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The extraordinary Irina Volkonskii

23.10.2013 | Sparkling people

Like a character straight out of a surrealist painting, Irina is fascinating because of her artistic work and her colorful personality in equal measure. With her flamboyant orange hair, it is her Russian roots and upbringing on the coast of the Caspian Sea, where the women drape themselves with opulent and sumptuous jewels, that have fueled her taste for ornamentation. Her grandfather has also been a strong influence in her life with his fantastical stories and encouragement to study at Moscow’s experimental art school, Zaïzeva. Thrown in at the deep end, she learned “to paint without fear.”

In 1998, she moved to Paris where she was the muse of artist Jean-Charles de Castelbajac. A year later in 1999, her collection of whimsical, crystal-adorned jewelry appeared in trendy boutiques from Tokyo to New York. At this time, the Franco-Russian creative also made her first glittering marks on the art world. For the past six years, Irina has focused her spontaneous creativity on contemporary art, narrative paintings based on wordplay, stunning sculptures such as crystal-encrusted robots, imposing multicolored Russian dolls, and her giant coloring crayons. The Poliakoff gallery in Paris is hosting her first solo exhibition from December 9 to January 19, the perfect chance to understand her motto that “too much is never enough!”

Her favorite artists: Magritte and brothers Gert and Uwe Tobias.
Her favorite cities: Tokyo, Rome, Venice.
Her secret place: among nature and in her vegetable garden.

Galerie Pixi Marie Victoire Poliakoff, 95 rue de Seine, 75006 Paris

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