Arina Gordienko is a figurative realist artist, based in the United Kingdom. She was born in Russia, in a small remote gold-mining settlement in the most north-easterly Arctic polar region Chukotka. Now she lives and works in the UK. Her art education includes MA (Chelsea College of Arts, University of the Arts London), BA (Central Saint Martins College of Art, UAL), and Distinction Diploma in Fine Art (Art College, part-time, Russia).
Arina is an Associate Living Master of the Art Renewal Center in USA, a selected member of Society of Women Artists in the UK and a member of Portrait Society of America. She is recognised with numerous international prizes and awards in the UK, USA and Europe. Her paintings featured at Saatchi Gallery in London, MEAM - European Museum of Modern Art in Barcelona, Museum of Fantastic Art in Vienna, Museum of Modern Art Vittoria Colonna in Pescara (Italy), Wausau Museum of Contemporary Art in USA, and at many galleries in the UK, USA, Australia, Spain, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, France, Germany, Check Republic, Belgium and India.
Her paintings published in many art books, catalogues and art magazines, including the ‘Strokes of Genius’ Art Books (Edition 4 & 6) in USA, the MEAM ‘Painting Today’ catalogue in Spain, the Reinhard Fuchs’ art book ‘Masterpieces of Visual Arts - The Great Female Artists from the Middle Ages to the Modern Era’ in Austria, the ‘Masters of Contemporary Fine Art’ and ‘Masters of Painting’ in the UK.
Arina is dedicated to realistic traditions in painting and using in her works the old Renaissance Masters’ technique called ‘sfumato’, derived from the Italian word ‘sfumare’ – tone down or smoke down. Within this oil-painting technique the colours and tones layer gradually one above another without any sharp outlines which brings to the images a softened outcome. On close inspection Arina’s handling of paint is not of bold gestures but the quiet, slow build-up of tonal values which beautifully suggest the sensual surface of the skin and underlying bone structure, creating an almost sculptural object.
She combines traditional classical techniques with realistic yet imaginative (often surreal) compositions and contemporary palette. Her style can be described as figurative imaginative realism, with elaborative attention to details that often refers to hyper-realism. In Arina’s words creating a new painting is a ‘kind of a magical ritual, almost alchemy’ – she inserts into her works a mysterious and surreal atmosphere. Personages on her paintings do not reveal any particular signs of place or time or any other specific characteristics. What Arina concentrates on is visual expression of a quintessence of humans’ emotions and feelings in an uncertain and ephemeral environment - she captures a pure essence of human’s soul and hidden deep inner content.
However, her compositions have a bold directness creating a visual language that communicates across cultures. Her use of light, composition and pose has a sense of a 17 Century Dutch artists like Vermeer but the use of scale, tone and reference to realism bring it firmly into the 21 Century. The qualities of her art have hints of her Russian background within the context of Western influences.
Arina often uses herself as a vessel for her ideas and Arina’s faces stand out from the crowd with a graphic signature style that is memorable. The likeness is striking and her expressions are beguiling; she occupies her face with the confidence of an actor trying to communicate to a broad audience. Arina’s portraits are ambiguous, she does not reveal too much about herself but presents an icon of a woman that can be contemplated and interpreted in many ways; this is where her paintings’ strength.
Exhibitions (brief selection)
2019 – Artelibre Gallery, ‘Something More Than Realism’, Zaragoza, Spain
2019 - Mall Galleries, ‘SWA Annual’, Opened by Her Royal Highness Princess Michael of Kent, London, UK.
Also – 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008.
2019 – Wausau Museum of Contemporary Art, ‘International Biennial Portrait Competition’, WI, USA
2019 – Rehs Contemporary Galleries, ‘I Observe’, New York, USA
2019 – MEAM - European Museum of Modern Art, ‘Painting Today’, curator Didi Menendez, Barcelona, Spain
2018 – Figurative Realism, curated by Dirk Dzimirsky and Didi Menendez, exclusive online exhibition
2017 – ‘Art For a Little Brave Heart’ Fund-raising for Charity ‘Gift of Life, Rossotrudnichsetvo, London, UK
2017 - MAG Montreux Art Gallery, ‘FIRST MAG Visionary Art’, Switzerland, with HR Giger, Ernst Fuchs, De Es Schwertberger, Martina Hoffmann, Brigid Marlin, Roku Sasaki
2016 - Museum of Modern Art Vittoria Colonna, ‘Biennale PESCARART’, Pescara, Italy
2015 - Phantastishe Venus Biennale, Viechtag, Germany
2015 - Museum Complex of Dioscuri, ‘ITINERA Contemporary Art’, Gall'Art Roma, Rome, Italy.
