just 2014 painting little world life time like studio new paintings

Jana Brike

Latvia 1980

Pop Surrealism


Jana Brike
Jana Brike
March 30, 2014
Ok, I know it's so damn corny to quote somebody just to describe yourself, let alone Confucius, but this quote says all about my relationship with Widewalls, so forgive me for doing this: Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. Am I forgiven?

Exploring the internal feminine viciousness through her rich narrative paintings, Jana Brike creates the images that capture the wild beauty that is in accordance with her way of thinking and living. Growing up in a spirit of Soviet Russia, her Latvian inheritance led her to the world of stories focused on the beauty of nature told trough the language of ancient wisdom. Her main influences derive from hundreds of years long pagan literal tradition which has been passed from generation to generation. Always enjoyed in fairy tale illustrations, old Russian traditional painters and watching ballet and fantasy movies, Brike believed that she would be a painter since the age of five.

Jana Brike - Runaway Daughters, 2015
Jana Brike – Runaway Daughters, 2015

High Tide

Her world of imagination was encouraged and deeply affected by the totalitarian Soviet regime since her early childhood. Surrounded by poverty and scarcity of every kind, she made the toys from flowers, creating unique princesses that lasted one whole day. Spending the summers on the countryside with her granny, she enjoyed planting plants and wondering alone in the woods. At the age of ten, she started with her painting lessons, serious professional training where she learned about basics, as preparing canvases and pigments. She studied painting at the Art Academy of Latvia where she received her M.A. degree. Her work has been exhibited internationally at 11 solo shows and numerous group projects.

Brike’s world of imagination was deeply affected by the totalitarian Soviet regime

Jana Brike - Holidays at Grandma's Place, 2015 little just way
Jana Brike – Holidays at Grandma’s Place, 2015

Anatomy of Innocence

Over the ages, Brike’s style became more peaceful, harmonious and self-aware. Changing the mediums occasionally, as drawing, animation, mixed media sculpture, installation and digital art, she prefers the traditional oil painting which offers her smooth feel of the surface and slow meditative process. Her work consists of separate series growing around the certain idea. Relying on the intuition, there is no systematic research or planning in advance. The personal symbolism is derived from her vivid dreams of hurricanes and tidal waves, giving the water important meaning of life provider, as well as something danger and mystical. Her young, fragile characters who stand unprotected in a storm reveal Brike’s personal feelings in many situations in her life.

The water is important symbol in her paintings

Jana Brike - The Day When Time stood still, 2014 little
Jana Brike – The Day When Time stood still, 2014

Coming of Age

Exploring her inner being and personal life through her paintings, the essence is always in the issues of love, freedom, life and death, growing up and relationship with the own body image. Devoting the attention to the feminine soul space, she aims to catch the spirit of the wild woman in her girlhood body and the process of maturing. Rejecting the contemporary images that use female body as the objects, she puts her characters into a safe unsexual zone, obsessed with an idea of depicting innocence. She likes to use grown up women as the models, distorting their proportions and making them look like girls and boys on her paintings.

She aims to catch the spirit of the wild woman in her girlhood body

Jana Brike - Goldilock's Holiday, 2015 just way
Jana Brike – Goldilock’s Holiday, 2015

After the End of Time

Brike’s Pop Surrealist work is inspired mostly by the Latvian people, its folklore and fairytales. She is fascinated by a children book illustrations and old school soviet animation films. Also, she looks up to the old masters and traditional paintings and the western pop culture. The list of phenomena and things she is inspired by goes on and on, but we’ll add only a few more: a secret and mystical imagery of the war and deportations, ballet, and the Latvian countryside Catholic Church ceremonies. However, most of all, Jana is inspired by the human soul, its pursuit of dreams, love, and self-discovery.

This artist is represented by Stephanie Chefas Projects.

Jana Brike lives in Latvia, in her native town of Riga.

