“Yesterday I learned how to froth the milk properly here,” she says, “I’ll make us a cappuccino.” It’s the little things that count – with these words Kristina Suvorova introduced herself. And it’s true: she makes a coffee with the portafilter machine and sprinkles it with cinnamon. Meanwhile, more telling details are discovered in her studio: a bowl of limes and one with two bright red pomegranates; colorful candles on the desk; strong yet pleasant ginger scent from the diffuser.
You can look at everything in this room several times – and each time you would notice something new. On March 30, 1989, Kristina Suvorova was born in Lithuania. It was a symbolic year, protests against the Soviet Union formed in the Baltic States. Little Kristina was still in her nappies when Lithuania declared its independence. Even as a child, she knew that the country should not be her home forever. After graduating from high school, she attended college in Denmark for a year.
“It was an important stage in my life. I had a great art teacher there who encouraged and encouraged creativity in me,” she says, and her accent occasionally comes through. In 2010 she began to study “Design and Animation” in Darmstadt – her first choice, art, was too uncertain for her parents. After completing her studies in 2014, she moved to Frankfurt, still had part-time jobs, but concentrated more and more on her passion. “I’m a bit proud that I followed my dream, always working and drawing at the same time,” she says.
“My head is constantly rattling”
She has now been a full-time artist for more than three years. The thirty-three-year-old calls her studio her favorite place. “The atmosphere around me is very important to me. Everything I see I record directly, I’m very sensitive to that.” She loves to bring things to life. Her paintings fill large canvases. But everything here is actually art, even a candle glass or the wine glasses that she bought at the flea market.
“My head is constantly rattling,” she says, “I want to give each object a personality, to give eyes.” And that is to be understood quite literally. How would you describe your art in a few words? She thinks. “I think I can only sum it up in a nutshell.” Then she lashes out: The eyes as a recurring motif are intended to show that you can look at many things from a different perspective and not judge so quickly. It’s all about seeing the little things. “Maybe my pictures look playful and happy. But they aren’t always like that. I’m just trying to wrap it in a positive way.”
Especially in these times. The war in Ukraine and the threat to her homeland bother her. The dual perspective of her fantasy creatures is possibly due to the biographical dichotomy of having grown up in a small country under Russian dominance – and having Russian and Lithuanian family members. So when magazines describe their work as “poppy” or “funny,” that’s only half the story. Not even that in times of war. Their ideas mostly arise in everyday life. “I always imagine that there is a little person sitting in my head who is constantly making sketches and notes that I can later put on the canvas.”
Routines are impossible
Many suggestions come from their dreams and their strong imagination. As she talks, she rolls a cigarette in a relaxed manner. Kristina Suvorova loves fashion, which is also an art form. All the women in her family in Lithuania could sew, even at the age of seven. Today she is wearing silver leggings, over which she wears a long, pastel-colored kimono. She usually painted her lips red. She is most happy about the connection between art and fashion. Her favorite project was working with Monosuit, a New York fashion label.
For this she painted individual parts of a model with her typical design. The originals were presented at New York Fashion Week. “It was like a living painting,” says Suvorova. “According to Maria Agapkina, the designer, this was the most successful monosuit collection. Even Madonna wore a dress with my print.” Next, she wants to start sculpting. If she has a new idea, she implements it, just like that. This can also be seen in their studio. Several half-finished paintings are on easels or leaning against the walls.
The universe laughs at me
“Whenever I don’t know what to do, an idea for the next picture is born, and I have to start with that immediately.” Her spontaneous reactions do not allow for routine. “I thought about getting into a routine a few days ago, but it’s impossible. If I decide to only be creative in the studio for a week, the universe laughs at me and comes up with new projects.” But that’s exactly the good thing about it: Because what she doesn’t like is monotony.
At the beginning she only worked with black paint and called herself an illustrator. Now her pictures are more colorful, she uses oil paints, and you can now call her an artist. “Color brings joy – and opens up new processes and feelings.” Women in art is also her theme. “Leonora Carrington,” she exclaims, pulling out an illustrated book by the surrealist artist. “Wow, I’m totally fascinated by her. Where’s my coffee anyway?” So another cappuccino. “Maybe coconut milk instead of oat milk?” The milk froth gets an artistic pinch of cinnamon again.