The two series of Maria Pogorzhelskaya’s paintings in our gallery seems at first glance very apart, both in expression and content. The Time Machine pictures are painted quite crudely with nail polish, eyeshadows, iodine, greenery and foundation, and show her personal collection of popular Soviet porcelain figurines of the 50’s, collected on flea markets in Moscow about 20 years ago.
The other works are oil paintings in vivid pastel colours, picturing girls and women in quite private situations; doing yoga, having a manicure or face mask. The persons in the pictures seems composed, happy even. It is as if they are caught in an unguarded moment, not aware of being viewed. Not feeling any need to protect themselves.
What the pictures have in common is Pogorzhelskaya’s interest in basic human behaviour and our craving for beauty; How is it that those naïve porcelain figurines, so similar in appearance, once was so popular? Pogorzhelskaya explains that they embed a wish to present idealistic objects for ordinary people; this is what children should look like and do. Owning one both embellished your home and set an example. Using make up in painting them underlines the aspect. By placing nice objects in my home or putting on my make up, both I and my life becomes more beautiful, more ideal.
Both series are figurative in expression. But in contrast to the Time Machine series, the oil paintings appear more photographic, as if trying to capture a moment and keep it in memory. By doing that, the artist states that all those unpretentious everyday moments, seemingly of no importance, are vital. And just like the Soviet figurines these captured situations of women’s life’s will forever incorporate memories, for future generations to reflect upon.