Elena Yellow is an emerging Swiss painter whose work has already received international exposure. Her oil on canvas paintings comprise abstract landscapes and employ a dense color palette to create a sense of peaceful melancholia. She hopes that her art will serve as a respite and a catalyst for introspection.
When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
Growing up in Siberia, I attended extensive courses in art, music, and mathematics. Among all these things to do every day, I quickly understood that the unlimited possibilities of visual art was the most intriguing thing to me. After that, I fell in love with the city of Saint-Petersburg. It was a simple decision to study art in the midst of this city’s beauty, cultural history, and melancholic mood. So, to answer your question: I never chose to be an artist, I needed to become one.
Can you talk about your artistic influences and other artists you are most inspired by?
One of my strongest influences and passions go towards the work of Austrian-born artist and visionary Friedensreich Hundertwasser. He was a man of exceptional awareness, not only for art, but also for architecture and the harmony between ourselves and nature surrounding us. The world would be a much better place if we were all a bit more influenced by him.
Do you prefer to work alone or collaborate with others?
While most of my works were painted by myself alone, I always enjoyed working with other artists. It helps broadening and extending my vision for my future works as well. Particularly I enjoyed collaborating with Berlin-based designer Sasha Alexandra. We worked together on a variety of things, even murals and windows of a Mexican-Russian fusion restaurant! Since I moved to Switzerland in 2018, opportunities for collaborations have become scarcer, as I am getting a foothold of the local art scene.
Can you tell us about a project you’re currently working on?
Most recently, I exhibited a series at SwissArtExpo in the main hall of Zurich’s main station. The works are inspired by the colors and contrasts of the landscapes around the place where I live, a town called Biel in the “county of three lakes” in Switzerland. We are surrounded by still lakes, rocky mountains, vineyards, and many wild gorges. Living here and hiking in nature inspires me to use different combinations, forms, and movements in my works, hence the simple name of the series: “Biel”.
What do you think you would you be doing if you weren’t an artist?
I would be mathematician: Firstly because I was always good at it in school, secondly because mathematics is the art among the sciences. Many famous mathematicians saw themselves as creative artists, and had an idealist vision for life. I particularly admire Emmy Noether, who was not only a great abstract creative genius (or, in other words, an artist), but also had a strong spirit to stand up for what she believed in.
Have you found any other artists on Singulart whose work you admire?
Without having seen through all the great talents on Singulart, I am intrigued by the colorful compositions by Marek Herburt (Australia) and the play with movement and perspective by Michel Villa (Canada).
What advice would you give to young artists starting out?
Be free, positive, romantic and work every day! There is nothing comparing to being able to make your true passion your work.