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Sketchbook Porn: Polina Tereshina

The figures in Polina Tereshina’s paintings play games of hide and seek, always fingering a mystery, eluding signifiers that smack of the concrete: A dazzle of neon pattern draped like a quilt over the head makes for a faceless day-glo ghost. A smear of ectoplasmic gouache obfuscates all but two rose-nipped heels and toes, hinting at a figure in recline all but erased. Most recently, a hilarious and uncanny amount of hair where least expected throws the viewer off in a series of intersexed figures—heavily bearded, with bright lacquered nails and soft, wide hips—who float against muddied sea-foam backdrops or sink into solid ground. Similarly, Tereshina's work in sculpture and abstraction veers toward cloaking rather than a great reveal, in the process demanding the viewer play accomplice in the excavation of narrative.

The images and notes that follow provide a glimpse into some of Tereshina's process and her development of ideas. 

"I’m interested in many different forms of expression," Tereshina says. "I look for new ways to use material, so the process of working out ideas often takes place outside of drawing on paper."

Study in resin: "When the ghost of an idea exists in the realm of abstraction I often forgo drawing altogether and 'sketch' directly with the material in question." 

"Drawing for me is way to record a staring point. A quick thought, an image of a gesture that seems important at the time. The finished work is almost always a few steps removed form the initial impulse."

"There are always many projects inside the studio growing towards completion, and only about one in five come together in the right way, so I end up with a lot of work that never sees light of day. Some turn out to be complete garbage and others go on the backburner to be considered and reworked at a later time, like a big pile of notes."

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