By Bonnie Gangelhoff
Originally from Kiev, Ukraine, Lana Rak now calls the San Francisco area home. She began drawing at age 4 and was admitted to the Republican School of Fine Art in Kiev when she was 12. Today, at 33, Rak focuses her artistic eye on a range of subjects, including city scenes, landscapes, still lifes, and figures. In terms of her favorite things to paint, however, she lists water, air, light, and their transformation throughout the day. “I like ordinary things observed carefully and portrayed unusually,” she says.
Rak’s affection for depicting the city stems from the fact that she feels most comfortable in urban environments, where she has lived her entire life. “I spend most of my days in San Francisco or in traffic,” she explains. “This is my reality.” For Rak, a good painting is a complete thought conveyed in visual form—information she hopes to get across to viewers. “To me, painting is the most efficient form of communicating my experiences,” she says. “It’s not that I have difficulties verbalizing my artistic concepts. Words just don’t have enough power.”
Her paintings are on view September 18-25 at D.E. Craghead Fine Art Gallery in Carmel, CA. Rak is also represented by Louis Aronow Gallery, San Francisco and Sausalito, CA, and Salisbury Fine Art Gallery, Avila Valley, CA.
Featured in “Artists to Watch” September 2005