Interview: Karina Akopyan

Karina Akopyan with her work Big Samovar Orgy at the exhibition opening - photo credit: Bojidar Chkorev

Russian artist Karina Akopyan had her first solo exhibition - entitled Martyrs & Matryoshkas - at the Old Truman Brewery last December. Her work is a curious and alluring blend of her strict Russian Orthodox heritage and the escapism of the London fetish scene, and seems to find more similarities between the two themes than it does differences.

Karina's work brings up questions around tradition, ritual, religion, patriotism, and sexuality, all of which she is always sure to leave unanswered: "why do you need to do all the work for the viewer? I think it's much more fun to let people find their own interest or meaning in it."

"One of the themes that catalyzes my attraction to religion is concept of suffering or denial of things to yourself in order to reach humbleness. It’s a rather masochistic concept and this where it crosses with my interest in fetish."