'Parallels' by Katia Lifshin

Katia Lifshin (b.1993) is an Ukraine-born Israeli artist. Katia relocated to the U.S in 2012 to study painting and sculpture at Pima College, Arizona. Returning to Israel in 2018, she continues to live and work there and has participated in a number of group shows in the U.S and Israel. Her work has been featured in art publications such as Artmaze magazine, Booooooom and more. In 2021, Katia took part in Israel’s largest art fair, “Fresh Paint” as part of the Independent Artists’ Greenhouse, dedicated to exhibit new work by promising emerging Israeli artists.

In her practice, she focuses on themes such as dreams, identity, self-image and memories. She paints dreamlike worlds of naive teens and young girls. Her distinctive blue and green colour palette creates a different reality, in which there is room for surreal elements, and that focus’s attention on the characters' feelings. Full of symbols like checkered floors, spirals, and dogs being tamed, she represents the compulsive thoughts by which everything has to be in order, distant from its original shape and purpose.

The characters experience anxiety, the girls are lost in this “labyrinth” of squares and poodle shaped bushes. In the green world, the characters are often sitting barefooted, resting, illuminated by a ring of light. They are connected to their surroundings - the plants, mushrooms, wood, and the ground. They hold on to it, and embrace it. They marvel at their own existence, appreciative of being, seeing nature, accepting it, and by doing so, accepting themselves.

“When creating the worlds where my characters live, I start little by little. I am drawn to painting with blues and greens, it reminds me of night time, as the colours are rather muted and dark, and resembles a feeling inside a dream. And in this place I found it easier to express what I want to express, there was room for more oddities and creativity, less boundaries.”

Katia uses oil paint on canvas. She often finds her inspiration in plants, and nature, and collects old black and white photographs from the 40’s- 60’s in which she uses elements from these photos in her own work. She also takes things she is drawn too, like the characters holding the yellow flowers, it becomes a symbol. Then the hats too, until that became’s their identity. Same with the landscapes that appear multiple times, these recurring elements in her painting’s appear gradually, and spontaneously. Her goal is to keep expanding this idea and add more onto it, as it continually grows, her ideas evolve and expand.

“Through my work I often try to resolve and process feelings, it can be about anxiety, fear, happiness, awe, inspiration or confusion, and more. All about the human condition at the end.”