In the midst of a hazy landscape, a head covered abundantly with flowers is prominently positioned. A face is not discernible, if indeed there is one hidden behind the vibrantly colorful floral proliferation. It is entirely obscured by the dense carpet of blossoms. The latter extends to a neck, decorated with a cowry shell necklace, and to the upper part of a torso. In the illuminated area of the head, butterflies are fluttering back and forth between the calyxes. The other half is shrouded in deep shadows, representing the dark nocturnal side of the blossoming vegetation breaking forth in the bright glow of an invisible sun in untamed profusion. The cessation of fertile growth is inherent in this darkness, the state of winter, in which the opulent efflorescence of life ossifies and decays.
To a certain degree, Sotnikov’s deeply mysterious works, which are charged by a multitude of clues and references, are never fully accessible. The spectrum of media used by the artist ranges from multilayered narrative scenarios on canvas to three-dimensional assemblages consisting of objects found at flea and antique markets. The figures which in Sotnikovs world-encompassing theater of passions are constantly on the road with unknown destinations in riotous carnival parades and wild processions seem to have nothing left to lose, but much to gain.
(Belinda G. Gardner)