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I am from Brooklyn, New York and have lived here ever since I was born. My parents are Russian

and Ukrainian immigrants and have spoken to me in Russian my entire life. My father is a fine artists and works as a scenic artists for different tv shows such as Law and Order and 30 Rock. He is also a bass guitarists and has gigs every week in local restaurants, bars and cafes. Before my mom moved to America, she worked in a theater, designing costumes, wigs and jewelry. Both of my parents have a good eye and I am thankful that they passed it down to me.

About four years ago my dad took me to a drawing session with a nude model. Since my first session, I’ve realized how much a single line can accomplish. The simplest nuances such as the arch of the back, the twist of the neck, the reaching or bending of the arm or leg form a fluid progression, leading the eye from the top of the head to the bottom of the feet.

I began experimenting with the relationship between line and time. The quicker the drawing, the looser the line became while longer drawings allowed it to be more controlled and precise. I’ve especially grown to value this relationship through blind contours. When given two minutes to create the form I saw, my line became more confident. The charcoal in my hand reached the other side of the page in a matter of seconds, creating a dramatic, bold stroke. But if I was given twenty minutes on one blind contour, my line became more jagged. The charcoal outlined every hair, every nail and every crease. The contour started to adjust its value and brought more depth with every movement. This wide range of line work I’ve discovered made me realize that line has a direct relationship to the way I am. I am not a uniform person, and I always seek change. I try not to stay static as an individual and look for ways to bring a variety of new experiences into my life. Line gives me the opportunity to manipulate form, letting me decide how connected or disconnected, how jagged or smooth, it should be. I am constantly moving from one end of the spectrum to the other, ranging from two-minute blind contours to large-scale, detailed pieces.

Because of line, my art style has evolved. I used to be closed off, working only in a way that was comfortable for me, scared to work bigger and try different media. After discovering the endless possibilities that line holds, I lost my fear of experimentation. I’ve realized how limited I was being when it came to art and how constricted I was in my work. I would not let myself work with anything other than pen and ink because that was the medium I knew; the line that the pen created was the only one I was used to. Now, I am working on my second large piece, using a medium I used to despise - oil pastel. I haven’t stopped pushing myself outside of my comfort zone since.

Alika Feldman: Bio

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