Portland artist Tatyana Ostapenko is exhibiting her contemporary paintings in the community room of the West Linn Public Library, 1595 Burns St., during the month of January.
The major themes of my work revolve around the recent history of once-Soviet states: social ambivalence, political uncertainty and the daily lives of people caught in the midst of momentous changes, Ostapenko writes in her artist statement. I am after the familiar yet confounding, commonplace yet unsettling, the uncannily mundane, and the ordinary strangeness. My subjects confusing and confounding motivations expose the rudderless and rapidly shifting environs of the places torn off from established meaning. I wish to communicate the reluctant repulsion/attraction I feel toward my place of origin, and to expose the sentimentality of nostalgia as well as an emigres moral difficulty at passing judgments on the land left behind.
Ostapenko was born and raised in Soviet Union (now independent Ukraine).
She completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts in studio practices from Portland State University in 2015 and a bachelors in Spanish and international business from Georgia State University in 2006.
In 2013, she spent a summer documenting her travels in Ukraine and accumulated more than 3,500 photos that became the basis for a series of paintings that became her first solo show Never Same River, at the Oregon Health & Science University Student Center in the following year.
Her work has been exhibited regionally and nationally at Littman Gallery, Bronco Gallery, Stumptown, PNCA Commons Gallery and Governors Island Art Fair.
When she is not painting or working as a Russian-English interpreter, she is picking chanterelles in the mossy woods of the Pacific Northwest.
Learn more about her art online at tatyanaostapenko.com.