Alexandra Moskalenko’s artwork
About the artist
Alexandra Moskalenko was born in Paris, France in 1971 and comes from a family of painters. She has been living in London since 1995. Alexandra studied Economics and International Trade Law in Paris and she is a self-taught artist and film-maker. Alexandra Moskalenko’s paintings often depict people from various ethnic origins on colourful vintage fabric, exploring the concept of identity, informed by the artist’s own experience of coming from a multicultural background and living in London. The large, vibrantly coloured canvases become statement pieces for what ‘fitting in’ or belonging may mean and question how a character can influence an environment and vice versa.
Alexandra’s film career has also explored the themes of belonging and identity through focusing on cultural practices as diverse as ‘tribal markings’ (Tattoos, 2002 for the National Maritime Museum ‘s Skin Deep exhibition) or the great British tradition of tea-making (Tea Time, 2008) revealing in the process the quirky aspects of London life.
One of her paintings ‘A-Jay’ was shortlisted for the Royal Academy Summer exhibition 2015. Another painting ‘Citizen of the World – J1’ was shortlisted for the prestigious Threadneedle Prize exhibition and ‘Dapper’ was shortlisted for the Lynn Painter- Stainers Prize in 2018. She has works in private collections in France, England and the United States.
Her recent body of work features animals (mainly endangered species and birds) and explores the concept of freedom and conservation.
‘As the daughter and grand-daughter (on my dad’s side) of Latvian refugees who arrived in France after the second world war, and now as a French person settled in one of the most multicultural areas of London – itself a very multicultural city – I am interested in how the place where we live (by choice or because of circumstances) can shape who we are and how in turn we can shape the environment where we live and/or work.
That’s why I painted many of my portraits on fabric which is a metaphor for the ‘fabric of society’ an individual is part of, and which forms a contrast that either complements the individual or makes him/her stand out.
I am interested in the concept of identity and belonging and my work basically celebrates cultural diversity and biodiversity. I am always amazed by nature’s creations.’