Olga Gouskova is a contemporary figure artist currently centered in Bruges. She was born in Moscow, Russia in July of 1974. She attended school in Russia at the Byelorussian Academy of Arts, and Design from 1992-1996. She developed a very unique style combining both illustration, and painting. She begins with a technical drawing of the figure with a sepia pen focusing on the form of the figure, then she douses the background in brightly colored acrylic paint. To finish off her works she exaggerates certain areas with pen marks to add to the illustrative quality of the work. Her works typically focus on nude or partially nude females only revealing certain body parts to the viewer. She desires to examine the figures emotions, memories, and allude a sort of mysteriousness about them. She loves to emphasize the femininity of the female form, and the delicacy of these women. Many of her figures look the viewer straight on, almost as if their inviting the viewer to gaze at their beauty.
Gouskova loves creating very soft, and gentle skin tones while contrasting them with the harsh illustrative lines that outline the figures, and the background. She places her figures in a dynamic composition, and surrounds them with simple objects such as flowers, berries, and even in some cases masks. She balances out her composition with the female figure usually taking up most of the page and, placing a few props off to the side as if the figure just happened upon them as she was modeling for Gouskova. When it comes to color schemes Gouskova creates works with harmonious hues, and chromas. Rarely does she delve into creating harsh high contrast pieces. Most of her colors consist of warm orange, red, and yellow tones.
I think what I find most inspiring about Gouskova’s work is how simple her pieces are. She can rely on her technical skill, and relaxed palette to create intriguing, and comforting works. She stylizes the figure’s hair beautifully. Swirling it, and tossing it to the wind with her bold line work. Her combination of flat color in the background with shading of the figure’s skin creates such a unique contrast that in most pieces would work against the artist. However, it’s obvious that Gouskova’s experimentation has paid off and she has found a style that works wonderfully throughout her works.
One of my favorite pieces of hers would have to be the work, “Pearl”. In this piece the figure is strewn diagonally across the canvas gently brushing her hand over her forehead, and across her chest. The color scheme for this piece consists of warm tones such as reds, yellows, and oranges. The figure is posed in a very seductive manner. Her dress is inching off of her shoulders, and her eyes lock with the viewer drawing them in. Gouskova creates a very realistic portrait of the figure, while still placing her own spin on the piece. She adds small dark details of flowers throughout the background of the piece to illuminate the lighter figure in the foreground. The pearl necklace offsets the painting a bit and, adds to the seductive nature of the piece. Just as many of Gouskova’s work this piece relays the ideas of mystery, beauty, and temptation.