Evgeniya Golik: “Esoterica”


May 4, 2024

On View Through:

June 30, 2024

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Evgeniya Golik - Temperance - Esoterica
Evgola - Virgo
Evgola - Hunter - Sagittarius
Evgola - the Kiss
Evgola - 7 of Pentacles

Russian born artist Evgeniya Golik’s highly detailed, magical work easily activates the imagination of viewers. Her paintings and drawings are like doors to a mystical realm containing a myriad of beautiful human faces and fantastical creatures who express their secrets and stories through symbolic language. Her penchant for hatch shading and meticulously rendered hair catches the eye just as much as the unusual subject matter depicted.

Esoteric subject matter was introduced to Golik at a young age by her paternal grandmother, someone she described as “always delve(ing) into the holistic-spiritual-mystic side of things”. Her grandmother taught her about medicinal plants, natural remedies, astrology, and fortune telling. This planted the seed of a lifelong fascination with esoteric knowledge in Golik, who would explore such subjects in later artwork. The catalyst for her understanding of the application of these secrets, however, would not come for many years.

From the Artist:

The word esoterica means ‘things understood by or meant for a select few’. Exploring ancient esoteric knowledge, nearly forgotten and circulated among small groups for centuries, seems to have suddenly become trendy in recent years. I thought a lot about the reason why… It’s not a secret we’ve been through a tough several years, and it still feels like a rollercoaster. The world is experiencing a kind of crisis and transformation at the same time, and when things go wrong, we initially feel lost, disconnected, and confused. We need to know what’s coming in order to prepare. I think therein lies the reason for esoteric knowledge’s recent popularity: people are trying to find answers, heal the fear, and get in-touch with themselves through Astrology, Tarot readings, meditation, yoga, crystals, herbs and such. When the physical world becomes scary and doesn’t give us any reassurance, the spiritual world can provide hope to survive. Only by finding peace within us can we feel at peace in the external world. 

Since I was a child I found myself leaning towards esoteric knowledge. My paternal grandmother always delved into the holistic-spiritual-mystic side of things. Whenever I got a chance to spend time with her in the country, she would teach me about medicinal plants, natural remedies, and astrology. She used to do fortune readings back in the day, too. However I’ve always felt cautious about Tarot readings, as I think one of the most essential aspects of life is unpredictability, and I didn’t want to program myself in any way. 

About 8 years ago my husband got into Tarot. I’ve listened to him and watched him perform readings, and it’s changed my perspective completely. I’ve realized it’s not as much about reading the future, it’s about asking yourself important questions and finding answers within you. Reading the cards can be a useful guide, but it is such an intimate brutally honest conversation with oneself. Getting in touch with our true self can be a very challenging experience, but it is necessary for our development. When you raise a question and you see Tarot cards in front of you as an answer, you can’t trick yourself and avoid it—you just know what it means, and how you truly feel at the moment—it’s like a shortcut to your subconsciousness. In the sameway, I feel like art has that special power to mirror what’s deep inside of us, creator and viewer alike. It can be therapy for anyone.

Like many people during challenging times I turn to spirituality in addition to psychology and artmaking. It gives me a fundamental understanding that one of the big goals in life is to deeply know, love, and accept myself, so I can truly love and accept others, as well as the world we are living in. It undeniably affects my artwork and the subject matter.

After completing my Zodiac series a while back, I was approached by a publishing company to create my own Tarot Cards deck. I’ve been working on this project for a while, and what I’ve finished so far is represented in the show. Esoterica consists of paintings on themes ranging from Astrology and Tarot, to spiritual insights through symbolism. These artworks have a surrealistic approach with elements of figurative realism and often abstract backgrounds. I’ve used various techniques and mediums to create these pieces. You will find oil and acrylic paintings, mixed media drawings using pastel, colored pencils and even alcohol ink pours, as well as linocut hand prints. I’ve also used metal leafing on almost all of them—that has been my key element for years. European Renaissance, Orthodox iconography and modern culture are constant pillars of my creative style.

I want to dedicate this Esoterica compilation of works to both of my beloved who inspired me: my grandmother and my husband. Two of the people who influenced my life and my identity as an artist. 

My hope is that everyone who comes to this exhibit will be able to resonate with the artwork, find their reflection, and get closer to understanding their own internal worlds.” -Evgeniya Golik

Golik’s works will be on view at Sparks Gallery from May 4 – June 30, 2024 with a reception on Saturday, May 4, 2024 from 5-8pm.

  • Evgeniya Golik - Blossom - Detail

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