The artist Dasha Shishkin paints dreamlike, hazily-defined scenarios where narratives involving elongated, oddly shaped figures—often on the fringes of abstraction—unfurl through the deftness of her line and virtuoso application of color. The playfulness of her compositions, however, is tempered by an undercurrent of the perverse and sinister, where cannibalism and mutilated bodies appear as often as tea-sipping in the society she depicts.
Born in Russia to a puppeteer father and a mother who directed folk theater, Shishkin upholds the transportive spirit of the carnivalesque in her work. Formally, she often incorporates such unconventional materials as wallpaper, ripped canvas, and Sumi ink into her compositions, fusing traditional painting and collage. Shishkin's work has been exhibited internationally, including in presentations at the Hamburger Kunsthalle (2007), the Museum of Modern Art (2006), and the Neuberger Museum of Art in Purchase, New York (2010).