Marina Koldobskaya

SINCE 2008 

…as a barbarian of a megalopolis, the artist uses all sort of “trash”: packing cardboard boxes, old household utensils, furniture, suitcases etc. as the foundation for painting as vivid as the war paint of a cannibal. With these odds and ends, Marina does her magic reincarnating manipulations: she paints them over, reshuffles and splices into chimeras…This way, with her work with history, the artist is doing a balancing act on the verge of the ethnographic research, shamanism and social activism. 

Koldobskaya, in her difficult search for simplicity and universality, strives to separate the essence from chaff, to reach the hard and invisible core of an artwork. And, in the big picture, to remove all possible cultural layers, reaching the “core” of a human being (even though this core, in the artist’s words, is “rather ferocious”). 

In her painting-shamanism, the commonplace and, at the same time, eternal signs and formulae, whose efficiency must be discovered and proved each and every time, emerge directly in the process of an act of painting. 

The expressive “smearing” and “simplification” in Koldobskaya’s art allow us to see in her Russoid “savage” or “child” – seeker of the Happiness”, which, ever since the time of prophets, has been considered the main pursuit of mankind. 

Andrey Khlobystin, art historian 


…the viewer’s glance is directed towards the great-grand-history, the great-grand-art. It comes to rest upon the diversiform furniture whose surface is overgrown with wild signs-puzzles. Tables, chairs, suitcases and cupboards bloom with a savage black-and-white or red ornament in whose interlacements a discourse is afoot about the essential: food, power, nature, weather. Love. 

Alexander Dashevsky, artist, curator 


I like to paint old things as furniture, umbrellas, cases. My friends give stuff to me or I found them somewhere. Old objects have their own history, keep the memory about their former owners, the traces of everyday using. Memory is often traumatic, especially in Russia. I try to overcome the collective historical trauma. When I cover the surface of the old thing with paint – I destroy the very idea of the history, memory and everyday routine. That’s a great feeling of liberation. Old solid things become funny like toys. But it’s not just decoration. Not applied art. I believe that I turn things into magic objects. They keep their function – you can use the case as a case. But at the same time it has its own power as shaman’s utensils. 

I like to involve people into creative process. We share the energy, the feeling of liberation, the fun. I see visitors’ interest when they see artist’s work and participate in it that you can rare find in museum or gallery. 

Olga Zhitlina, art critic,
interview with Marina Koldobskaya for 


Marina Koldobskaya

Solo show and master-class in Educational Centre of The State Hermitage Museum, 2012


Marina Koldobskaya

Bon Appetit! 2010, case painted with enamel 


Marina Koldobskaya

Road South, 2009, Atelier#2, Winzavod, Moscow
artist’s open studio


Marina Koldobskaya

Yesterday Night, 2010, table painted with enamel 


Marina Koldobskaya

Road South, 2009, artist’s open studio, Atelier#2, Winzavod, Moscow