In Svetlana Rabey’s paintings, there is a hypnotic internal process of chaos and choreography. Shapes are repeated and layered, leaving behind a plastic continuity of movement. Curved shapes are painted from left to right as a language, like letters or symbols in script. The repeating icons give the impression that they are trying to move off the picture plane. Tension lies in the controlled, silhouetted line of gesture against the impact of gravity on the materials, which ultimately controls the result in color, composition and mood.
“I am interested in the tensions between control and release, movement and stasis, negative space and positive space, repetition and difference. Each repetition is a return to the original, and each repetition creates a difference. In turn, each difference is a repetition, continuing the cycle of movement. Gravity is a charged emotional process because like death, it is inevitable”.
Svetlana Rabey was born in Moscow and grew up in Philadelphia and New York, studying classical dance. She has continued her interest in music, movement and language, which informs her work as a visual artist. In 1996, she received a BFA in painting from Parsons Paris & New York. She has been awarded the Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation and Chashama Harlem residency programs. She currently lives and works in New York City.