about Anya Slonim

Anya Slonim photo portrait (1970s)

Born in Moscow, Russia, (16 May, 1946) Anya Slonim (nee Anna Misko) grew up in an atmosphere of non-conformism, international culture, and art.

Both of Anya's parents graduated from the Moscow State University. Her multilingual Polish father became a professor of history who first worked at the Polish University in Lviv, and later in the Institute of Slavic Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, in Moscow. Anya's Russian mother worked as an editor in the Soviet national daily newspaper 'Izvestia'.

As a little girl, Anya was enthralled by the artistry of the images depicted in the French magazines that belonged to her mother - Gazette du Bon Ton, Modes et manieres d'aujourd'hui, La Guirlande des Mois – the miraculously survived stylish publications on fashion and design.  The beautiful Art Deco and Art Nouveau illustrations imprinted in her childish imagination would later inspire Anya in her own artistic work. 

In 1960s, Anya got fascinated with the passionate world of the dubbed Argentinian movies that were shown in the cinemas in Moscow. Especially the ones with the charming Lolita Torres. The beautiful singer-actress and her ‘foreign’ facial features would become another source of inspiration for Anya and would appear on her paintings of femme fatales and elegant temptresses.

Having grown up in the midst of underground non-conformists artists of the second wave of the Russian avant-garde, Anya had been accepted by them as one of their own and was a frequent guest at the 'Tower on the Swamp' gatherings organised by a colourful Moscow bohemian, Slava Len, at his flat, where she visited apartment exhibitions, listened to poems, as well as attended readings of Slava's book about Mikhail Baryshnikov.

In 1972, after graduation from the Moscow State University, the department of Fine Arts, with the Majors in Painting and Drawing, Anya Slonim started working as a commercial artist in the State Design Center in Moscow, Russia.

At the same time, during 1970s and 80s, Anya focused on reinventing modern art, which had become popular in the USSR since the infamous 'immigrations' of Nureyev, Makarova, and Baryshnikov, by introducing elements of deconstruction and eclecticism into her paintings.

 

By the end of 1980s, she got tired of the post-modern and started developing RE-CEPT-ART (re-septualism) – a self-explanatory art of the second reflection which focuses on the creative process itself rather than a result of it.

However, before Anya could fully devote herself to her artistic career there was a certain dream of hers to still come true. Ever since Anya was a 12-year-old girl, she had dreamt of going to 'America'. One of the reasons was her enchantment with jazz that she had a chance to listen to on a radio station transmitting from Poland at her grandmother’s in the Western Belorussia.

Her other fascination with the far away land of ‘America’ was created by the movie The Magnificent Seven (1960). Anya had fallen in love with each of The Seven but in particular with the characters Steve McQueen and Yul Brynner.

Anya’s ‘American’ dream was realised in August 1991 when she, her two children and her husband immigrated and settled down in sunny Tucson, Arizona. And it’s there in the land of the Grand Canyon and the cactus-filled Sonoran Desert that Anya Slonim, while listening to jazz, merged all her creative inspirations and transformed them into more than 200 paintings that have been presented at art exhibitions in New York, Moscow, Tucson, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, and Mexico. 

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