Sarah Svetlana is a Los Angeles based artist who, as a painter, explores the fragmentation of the subject in an ongoing search for home. An agency model, turned art model, Sarah Svetlana used her body as the first medium in her initial search for identity and self-expression—her upbringing in the irreconcilable cultures of Soviet Belarus and Immigrant America, has drawn and painted roadmaps between two worlds.

Her paintings do not only suggest hectic movement, but the stillness locked in each gesture of that movement. Her work is “rooted somewhere between the insanity of Kandinsky and the line-certainty of the early 20th century Futurists.” Each painting is a piece to the complex topography that defines both her identity and her work. Through the narratives created by a methodical application of color, she delivers an invocation of home— spectral and surreal, but familiar too. 

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Losing my Religion.

September 19, 2017

I took one of those DNA tests to find out your ancestry. I haven't sent in yet because the return address was in Houston. I received it the same week as the floods. Almost metaphorical. I decided to wait to mail it back because I was sure that the post office does not give a shit about getting my little q-tip with my DNA spit and they'd rather worry about other things. Like, not drowning. 


I've been really obsessing over my identity my entire adult life and until recently have I started "dealing with" these issues (Jewish refugee Soviet Russian issues, you know, the usual).


I started painting and I immediately started painting my childhood. The horrible prints on the crushed velvet sofa. The way Eastern European art had so much black behind it. How the colors stood out, giving new meaning to the negative space behind it. I'd stare at these details for hours. I was a strange kid, I was totally fine being alone. I'd day dream for hours but really I was just focused on the way the velvet would create this shine and the texture would make the colors look so rich or my moms silk floral robe that would hang behind the bathroom door. 


This is all pouring out of me now. In every piece I've painted its a similar theme I can't deny it anymore. 


Me painting all of this subconsciously is clearly me dealing and reconnecting with a past I forgot I had. 


I'm excited to get these results back. I've waited so long to do this test and now that I finally have it, I haven't sent it in yet.


I could have done it last weekend but for some reason it totally freaks me out. I'm both excited and nervous to find out the results. What if I'm not even a Belarusian Jew? That would blow my mind. 


Ok. I'll send it tomorrow. 


Don't run away from your shit Sarah. 







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February 23, 2018

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