SOLD | Easy Does It


Oil painting
Elena Zolotnitsky

Oil on mylar. Custom framed
6″H, 6″W
(13″H, 13″W framed)

The Extinct series is a collection of semi-abstract characters. They are “portraits” of antique arm chairs, which exist only in my imagination. Each of them is colored into certain emotion. The first one I painted refused to come to life till I laid the gold leaf application on its backing, reminiscent of vertebrae… That intuitive move transformed the object of an old chair into a species of extinction. The reference that gave the name to the first painting and to the series. I see this collection as a logical progression of my creative journey. Over the past few years I have been more interested in the abstract qualities of the surface. Color becoming the essential means of expression. With the simplifying of shapes and composition and discovering a new complexity of color and paint application, I am not just painting a picture – I am experiencing one. The physical part of “experience” involves a lot of scrapings, impasto, transparencies, palette knife applications, accidents and false starts – working the surface till it starts breathing on its own.


Growing up in Moscow I liked to “play secrets.” As an only child I had to occupy myself somehow. The game involved wrappers for chocolates. The better chocolates, the more intricate the wrappers. The best had a picture in the middle (perhaps a tiny replica of some famous Russian masterpiece hanging at Tretyakov Gallery) and the silver lining. After spending hours on folding them, still smelling of chocolate, just right, completed with the silver design of the lining leaf, you had to hunt for another essential element of a “secret.” That would be a piece of glass. The beer bottled ones, amber in color were the most magical. Then you had to bury the folded wrapper with the glass on top in the shallow grave of the playground’s dirt. That was a “secret.”

The magic happened when the young artist, on all fours and with her nose close to the ground, started to push the dirt away with a single finger in a slow circular motion, clearing the tiny window of colored glass….What a transformation! In the first shock of discovery it takes you a while to comprehend what you are actually seeing. Then it sinks in: a mystery of the familiar….And the feeling! Of wonder, of revelation! I think that all my life I am chasing that feeling—the mystery to be discovered. That instantaneous shift of reality, the recognition of magic.


To order artwork an existing artwork, please contact the artist directly using the email address provided in their description. To commission a custom-made work, please use this form.

Listed prices are approximate, and subject to change.

Thank you.

Monday – Friday      10 AM to 6 PM
Pacific Standard Time



Mailing Address:
American Artwork
930 Dwight Way #7
Berkeley, CA 94710