Featured image: portrait photo copyright © artist
All images courtesy of the artist

YearExhibition titleMuseum/GallerySolo/Group
2015Anatomy of Innocence Copro gallery, Los AngelesSolo
2015Don’t Wake Daddy X Feinkunst Kruger gallery, HamburgGroup
201513th Hour Last Rites gallery, New YorkGroup
2015Les Petit Fours Friends of Leon Gallery and Beautiful Bizarre Magazine, SydneyGroup
2015The BLAB Show Copro gallery, Los AngelesGroup
2015Ephemeral: Territory of Girls Jiro Miura gallery, TokyoGroup
2015Storybook Modern Eden gallery, San FranciscoGroup
2015Inevitably Imperfect Vinyl on Vinyl gallery, ManilaGroup
2015Golden Modern Eden gallery, San FranciscoGroup
2015Floating Intersections Pink Zeppelin Gallery, BerlinGroup
2014Milk Secret Fresh gallery, ManilaGroup
2014Mysterium Cosmographicum Stephen Romano gallery, New YorkGroup
2014Small Indignities the Red Truck gallery, New OrleansGroup
2014After The End of Time FB69 gallery, MuensterSolo
2014Welcome to the Dreamtime Stephen Romano gallery, New YorkGroup
2014Suggestivism Copro gallery, Los AngelesGroup
2014The BLAB Show Copro gallery, Los AngelesGroup
2014Metro Show 2014 With Stephen Romano gallery, New YorkGroup
2013My Paralles Lives Maksla XO gallery, RigaSolo
2013PULSE New York Art Fair and The Metro ShowGroup
2013Something Wicked This Way ComesCella Gallery, Los AngelesGroup
2013Draw Auguste Clown Gallery, MelbourneGroup
2013Inevitably Imperfect Artery Gallery, BangkokGroup
2013Songs of Purity Distinction gallery, San DiegoSolo
2013Painted Sound Flower Pepper Gallery, Los AngelesGroup
2012Winter of Love Mondo Pop gallery, RomeSolo
2012The Metro Show Art FairNew YorkGroup
2012Anomalies Beinart Collective; Copro gallery, Los AngelesGroup
2012The BLAB Show Copro gallery, Los AngelesGroup
2012Go with the Flow Lucca, ItalyGroup
2012Preview Berlin Art FairMaksla XO gallery, BerlinGroup
2012Taboo Beinart Collective, Last Rites gallery, New YorkGroup
2012Vending Art Machineproject by Oficina 36, Barcelona, Spain with Maksla XO gallery Group
2012SWAB, art fair and TOYZ for FLS auction Barcelona, Spain with Maksla XO gallery Group
2012This is So Contemporary Ayden Gallery, Vancouver Group
2012Closeup of pop-surrealism and Urban Art Miomao gallery, Perugia, Italy Group
2011 SoMilk and Bloodgallery Maksla XO gallery, Riga Group
2011Krampus showgallery Curly Tale, ChicagoGroup
2011Taetrum et Dulce Mondo Pop Gallery, Rome Group
2011Voyage Insidegallery Curly Tale, ChicagoSolo
2011The BLAB Show Copro gallery, Los AngelesGroup
2011Beyond Black and WhiteNational Library of St Petersburg, Russia Group
2011Sanrio For Smile, charity show for festival „Mi Japan Chiostri dell’Umanitaria, Milano Group
2011The BLAB Showgallery „Roq La Rue, SeattleGroup
2011Book of Taboogallery Distinction, San Diego, CaliforniaSolo
2010Science of Sleepin White Piano house, Sigulda, LatviaSolo
2010Subtleties of Charactergallery WWA, Los AngelesGroup
2010Installation Comfort me Again for project Experimental Station LaimdotaContemporary Music and Art Festival, Cesis, Latvia Group
2010Horrorwood gallery WWA, Los Angeles, CaliforniaGroup
2010Jest in Time. The Phylogenesis of Clownsgallery Distinction, San Diego, CaliforniaGroup
2010The Lost Childrengallery Distinction, San Diego, CaliforniaSolo
2009Unbearable FreedomWhite Night 2009 festival, Riga, Latvia Group
2009Art Zurich 2009 Switzerland Group
2009The Dark Arts Laboratory gallery Slazds, Riga, Latvia Group
2009European cities in the paintings of Latvian artists II Gallery ASuna, Riga Group
2009Good-bye cruel world Gallery Alma, Riga, Latvia Group
2009International Contemporary Art Fair Europ’ART GeneveGroup
2009Purity, Drawing exhibition of young Latvian contemporary artists Creative space Tasty, Riga, Latvia Group
2009Bridge Art Fair NewYorkGroup
2008 Contemporary art fair Lineart Belgium, Gallery Art Garden Group
2008Exhibition of the contemporary Latvian art Consulate of Latvia in Zurich, Switzerland Group
2008Painting of the year Gallery ASuna, Riga, Latvia Group
2008Autumn 080808, I am Georgian The gallery of the Latvian Artist Union, Riga, Latvia Group
