«No dance, nothing will happen…»


Artist Ksenia Sashina was born and raised in St. Petersburg. He received his artistic education at the Department of textile at the Academy of art and industry, and then within a few years of painting combined with the creation of interior design projects. Now Ksenia is focused on experiments in the field of visual art. Her works are kept in private collections in Russia and abroad, and in may 2019, Ksenia’s debut solo exhibition was held at the St. Petersburg Museum of modern art “Erarta”, where she presented a series of paintings “Game of colors”.

Ksenia, how did Your passion for art begin? When did you realize you wanted to be an artist?

I was born and grew up in St. Petersburg. The impact of this city cannot be measured, but it is difficult to underestimate. Perhaps that is why it is not easy for me to answer this question, as well as the question of when I started to draw. I think I’ve always drawn. The whole apartment was my canvas, my huge work: I painted the walls, filling the space with fictional characters of my childhood fantasies. This may seem surprising, but parents have always treated such tricks favorably: not scolded and did not forbid. Without erecting meaningless barriers, they brought up in me a sense of inner freedom. I think it helped me to realize early what I want to do in the future, and not be afraid to go this way, despite all its complexity and thorn.

It is often debated whether a modern artist needs a traditional school. Tell us about Your journey.

As a child, art school was my salvation. I was very bored at regular school. Recently, I was flipping through my school diary and found a comment that says a lot. “Sitting in class, looking out the window, drawing,” wrote the math teacher. What was happening in class really didn’t bother me much. Everything changed when I entered the gymnasium at the Stieglitz Academy. Everything seemed to fall into place: I realized that I can do what I love, that it can become my profession and even more – a matter of life, no matter how pathetic it may sound.


After graduating from high school, I entered the Academy Stieglitz: a long time thinking about the specialization, and eventually chose the Department of textiles, because in my opinion it affects all areas that are interesting to me, from interior design to clothing design. I think that studying at the Academy has become a formative stage for me, but I never forget how important it is to continue to improve, not to stop and not to “fixate” on the knowledge gained from other people.

How do You work on paintings? What inspires You?

I like to spend time alone with myself, draw energy in solitude, so it is very important for me that the space in which I live and work, was “consonant” to me. My favorite place is my workshop in St. Petersburg. Design objects, good light, figurines and images of animals, among which elephants and giraffes are most often found (I love them) – this space I created for a very long time, carefully selecting every detail. Now I can say that I was able to create a real place of power, in every detail of the design of which there is a particle of me. Here I am restored and rest, here I come up with new ideas and energy to implement them.


Working on a painting is a great pleasure for me, so often I deliberately “stretch” the process. During my work I always listen to music, most often classical (for example, Bach or Tchaikovsky). I am sure that the final result depends on the choice of the work that will sound in the Studio, so I can choose the music that corresponds to my mood at this moment for a long time. Painting for me is like music or even dance. I often dance in the Studio and I know that without dancing nothing will happen.

After graduating from Stieglitz Academy You were engaged in cultural journalism, interior design and even taught children drawing. What did this experience give You and how did You get back to painting?

I love to work with children, I am inspired by their characteristic gullibility and optimism. I can say we are on the same wavelength, for children there are no boundaries and laws, and I strive to keep the same freshness of look and experience. As Picasso said, “you can draw like Raphael, but it will take a lifetime to learn how to draw like a child.” I think this is very accurate!


In contrast to teaching, work in journalism and design constrained, not allowing to fully realize the potential that I felt in myself. I decided to concentrate on painting and started painting animals and portraits of people who inspired me. From these experiments was born the “Game of colors”, in which the painting is combined with three-dimensional decorative floral compositions. The name of the series is meaningful: for me the main means of artistic expression is color, and it is from the combinations of color spots that I always go in creating my compositions. So in this case we are talking not only about the game of flowers in luxurious bouquets that hide the face, but also about the color!


Now I continue to work on this project, but I am already overwhelmed with new ideas. Very soon they will be embodied in the works, which will be the next stage for me.

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