The Secret Ball
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Cyrillia was inspired by stories my mother told me as a child growing up in Russia. My
family and I left Moscow and moved to the United States when I was seven. Despite
learning to adapt to a new culture, one thing I always kept with me was the Russian folk
tales my mother shared. When she would tell me a story I would envision the different
characters and imagine elaborate illustrations of what they looked like, how they
dressed, and where they lived.
When I began to express myself through photography, I enjoyed creating images with a
narrative feeling. I would portray the back-story of each image in either the setting or
the clothing used. At first these different characters and narratives seemed to come to
me out of nowhere, but the more images I created, the more I found myself thinking
back to the fairy tales of my childhood. In pursuing the stories from the fairy tales that
have permeated my subconscious, Cyrillia began to take form.
I feel that fairy tales create the basis for a culture. It is these stories we grow up with,
stories that are passed down between generations. In a very simple way, these stories
become the basic building blocks of our cultural identity and our understanding of who
we are. It is the stories I heard growing up that have helped to inspire and influence the
stories I tell with a camera. The characters that have influenced my childhood are now
coming alive in my photographs. The sense of awe, mystery and power that is often
found in Russian folk tales has inspired my photographic work in my creation of Cyrillia.
dnj Gallery is a fine art organization located in Santa Monica's Bergamot Station. Every day brings new ideas and ways of looking at the world around us. Art is an outlet for innovation and reflection. dnj Gallery is dedicated to the exploration of artists and their discoveries. The Gallery introduces contemporary works by emerging and established artists, while displaying a broad range of subject matter and techniques.