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Artist Statement


With my artistic practice, I create oil paintings, watercolors, and sculptural objects to focus on issues of gender, body, and the self. I explore different aspects of human existence through the subject, a woman searching for and creating her identity, and finding self-empowerment. 
This woman strikes a balance within herself, her body, and her sexuality. She seeks and positions herself in a world that is full of ambitions, disappointments, and patriarchal attitudes, a modern, constantly changing society, where globalization, migration, and real politics occur. 

I see the female body as a source of vitality, desire, and power. My attention to the body comes from my immigrant experience. I left my country and everything I had, but my body is inseparable. It belongs only to me. It physically presents itself, like an anchor connecting me with reality.


Elena Chestnykh was born in Novosibirsk, Russia and currently, lives and works in New York. She has exhibited both nationally and internationally including at the Museum of Contemporary Art Erarta (MCAE) in Saint-Petersburg, the Art Center WINZAVOD, in Moscow, the State Museum of  Novosibirsk, Tomsk, and Kemerovo in Russia, and Nord Art 2010, Rendsburg, Germany.

In 2013, Urban Reflections traveled to New York Erarta Gallery and became Chestnykh’s first solo exhibition in the United States. In 2022, Elena Chestnykh’s personal exhibition Woman in Landscape was presented at Space 776 Gallery.   Also, Chestnykh showed her work in New York atThe Untitled Space, SFAprojects Gallery, The Royal Gallery, Trenton Artwork Center, NJ, and in a selected group exhibition at the School of Visual Art Gallery in Chelsea, NYC. 

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