Valeria Narbikova was born in Moscow in 1958. Educated at the Maxim Gorky Literary Institute. Took up painting in 1980. Works on display in Riga and Vladivostok Modern Art Museum, in the Literary Museum, and owned by private collectors in Rusia, France, Denmark, Germany and other countries. Took part in art shows in Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Riga, Vladivistok, Novosibirsk and Paris.
Some people may feel perplexed seeing Valeria Narbikova's art defined thus: a trifle too weird, what? Alas, this has been known to happen before; simple things tend to seem complicated at times, Myself, I keep hearing the name given to Mikhail Shemiakin's style - metaphysical synthesism - poohed - poohed as so much sounding brass. While what the artist and his friends did in the '60s was explore ancient art (and in those times, that is, antiquity, art was seen as something metaphysical); also they combined the roots of ancient art and certain finds of its modern counterpart in their work, in other words, resorted to synthesis. Hence metaphysical synthesism. As for Valeria Narbikova's pictures, you can see for yourself that is realism. A painter always proceeds from some sort of reality in their work, from something concrete. At the same time her kind of art is nothing to do with either academic or fantastical realism. Reality Narbikova-style is invariably shroudd in mist, as it were not unlike the Caucasian mountain in peaks or the London Thames, and transparent mist at that. Through it one can see fairly clearly what is in the picture, so that a Nerbikova Gogol will never be confused with any other. And yeat, this mild mist, I am almost tempted to say "nebulous mist", that still takes some peering, meditatin on the picture. so to speak, does plunge us into some mystery, some mysticism.
Valeria Narbikova is far better known for her literary work. Her books were published not only in Russia, but also in France, Germany, Holland, Japan and the United States. When writing, among other things, she delights in juggling with words and phrases, playing with language itself... In painting, too, she likes to play, as she does in life, frequently. for such is her style; so that it is easy to trace a connection between her books and pictures.
Incidentally, Valeria Narbikova is something of a veteran artist - she has been painting pictures since the early '80s. But until the 1990s she rarely exhibited her pieces. Thus the 1986 exhibition in the Literary Institute was probably her only personal show at the time. The 1990s are a different matter; there was a personal exhibition in the Literary Museum (1994), participation in art shows in Nizhny Novgorod, Riga, Vladivistok, Paris and - the most recent instance - in Moscow, in the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts.
So in terms of popularity Narbikova the artist may well eventually catch up with Narbikova the prose writer, say by 2000. And this race seems uncannily game-like, so typical of Valeria Narbikova, wouldn't you agree?