Artist creates ethereal characters with milk white skin and blood red lips

The art of Jana Brike has an ethereal quality to it that’s uncommon. Her series all include the same mystical style, with delicate characters in emotive and fairytale situations. Growing up in the shadow of Soviet Russia, the Latvian artist often gathers inspiration and rich narratives from the Latvian language, various fairytales or fables, traditional ballets, Renaissance paintings in Bibles, and the romanticism period. Brike depicts the spirit of femininity in many of her paintings, choosing pastel and pale colours to evoke fragility.

Talking about her ‘Milk and Blood’ series, the artist says: “Milk and blood are words which we use to describe a young, healthy girl or a child in Latvian language, but separately for each of these words can be found a complicate semiotic meaning. All the works of exhibition seems to be portraits of children and young people, moreover the composition and expression style is very classical with a reference to traditional painting. But at the same time none of them is real ”portrait” as they do not represent a concrete person or a situation. Maybe these are just potential portraits of someone’s emotional experience or feeling. They are not even children, what I have painted. Those are metaphors for innocence, potential of development, vulnerability, intuition”.