artist and a statement that there is such possibility on a personal level. It’s a cry/command for invention and an openness to learning and change . It is a reminder that it’s the job of an artist to transform.
The New York based artist immigrated to the United States from the former Soviet Union, an event that had a great impact on her. Yevgeniya mines her childhood and ideas around migration, home, borders, and place when working on her paintings. In a certain way being an immigrant can be liberating: inheriting numerous cultures, numerous languages (verbal, written, painterly) and feeling the freedom to mold, combine and reinvent while anchoring in one’s numerous histories and cultures. Yevgeniya is considering a symbolic language, ideas about the representational and abstracted body, ideas around personal and wider history and an interest in materiality as content. The paintings are a personal meditation on these and other topics that invite the viewer to associate, to do the work of imagination.
Baras’ oil paintings are composed of foraged and found materials, be it wood, yarn, rocks, clothing, paper or burlap, which are all embedded within her paintings. Even her small scaled works can feel dense and expansive. Her use of materiality, the abstract symbolic imagery and topographic three-dimensional structures conjure a realm of their own, floating between the real and the dream. The paintings are in a private dialogue with one another as well as with the viewer; they are extensions of each other.