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Fine art and music have always been an integral part of Irina Koulikovs life. Born in Kokand, Uzbekistan, Irina studied fine art at Moscow State University in 1986. Irina explored her musical talents studying vocal music at Leningrad Conservatory for two years and later becoming a choir singer at the Rimsky-Korsakov Opera Theater. In the early nineties, Irinas work began to show the stylistic influences of Oleg Koulikov, who she eventually married. By 1993, she had left her singing career to devote herself to painting on a full time basis.
The Dutch masters and French painters influence Irinas work. Her flattened forms and textural emphasis are not unlike the work of Marc Chagall. Employing an encaustic method, her distorted perspectives and calculated relationships between elements creates a sense of tension. Irinas landscapes parallel nature but are independent from it, therefore, drawing ones attention to the materials used in the piece and its color effects. In her still life work, the warm rich browns, stark creams and vibrant reds combined with her deliberate placement of items are inspired by the work of 18th century artist Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin.