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Repaint History Call For Art Fund Recipient: Katia Lifshin
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Repaint History Call For Art Fund Recipient: Katia Lifshin

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Thrilled to be introducing our third Repaint History fund recipient, Katia Lifshin. Hope you enjoy this Q&A as much as we did!
Tell us about yourself

My name is Katia Lifshin, I'm a 27 year old artist from Tel Aviv. I was born in Ukraine and my family immigrated to Israel when I was 4. I’m a painter, I mostly work with oil paint, soft pastel, and I also create cyanotype prints. At the age of 19 I moved to Arizona, where I studied art. I had my first solo show in Arizona, and since then I have participated in exhibitions across the U.S and Israel, and my work has been featured in online and print publications. My upcoming exhibition opens at Buckham Gallery this year in June. 

I use old black and white photographs as a guide and inspiration to my paintings. The recurring themes in my work are family bonds, childhood, sisterhood, friendship. I mostly paint people who are anonymous to me, and when I approach the process of creating a painting, I use the photo as a base structure, and then I build into it my own story, by sometimes changing the scenes in the photos, the people I paint, and of course through the colors I use.

Katia Lifshin

Image courtesy of the artist
Tell us about an encounter with art that has shaped your practice.

It’s hard to choose one encounter. It’s more bits of inspiration, new information that I absorbed, this was a slow and always ongoing progress, but coming back to Israel definitely reshaped my practice. I think that initially, when I told myself I am free to do what I want with my art, no matter what I did before and what I will do next, I begun to explore and be more open to developing new ideas, and then I started to find my true language in terms of color, storytelling and technique.

Katia Lifshin

Image courtesy of the artist
Which artists inspire your work?

I love the work of Balthus, I think his work is brilliant, although controversial. and lately I keep looking at the work of Alex Colville, for his beautifully depicted relationships between humans and animals. I also love the works of Jordan Kasey for her use for color and light. Other than that, there is so much inspiration I find everyday from fellow artists. Personally, I found many of my favorite artists through Instagram and seeing their new work everyday also inspires me.

Katia Lifshin

Katia Lifshin, Two friends sitting in the garden , oil on mdf board 
What challenges have you faced throughout your career as an artist and what advice would you give to artists beginning their career?

I think one of my biggest challenges but also a blessing, was coming back to Israel after 6 years in the U.S. I was supposed to start all over again, and that was a real challenge. But coming back and being “detached” also gave me an opportunity for a fresh start. I found myself looking for new ways of expressing my ideas. So my advice to artists beginning their career would be to embrace change and growth in your practice when you feel stuck. you may find yourself going in a completely new direction with your work, so just embrace it no matter what anyone else thinks about it. My second advice would be to create as much work as you can. With each work you learn something new and develop new skills. even if that work is still not what you want it to be, don’t get discouraged.

Katia Lifshin

Image courtesy of the artist
How has your practice been affected by the turbulence and uncertainty of the past year? Has your work or the way you approach it changed at all?

It's been a rough year for me mentally, as to many other people who have experienced difficulties this year. It actually affected my work through my color palette. I found myself using brighter colors and really getting into experimenting with the colors I love the most, like green and blue for example. Painting for me is also a way to escape, so more than ever I want to make art that makes me feel good and cultivates my positive feelings rather than my negative feelings.

Katia Lifshin

Katia Lifshin, Sisters
What has your experience been in terms of mentorship and a sense of community in the art world, particularly among women artists?

For the past year, I found many online art communities, opportunities, and sources that support female artists (like Repaint History!). It is amazing to have this kind of support and opportunities created for women by women.

Katia Lifshin

Katia Lifshin, Jaffa Grapefruits, oil on canvas
How will the Repaint History fund support your career?

With the help of the fund I can continue to make art with less worry. It’s uplifting to have such support, and it motivates me to keep creating my work.

Katia Lifshin

Katia Lifshin, girls in a meadow, oil on canvas
Are there any new projects you are currently working on?

I’m currently working on paintings for my upcoming show this June. These works are about our connection to nature, to animals, and to each other, through friendship, or family bonds between sisters and brothers. I’m also planning and making work for my first solo show in Israel which will happen next year.

Katia Lifshin

Katia Lifshin, Travelers, oil on canvas