Yuliya Lanina is a Russian – born American multimedia artist who lives and works in Austin, TX. Her work ranges from paintings and mechanical sculptures to animations and video. Lanina is particularly interested in turning the traditional medium of painting into a multi-dimensional and interactive experience for the viewer. She strives to accomplish this by creating interactive mechanical sculptures with the original soundtrack as well as stop-motion animations based on her paintings and accompanied by original music compositions. Both of these endeavors result in a “New Painting”– multi-sensory, time-based, and in action. Employing surreal imagery to simultaneously elicit feelings of uneasiness and empathy, Lanina paints and collages bizarre characters that come to life through mechanization, animation, and music. With nods to the traditions of Surrealism and Confessional Art, these fantastical creatures are by definition otherworldly, yet they often feel personal and familiar. These characters are the artist’s own projections of nonsensical events and their consequences. Their malformed features and parts illustrate internalized trauma and torment while still engaging in the life-affirming celebration of feminine power and its connection to the mysterious, the beautiful, and the sensual. Lanina draws from many sources to create these characters. Though she often taps into Greek mythology with its half-human and half-animal demigods, she also relies on Russian fairy tales, which are filled with fantastic beings deeply rooted in paganism, mysticism, and symbolism. Her creatures and their stories move freely between logical and illogical, realistic and illusory, predictable and surprising, representing a life that can only be lived but never understood.