Video, mechanical sculptures to animations
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“Mishka” is a playful depiction of human nature and of our culture.
Yuliya Lanina is a Russian – born American multimedia artist who lives and works in Austin, TX. Her work ranges from
paintings and mechanical sculptures to animations and video. Lanina is particularly interested in turning the
traditional medium of painting into a multi-dimensional and interactive experience for the viewer. She strives to
accomplish this by creating interactive mechanical sculptures with original soundtrack as well as stop motion
animations based on her paintings and accompanied by original music compositions. Both of these endeavors result
in a “New Painting”– multi-sensory, time-based, and in action.
Employing surreal imagery to simultaneously elicit feelings of uneasiness and empathy, Lanina paints and collages
bizarre characters that come to life through mechanization, animation, and music. With nods to the traditions of
Surrealism and Confessional Art, these fantastical creatures are by definition otherworldly, yet they often feel
personal and familiar. These characters are the artist’s own projections of nonsensical events and
their consequences. Their malformed features and parts illustrate internalized trauma and torment while still engaging
in the life-affirming celebration of feminine power and its connection to the mysterious, the beautiful, and the sensual.
Lanina draws from many sources to create these characters. Though she often taps into Greek mythology with its
half-human and half-animal demigods, she also relies on Russian fairy tales, which are filled with fantastic beings
deeply rooted in paganism, mysticism, and symbolism. Her creatures and their stories move freely between logical
and illogical, realistic and illusory, predictable and surprising, representing life that can only be lived, but never