Since emigrating from Russia in 1989, Arlington artist Olga Yulikova has been active in the arts as a teacher as well as public and commissioned artist. Olga has taught at the Arlington Center for the Arts, Brookline Art Center, Braintree Art Center and the JCC, Brighton. Her public murals and installations have been commissioned by the cities of Cambridge, Boston and Brookline as well as in California.
Layers of memory, layers of meaning, layers of paint, these are the key ingredients in my paintings. They are inspired by my travels, my friends, books I read, stories I hear. They reflect my hope and longing. They are made up of all my personal history, my infatuations, secrets and hang-ups. The paint is just a safe medium I use in order to share my secrets. Some pieces are more coded (and coated) and layered than others.
All Angels Against War for example was my reaction to the beginning of the war in Iraq. I was very much against it, and was just returning from Italy where the peace Pace flags were waving everywhere in the protest against the American invasion. On that trip I visited a church in Verona with the most exquisite recently restored frescos that were once ruined during an ancient war. The crumbling images of saints and warriors were so beautiful and sad, and the entire walls were chiseled with what looked like bullet holes. Explained the helpful attendant of the museum, these were the marks made by some older weapons. These holes, these symmetrical marks were more detrimental than the time that ages frescos. I thought I had to use this effect in my antiwar paintings somehow.
My favorite artist Friedrich Hundertwasser once said that ‘the arts have at least the duty to give people hope and show them beautiful paths along which they can go.’ I sincerely hope that my work offers a window to a path I think is worth taken.”