By Zhenya Gershman, Artist, Educator and LuxEco Advocate

1. The true deadly sin is not to make art

2. The only taboo in art is bad art

3. If you do not enjoy your artwork it’s a good sign that you are doing something right

4. First God created light, and then he created a painting rag so you can wipe out the mistakes

5. Good art is like good wine – the age does it justice (stolen from my mom)

6. 2000 years since the Greeks – it’s time for male nudity to return as the subject of art

7. Art Models should be given credit as well as artists

8. The only critical voice is worth listening to is the one in your head

9. Tears, insomnia, short temper, and all those things that your doctor warns you about, is good for you as an artist (but not for the family of the artist)

10. ‘Politically correct’ is incorrect

“Write about YOU”, these are the three words that sound very intimidating.

Here is a start:

Sometimes it takes a life journey to find out who you are, in my case I discovered that I am an artist when I was a ‘mature’ age of 10.  It feels good to say it – I AM AN ARTIST – try it and you will see what I mean.   The word means to me – I was given a permission to create, to share with others what I even can’t say to myself, to discover the world, and even to dare say make a change in the way the others will see the world?  The flip side:  It’s a selfish and lonely business.  Mostly underpaid and under-appreciated.  Selfish – because you have to continue to believe in yourself.

Well, maybe not so lonely after all.  My parents were always there from the start.  It was my mother who first saw my drawing that I made with heavy magic markers that proclaimed it to be art.  Actually she called it genius – a word not very popular today in the art world – but sounds so good even if you do not know what it means!  I wanted to hear it again.  So I simply made another drawing, and another until there was no way back.  Yes art is contagious and mostly incurable.  I hope the gene will remain undiscovered and remedy will not be sold over the counter.

My parent’s gift is that they allowed me to become who I am today.  I do not practice religion, but my art practice became a form of devotion.   Art is like a prayer – it’s personal, universal, powerful, and magical!

Learn more about Zhenya in an interview with and see her in action at the Getty Center with her delightful and riveting tour of the Sinai collection:

**The views expressed in this blog are hers alone, and do not represent those of the Getty


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