2014 - Rebecca Cossack Gallery, ‘Gemini Art Prize’, London, UK
2013-2014 - Mortimore Art Prize ‘The very best in Realism’ Touring: Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra etc., Australia
2013 - Solo-Exhibition 'ARINA - The Theatre Of One Artist', 20th Century Theatre, Notting Hill, London, UK
2013 - Master of Art International Exhibition, Art Pavilion Gallery, London, UK
2013 - Gallery of Art Critics (Adria Palace), Exhibition of Awarded Artists of World Gallery of Drawing, Prague
2013 - Museum Sant'Oreste, ‘International Exhibition of Contemporary Art’, Gall'Art Roma, Rome, Italy
2012 - Museum of Fantastic Art, ‘Uncommon Vision’, Vienna, Austria
2012 - Mall Galleries, 'Show me the Monet' of BBC2 series, London, UK
2012 - Museum of Drawing, ‘OSTEN Award Biennale’, Skopje, Macedonia
2010 - SAATCHI Gallery, 'Art of Giving', with Sir Piter Blake, Banksy, Gavin Turk, Alexa Meade, London, UK
2010 - Venice Arsenale, 'Arte Laguna Art Prize', Venice, Italy
2010 - Marziart Gallery, 'Best of 2010' International’, Hamburg, Germany
2009 - Pen and Brush Gallery, ‘Fall Brush Exhibition, New York, USA
2009 - Praxis Art International Gallery, 'MFA Now' Award Winner's Exhibition, Miami, USA
2008 - The First Biennale RBSA Open Portrait Award, Birmingham, UK
Awards & Achievements (selected)
2019 - Derwent Special Fine Art Award, awarded by HRH Princess Michael of Kent, SWA Annual, Mall Galleries, London, UK
2019 - Finalist, 14th International ARC Salon Competition, Art Renewal Center, USA
2018 - Finalist, Portrait Society of America Members Only Competition, Non-Commissioned Portrait
2018 - Finalist, 13th International ARC Salon Competition, Art Renewal Center, USA
2017 - Finalist, 12th International ARC Salon Competition, Art Renewal Center, USA
2016 - Awarded the ARC Associate Living Master Status and Included to the Art Renewal Centre Museum, USA
2016 - Winner of Major 2nd Place Award, Berliner Art Prize, Germany
2016 - Honorary Diploma for ‘bright and remarkable contribution in the conservation and development of the artistic values in Modern Art’, Berliner Art Prize, Germany
2016 - Finalist, Portrait Society of America Only Members Competition, USA
2016 - Finalist, The Artist's Magazine 33 Annual Art Competition, Portraits/Figures category, USA
2015 - Winner, 'Strokes of Genius-7: Depth, Dimension and Space' Drawing Competition, USA
2014 - Winner, 3d Place Award, 'Outside the Box', Portrait Society of America Members Only Competition, USA
2013 - Winner, Gold Award - Master of Art International, Margarita Feaks Gallery, London, UK
2013 - Finalist, Mortimore Art Prize, Surrealism Category, Australia
2012 - Winner, Special Award, OSTEN World Gallery and Museum of Drawing Biennale, Skopje, Macedonia
2012 - Winner, 2nd Merit Award, 'Outside the Box', Portrait Society of America Members Competition, USA
2012 - Winner, 4th Merit Award, 'Self-Portrait' category, Portrait Society of America Members Competition
2011 - Winner. Strokes of Genius-4: Best of Drawing, 'Exploring Line', Drawing Competition, USA
2010 - Finalist (Top 10 out of 1650 entries), Art of Giving Competition, SAATCHI Gallery, London, UK
2010 - Finalist, The Best Foreign Artist Mention, Arte Laguna Art Prize, Venice Arsenale, Italy
2010 - Winner, Trophy Award, LICC-2010 (top 15 out of over 5000 submissions from 95 countries), London, UK
2009 - Shortlisted (top 100 out of 1900 entries), BP Portrait Award, National Portrait Gallery, London, UK 'Silence, Opus 3' made through to the second round of selection
2009 - Winner, MFA Now Award, International Painting Competition, Miami - New York, USA
2009 - Winner, 1st Place Award, Full Brush Competition, Pen and Brush Gallery, New York, USA
2009 - Winner, 2 nd Prize Award, Portrait/Figure category, The Artist's Magazine, USA
2008 - Winner, Anthony J. Lester Art Critic Award, SWA Annual exhibition, Mall Galleries. London, UK
2008 - Winner, 1st Prize (out of 14.000 entries) Portrait/Figure Students category, The Artist's Magazine, USA
2008 - Winner, Public Choice Prize, NOAC National Open Art Competition, London, UK
2008 - Winner, Visitor's Choice Award, Cork Street International Art Competition, London, UK
2008 - Finalist, The RBSA Portrait Award, Biennale, Birmingham, UK
2008 - Shortlisted (Top 100 out of 1650 entries), BP Portrait Award, National Portrait Gallery, UK. 'Angel, Portrait of Angelica' has been through the second round of selection