I don't remember the last time I've come across visual art that touched that subconscious space of familiarity from the start. Flora Yuknowich's paintings made me dizzy and giddy one night when I ran across them in my Instagram feed. As soon as I've seen the gallery started promoting her show, "Sweet Spot", I've planned to visit it.
Her abstract, yet so form-reliant paintings are set in otherworldly places that in me pull from familiar settings: cloudscapes of religious imagery, renaissance skies and fantasy landscapes. In my mind's eye, I feel like I've been there before.
Because her forms are scattered under layers and layers of lively brushstrokes, my mind fills in the gaps. Sometimes a cherubic bottom or a female leg peeks out, but the rest is swirling, exploding. I see the definite wings of angels, trees and foliage, but the scene is unclear, yet familiar: like a deja vu memory unfolding.
The gallery Parafin writes: "Yukhnovich manipulates colour and form to explore the representation of the female form and the male gaze as well as the associations of the superficial, decorative and domestic present in the Rococo."
The abundance of tones of pastel, and rich, lush colours give me a satisfying inner peace. I feel like swimming in a delicious cup of gelato of all flavours. This sensuality is unmistakably feminine, and as the author herself states: “I see a discrepancy between the aesthetic qualities we perceive to be feminine i.e. the beautiful, the submissive, the delicate, and my own experience of what it is to be a woman today”.
The satin ribbons and the milky swirls of skin give way to chaotic atmosphere: a storm brewing, an usurped heaven. I am loving the multitudes of it all and see myself in it. I am reaffirmed that a piece of art can have everything and not saying too much at the same time. Somehow, her paintings look like every dress I ever dreamt of, every dream I ever had, every excitement that passed through me and every taste i ever tasted. If ever, as an artist I make one person feel this lovely feeling of recognition, I would consider my work an impossible success.