I come from a small country, Latvia, in the North-Eastern part of Europe. In the earliest chronicles that mention these parts, shortly after crusaders came to invade, it says that they found out ~ every woman here who reaches a certain age, is a witch. Every single one of them. To me it always meant ~ a free and sacred woman who is the master of her own reality, who lives and works in harmony with nature cycles and her own body, with integrity and intuitive female wisdom, the very soul of her place: a woman who forges her own destiny in the fire of her heart. Nothing else speaks more of a femme fatale to me than that. And not some official temple priestess, but every single woman. And I’m the great granddaughter of those witches. The photos for my painting were taken during the midsummer’s eve last year. It is part of my life and tradition.
Jana Brike was born in Latvia, a small country in the Northeastern part of Europe, while it was under Soviet occupation. Her childhood was bittersweet, molded by dark stories of war and deportation told to her by her grandparents, the cold and conservative atmosphere of catholic church ceremonies, and heightened by breathtaking ballets at the Opera House. Her inspirations are as diverse as folklore fairy tales, children’s book illustrations, imaginative Soviet animation films, and supernatural classical paintings. She is also influenced by the colorful but forbidden imagery of Western pop culture that was guarded by her religious upbringing.
Brike has been exhibiting her artwork internationally since the age of 15. This will be the artist's first solo exhibition in San Francisco.