Elena Rotenberg’s paintings arouse curiosity, attesting to painterly intelligence rife with “street knowledge” and “studio wisdom.”
They call upon the viewer to draw nearer and linger on the elusive details comprising their subjects, which are simultaneously familiar and unfamiliar.
Rotenberg introduces an innovative, up-to-date painterly language originating in graffiti and snapshots such as those readily available and easily disseminated in the social media. As in photography, she edits and manipulates the painted image, which thus becomes dynamic, while also harnessing its built-in flaws, such as masking, blurring, and lack of focus. Using airbrush as her painting technique, Rotenberg transforms these shortcomings into a sophisticated language which infuses the painting on canvas with street qualities.
Seemingly banal, mundane scenes—e.g. a mass outdoor barbecue (Alaesh, 2018), or a selfie against the backdrop of tourist sites (Abduction of Europa, 2019)—surrender great thought and a painterly dialogue with the “subject,” while every mise en scène/snapshot surrenders both detachment and belonging, both dissociation and fusion.