Sunday, February 10, 2013


L'Inconnue by Yelena Bryksenkova i've been thinking about something alain de botton said on his twitter the other day: "we're so unimaginative, we think liking always has to lead to buying, touching, having...what of simply admiring?" this liberty of london wiltshire berry print was sort of maddening - i was ready to purchase a yard of it for no reason other than to have it - and now that i've painted it, the sense of materialistic urgency is gone. for me, drawing can be a form of possession. a loophole, perhaps?


hellojenuine said...

an excellent loophole, & one that's resulted in a lovely image.

i kind of feel that pinterest is a good outlet for a similar process - is it strange that the procedure of actively acknowledging, catergorising & being able to look back at these things stored neatly on the internet alleviates the need to own certain things?

Annarack said...

I totally agree with that quote. Admiration is far better than wanting to have everything you want in the world. Drawing is most definitely a way of possession and we can always look back at them and think I remember that. Memories are far more precious than tangible items.

Nicole said...

I've just found this out as well. I've been doing a 'draw what I want' project and I've noticed that it actually has been satisfying my material wants. So funny how the mind works in those situations.

Jennifer said...

such an appropriate quote for this day and age ~ i wish that creation was more widely celebrated than consumerism.
beautiful work as always.

Anonymous said...

Such a beautiful painting--and such a beautiful print! I love how often textiles (clothing & home dec / interiors) show up in your work--they are so important to show and explore. I find myself wanting to buy yards of Liberty, too.

I think this is a perfect way to subdue that sense of just-click-buy urgency--a creative response to beauty, instead of that 'unimaginative' impulse to buy. (3 days later, the desired object arrives in the mail, and, there, you have it. Now what? (I feel like Alain de Botton talks about the romantic version of this, maybe, in On Love? It's been a little while.))

I'm sure you've seen this already, but I was reminded of this project:
which is a little bit different from your painting, but feels similar enough to share here.

yelena bryksenkova said...

thank you for all of your responses; this is the kind of discussion i'd like to have more often. that gives me a pretty good idea of how i'd like to continue with this blog.

jen -
thank you, and i agree with what you said about pinterest; it does somehow serve the purpose of satisfying that anxious consumerist urge simply through the act of curation. the fact that the collection is virtual seems to matter very little in the end, at least where your brain's reward system is concerned. p.s. pete and i are preparing a little parcel for you an alan!

anna -
i'm trying to learn this lesson. my friend pete and i have started to acknowledge twitter-worthy and instagram-worthy moments as such, and then choose to just let them recede in time, known only to us.

nicole -
that's a great idea; i should try doing that too, with every piece of whatever that tries to reel me in.

jennifer -
thank you! and i wish that were true, too. but that makes me thankful to have an outlet; it feels better to have stayed up until 2 am painstakingly drawing this liberty pattern than holding a yard of the real stuff ever could.

caroline -
thank you for sharing that essay! it's EXACTLY the struggle i often face and something i think about a lot. the drawings are very reminiscent of maira kalman's work, which i love. and of course, alain de botton...if he could just live in my pocket and help me navigate through life!


Chrystal Falcioni said...

I love your loophole!

Hastypearl said...

The imagination is infinitely better than real life when it comes down to it. I recently did some collages for my etsy shop...theme...bathroom decor. WHEN are you going to get to have a patterned sink or soaking tub! Right!
Designers, should take note of the artist and create what they see happening in our world:)
Great conversation topic!

Elise Howard said...

Dear Yelena,
The Alain de Botton quote is lovely, but I'm awfully glad that after you painted this image, you donated it to the ABFFE auction, where I was able to acquire it. The original work has arrived, and of course it's even richer in real life than in its online image. I'm grateful to have read this post, too, and to know a bit about what inspired you to create it. Thank you for offering it.