As long as I can remember myself, I have been an artist. Born in a now-vanished state, the Soviet Union, I consider my Russian cultural inheritance a vital aspect of my intellectual biography. After emigrated at young age, I lived and worked in the cultural centers of Europe, which may in part explain the markedly cosmopolitan reputation that has attached itself to my work. For the last fifteen years, I have lived in the United States, chiefly in Los Angeles and New York City.
When I think about my paintings over the past few years I can't help starting with the title of my last large series - "Still Life as Landscape." The words are anything but impressionistic, no accident thought up at the last minute. The idea of the still life reflects and even explains the ideas and intuitions behind the selection of objects in the works - and, equally important, behind the juxtapositions of objects. Made to inhabit a new space, they become memorials, emblems, signatures. The still life, in most European languages, is called something like "dead nature." The things in these paintings are, indeed, the dead objects of dead cultures. At the same time, the differences in the direction, length and "style" of the implicit arrows that point from the depictions to the those vanished cultures may be vast, but the key is that still lives equate things normally considered to be of very different orders and kinds.