Nina Valetova's mind-bending paintings stake out fresh territory in contemporary surrealist painting. Her images tap directly into an occasionally nightmarish realm of the human subconscious, where faces dissolve and disintegrate, and the human body can morph into landscape, atmosphere or architecture. Her images also reveal our contemporary obsessions with political power, dictators, oppression, ferocity and the accompanying emotional malaise. She unearths images which disturb precisely because they speak to our own collective fantasies and anxieties. Influenced by Hieronymus Bosch as much as Salvador Dalí, Nina's works are just as accessible and complex as those two surrealist masters.
In addition to the commentary on human nature's follies and foibles implied in her works, there is pathos in her images, in the faces she presents to us, and no matter how bizarre her imagery, how distorted the bodies, faces and landscapes of her subjects, she creates her worlds with a strong sense of composition, and holds up a mirror for us which is both cultural and deeply personal.