June 26th, 2019
Jesse Gussow


One look at the artwork of Juliana Kolesova and you are transported into a dark and surreal world. Her work is haunting yet at the same time there is a feeling of joy and happiness as though you have to take the good with the bad. Very much a strong message of the world is what you make of it. Strong mental health imagery is featured. The details and soft tones and features of her characters give them a more nuanced feeling.




Where are you from?

I was born in Kazakhstan, moved to Moscow, Russia when I was 15, where I studied art and lived for 20 years. Now I live in Toronto, Canada.



How did you get interested in art?

I don't remember that. I have been drawing since very early childhood.



What inspires your work?

Everything: art, life, the world.



How would you describe your style?

It is certainly figurative art. Perhaps magical realism, sometimes with elements of expressionism and pop surrealism.



What do you want people to experience when they see your work?

Thinking, maybe. Other than that, everyone is free to interpret my art in their own way.



What are your preferred mediums to work with?

I believe that specific technique is suitable for each idea. It can be digital painting, oil or acrylic.



Do you work on one piece at a time or do you have several on the go at once?

It may be two or three pieces at the same time.



How long does it typically take you to finish a piece? From the initial conception to the finished piece.

It depends, on average it’s 3-4 days. But sometimes in the process I can lose the thread and put off work until better times.



If you found a magic lamp and got three wishes what would you wish for?

I would wish that greed would cease to rule the world.

I would like people to become smarter and refuse to participate in wars.

I would also like to see fewer lies in the world, and more justice.



How have you grown as an artist from when you first started to now?

I believe that it’s very simple: If you develop as a person, you grow up as an artist.



Do you listen to music when you are creating? If so, what kind of music?

Not always, but yes. It could be anything: Beethoven, Bach, old jazz, ethnic music, or whatever my memories are connected with.



When you sleep, what are your dreams like?

I do not think that I am unique in this: sometimes in a dream I travel in time or visit colourful other worlds; sometimes my dreams are nightmares or just confused nonsense.

I would like to fly more often in my dreams...



What does your work say about you?

This question is better to ask those who see my work. Someone [through them] will see a depressive person or a misanthrope. I consider myself an observer, but with a painful perception of evil.



What aspect of a piece takes you the most time?

Doubts. But when they go away, I paint pretty quickly.



Do you prefer Oreo or Fudgee-O cookies?

Neither one, nor the other. These things never seemed tasty to me. Speaking of sweets, I really love high-quality European chocolate and exotic fruits.

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