Home > Artists > Korenfeld, Marina > Piscis-Custos (Fish-Guardian)

The oeuvre of Marina Korenfeld, an emerging Russian artist now living in New York, is profound, emotionally gripping, and visually stunning. Her Symbolist etchings were most favored by the art collectors from both USA and Europe.

Marina's art can be summarized as the quest for the mysterious, and all of her highly evocative symbols and recurring motifs bear testimony to that. The fish, which is Marina's favorite motif, is an agent of silent and invisible forces; it is omnipresent in all of her work under various guises. Sometimes the fish has a solemn imposing presence, playing the role of a Guardian or a Traveler contemplating the world from above; often, however, it is playful and mischievous, inviting you to partake in its freedom, as, for instance, in the bright watercolor where fish serve as giant kites for the children. The idea of forces is very powerfully developed in the writings of Carlos Castaneda, whom Marina draws upon frequently in her art. According to Castaneda, there are certain forces in nature determine human behavior and which are extremely powerful. Their origin is mysterious and the process of learning how to harness them is an important magical test. Curiously enough, the motif of the fish has another significance; it is also an autobiographical reference, since Marina is a Pisces herself…

Another crucial symbol in Marina's art is the figure of the Sirin - the half-woman, half-bird creature emerging from Russian mythology. Like the fish, the Sirin also has many forms and manifestations; in all of them, however, it most closely approximates the figure of the Muse or Inspiration. It is soothing and gentle and incredibly lyrical. In "The Blue Bird of Happiness", the Sirin is a personification of happiness itself; implicit in this painting is the highly Romantic idea that true happiness emerges in the act of Creation, since the Artist is inspired by a divine, mysterious presence. In an enigmatic etching, "The Eternal Game," the Sirin appears in a vision before a woman playing a game of chess; following a mystical strain, the etching seems to suggest that the Sirin is the woman's alter ego and that the game she is really playing is a game of identity; the themes of introspection and the self are crucial to Marina's art.

In addition to Castaneda, Marina draws on a wide variety of mythologies, worldviews, religions, and literary traditions, both ancient and modern, ranging from Buddhism to the Kabbalah to Russian folklore to alchemy to the novel of "Master and Margarita", which is, arguably, a worldview in itself… In this respect, her art resembles the oeuvre of Jorge Luis Borges, whom she greatly admires. Borges juggled mythologies, metaphors, quotations, and religions to create a dazzling kaleidoscope of ideas, to entice the reader to enter his metaphysical labyrinths, to stun him with his delightful paradoxes. Similarly, immersing yourself in Marina's artistic universe is equivalent to entering an ancient temple of a mystical religion -- you feel like you're in the middle of a strange but alluring world that speaks to you with its signs, inviting you to penetrate it. It is the world of dreams; it is haunted by mystery; it is the world of adventures into the unknown... That's why I love her work, besides the obvious fact that it is so unbelievably beautiful.

-- Natalya Sukhonos, Yale University, Class of 2004, for the Yale Daily News


Artist Statement

The theme of self-introspection is crucial to my art, since I believe that only by delving into the enigmas of the self can an individual truly engage with the world and bring about change in a profound, meaningful way.

Though I consider myself primarily a Symbolist, my art draws on a wide variety of mythologies, worldviews, religions, and literary traditions, both ancient and modern, ranging from Buddhism to Russian folklore.

Education:

1992 Odessa's Theater and Arts College - diploma in puppet making
1996 School of visual Arts - B.A. in Fine Arts

Exhibitions:

1992 Odessa City Gallery
1996 National Arts Club, New York
1998 "IDEA" Aesthetic Center, New York
2000 Student's Art League, New York
2001 Credit Suisse First Boston Corp. New York

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Artwork name: Piscis-Custos (Fish-Guardian)

Slideshow Slideshow

2000
etching
16x11cm
matted 28x36cm
(6"x4 1/4"
matted 11"x14")
edition of 50

Price: £152 GBP

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