This is part of a series of lively, fun, and challenging study guides illustrated by my artwork about Russian history. (The first, Introductory Study Guide is here). In addition to being an artist, I have a Ph. D. in Russian History from the University of Michigan. My new paintings and mixed media works about Russia are collectively titled PLAYGROUND [...]
Anne Bobroff-Hajal paints relationships. She captures human beings in spontaneous moments of warm connection with people they love – with the viewer of the portrait or with another person in the painting.
"To me, the essence of a portrait is human expression. I believe the best kind of portrait catches that unique expression that makes you feel most alive with the person you've commissioned a portrait of."
As an artist, I paint detailed and whimsical visual stories about powerful human motivations: love, greed, grief, competition, fury - as shaped by the landscapes in which those humans live. My background in animation, painting, and Russian history have merged in my new project, collectively titled Playground of the Autocrats. This series of artworks draws on animation techniques, icons, and such formats as graphic novels to tell stories of the Russian landscape and its history from Ivan the Terrible to Stalin (and Putin). I'm now developing a complex process of repeated layering of painting on digital images of my own paintings and of photographs. “The Most Exposed Terrain On Earth,” a Playground of the Autocrats triptych, was shown in a recent episode of the MTV reality show, Friendzone. “Home Security At Any Crazy Price,” a Playground of the Autocrats triptych, was selected by Nan Rosenthal, just retired from New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, for her show “Contemporary Confrontations.” My piece was singled out in the New York Timesreview of the show, as “one of the best...filled with wonderful goodies.” I grew up preparing to be an artist, drawing and painting constantly. Then I rebelled against my early plan, earning a Ph. D. in Russian History. I lived in the USSR for a year before the fall of Communism, doing research in Soviet archives for my dissertation, later published as a book,Working Women in Russia Under the Hunger Tsars. Longing to interweave history and art, I wrote screenplays, designed characters and scenes, and drew storyboards for animated and live action films. I was on the board of the East Coast chapter of the international animation society for a number of years, and was the Animation Program Advisor to the Jacob Burns Film Center. I've returned to creating the still image over the last eight years.Show more about Anne