Nina Murashkina: An Apple and a Needle

Eye Sea Gallery

“When I was 5 years old, I really wanted to have earrings in my ears, I just wanted them. I could imagine myself with beautiful gold balls in each ear. I started begging all my female relatives to pierce my ears. And only one of them, the most liberated and cheerful of my many grandmothers, agreed to this procedure. With a mysterious face, she told me one day that the day had come when we could pierce our ears. I was overjoyed, and we went to business!
Business was in the entranceway of a five-story building in a sleeping area of Donetsk. We went down one floor from my grandmother’s apartment and ended up in the mysterious dwelling of a very beautiful young lady. More precisely, her mother, because the lady herself was at work. When we entered the apartment, my grandmother and the mother of the beautiful lady began to conspiratorially discuss the mysterious beauty, with spicy details of her secret work: namely, the number, quality, and status of the men she served. All this time I was drawing in my head the image of this lady, tall, with a hairstyle, in fashionable leggings at that time with a purple sheen, and a short leatherette jacket. She could be seen rarely, but these were unforgettable impressions, especially her eyes:
– when she went “to work” her eyes almost burned with a predatory gleam;
– when she returned, her eyes were like puddles under the entranceway, after the rain …
Meanwhile, my grandmother and the mother of the mysterious lady were preparing the whole process of piercing my then chaste ears. I remember a sour green apple and a large gypsy needle that went into my ear, and the blood soaked into the apple. Since then, these mysterious ladies, prostitutes, and chaste creatures with burning or sad eyes have occupied a large place in my work.”

This is how Nina Murashkina describes her work, which became the foundation of her exhibition at Eye Sea Gallery.

Nina Murashkina is a Ukrainian artist who lives and works in Kyiv and Barcelona.

The contrast between the grey everyday life of a mining town at the turn of the era and the exalted family environment left its mark on the consciousness of the future artist. In her teens, Nina completely distanced herself from her peers, immersing herself in the world of artistic images and bright colours. In 2005, she graduated from the Donetsk Art School (Department of Graphic Design), and in 2009 – from the Kharkiv Academy of Design and Arts (monumental painting, workshop of V.M. Gontariv). During her studies at the Donetsk Art School, and then at the Kharkiv State Academy of Design and Arts, the artist absorbed new knowledge and skills to search for and improve her own style – an ode to a woman.

From early childhood, Nina Murashkina perceives any dictate as violence. However, she recalls with sincere gratitude O. Budovskaya and A. Polonik, who prepared her for admission to the school. The artist also notes the great influence of V. Gontariv and V. Kulik, who supported and inspired her during her studies in Kharkiv. In 2011, she studied at the National Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture (Theater and Film Artist specialization). In 2012, she won the “Gaude Polonia” grant (Krakow, Poland) and implemented a painting project called “Blue Eyes” within the walls of the Jan Matejko Krakow Academy of Fine Arts.

Nina Murashkina’s primary research topic is the psychology of sexuality, personal drama elevated to a cult. Since 2017, Nina has lived between two cities – Kyiv and Barcelona – and works in collaboration with her husband, Spanish artist Xavier Escala. Nina Murashkina is one of the most renowned contemporary Ukrainian artists in Ukraine. Her works have been exhibited since 1999. Murashkina has participated in numerous exhibitions in Ukraine and abroad. Her works are in private collections in Ukraine, Austria, Poland, Russia, USA, France, Japan, Germany, Canada, Spain, Italy, Czech Republic, Belgium, and China.

Nina Murashkina’s style is a synthetic mix based on a classical art education, combining decorative painting, kitsch, naive art, magical symbolism, and contemporary art. The main theme of her paintings, collages, ready-made objects, and installations is always the erotic magic of femininity in its deep and painful manifestations. In almost all the works, the main character is the artist herself.

The exhibition at the Eye Sea Gallery runs from February 23 to March 13, 2024.

Feel free to contact our gallery if you’re interested in acquiring Nina Murashkina’s artworks.