(Russian, b. 1966)
Born in Moscow in 1966, Svetlana Valueva was accepted into art school at the tender age of six - an astonishing child prodigy. By the age of 8, she was winning international exhibitions and at age 11, was featured in a documetary on outstanding artists that was shown in theaters across Russia. By then, her father, a gifted artist himself, had given her his own studio. Also, she had been secretly shown the fantastical works of artists like Klimt, Alfons Mucha, Sargent, and Alma-Tadema, whose styles were quite forbidden in Soviet era Russia. However, this discovery was the springboard for Valueva's exquisite Art Nouveau-inspired vision. She began to attract scores of collectors and dealers who smuggled her work out to avid admirers around the world, until the Art Academy finally allowed her a summer trip to study in Europe. From there, Valueva easily gained international acclaim, and remains one of Russia's most outstanding artists.
“Why are my subjects women? Because beauty excites me, I like to see transformations, diversity, the layers covering the vulnerable paleness of a female arm, or tender matte luster of flesh; the skin’s translucence beneath a film of gauze draping a naked body. My brush does not just move about the surface, it carefully penetrates the space of another dimension, going beyond the frontier - which is insurmountable to anyone else. There truly is space and life behind that fragile margin, as in a mirror. Of these space and life forms I express my daily chronicles, of their everyday life and feasts. And – of women who belong there”.