2008Time, The Exchange Project of the Latvian and Finnish artists Exhibition in Helsinki, Finland Group
2008Take your time, The new Latvian painters – exhibition of the contemporary figurative painting Part of the festival program White nights 2008, Strelnieku street, Riga Group
2008International Contemporary Art Fair Europ’ART GeneveGroup
2008Cameo II gallery Art Garden, Riga, Latvia Group
2008The Art Now Fair. Hotel 3030, New YorkDuo
2008European cities in the paintings of Latvian artistsThe Permanent Representation of the Republic of Latvia to the EU, Brussels, Belgium Group
2008Apgaztais prieks, Joy Inverted Gallery Mans’s, Jekabpils, Latvia Group
2008The Art EXPO Fair New YorkGroup
2008ART Innsbruck 2008 International Fair for Contemporary Art. Innsbruck, Austria Group
2007Painting of the yeargallery ASuna, Riga Group
2007Playgroundin gallery Bastejs, RigaSolo
2007Viss ir balts, Everything is White Laipa, ValmieraGroup
2007Myth about…C onsulate general of Latvia, St. Petersburg, Russia Group
2007Visual art project Ropažu pleners 2007Ropazi, Latvia Group
2007Silence Open Air Museum of Ventspils, Latvia Group
20079th International Contemporary Art Fair Art International Zurich Kongresshaus Zurich, Switzerland Group
2007Brighton Art Fair 2007 Gallery Rhapsody House, UK Group
2007Art & Soul. Fine art auction in aid of Demelza Hospice Care for Children Tunbridge Wells, UK Group
2006Bounded transference Gallery Mans’s, Jekabpils, Latvia Group
2006Rudens 2006, Autumn 2006 Railway museum, Riga, Latvia Group
2006My tender beast Art Garden, Riga, Latvia Group
2006Mondo Lettone. Made in Italy Sardinia, Italy Group
2006Contemporary women artists Kreishaus, Giterslo region, Germany Group
2006Human, Exhibition of figurative painting Exhibition hall of Riga Art and Design College, Riga Group
2006Tra i colori del Carnevale. Artisti Baltici a confronto con artisti Sardi Sardinia, Italy Group
2006Exhibition of the Latvian contemporary painting Castle of Jekabpils, Latvia Group
2006L’Eros degli Artisti da Est a Ovest for Priapeide 2006San Maurizio square, Venice Group
2005Painting of The Year Gallery ASuna, Riga, Latvia Group
2005Cafe Art Exhibition Gallery RTBiz, Edinburgh, UK Group
2005Surprising Academy La Serre, Saint-EtienneGroup
2005Portrait of a flower Carrousell, Riga, Latvia Group
2005Firebird Seekers Convent yard, Riga, LatviaSolo
2005Exhibition of Latvian contemporary painting ANO house, Riga, Latvia Group
2005Sguardo ad est Sala Delegazione Comunale and Salone Parrochiale, Sardinia, Italy Group
2005Auction of Sotheby’s Gli amici artisti per le bambine di kalitalaIn collaboration with Sabera Foundation, Milano, Italy Group
2005Tre pittrici lettoni Venice Biennale 51. Venice, Italy Group
2005 xhibition of Latvian art Institute of I.Repin, St.Petersburg, Russia Group
2005Dreaming of somethingGallery New Realms, London, UK Group
2005L’eros degli artisti Smallbobcafe galleria, Lawrence, Italy Group
2004 CameoArt Garden gallery, Riga, Latvia Group
2004Opening exhibition Gallery New Realms, London Group
2004Exhibition of Latvian Academy of ArtThe University of Art and design, Helsinki, Finland Group
2004I Fumi Cotti di Ripe San Ginesio San Ginesio, Italy Group
2004Six Ways to Dream ART ID Gallery Tunbridge Wells Group
2004Absolute thingsin Art Garden gallery, Riga, Latvia Group
2004Plein air Ropazi, Latvia Group
2004Unknown Boheme House Gallery, London, UK Group
2004UnknownART house galleries, Tunbridge Wells and London, England Group
2004Latvian contemporary painting European Commission, Brussels Group
2004That Inside You Theatre of Valmiera, Latvia Group
2003Young contemporary art Art Academy of Latvia, Riga, LatviaGroup
2003Participation in art fair StArt Strasburg, SwitzerlandGroup
2002Young contemporary artAutostop, Riga, LatviaGroup
1998Contemporary painting Gallery of Latvian Artists Union, Riga, LatviaGroup
1997Contemporary painting Gallery Vecriga, Riga, LatviaGroup
1996Plein air and exhibition of young artists dedicated to M.Shagal Minsk, BelarusGroup