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The Art of Olga Furman











The Clown

The Clown











OlgaFurman3I was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, where I spent my childhood years. The Soviet Union was ruled by Leonid Brezhnev at the time and the USSR called itself the most powerful country in the world. At age four, my parents left for the Polar Far North for jobs in the Soviet oil and gas industry. They left me with my grandmother, who lived in a town called Luga, which was famously called the “second worst city in Russia” by the great Russian poet Alexander S. Pushkin.

My childhood memories of the town were quite different. The town was situated in a beautiful natural setting consisting of a luscious pine forest and blue lakes covered in yellow water lilies with golden sandy shored. This was my first encounter with vivid colors and I immediately attempted to reproduce them on paper.

My grandmother would spoil me. I distinctly remember the smell of a new pack of crayons she bought me. I loved to color, and my grandma would always buy me coloring books. There were only two different coloring books available in the store. One had line drawings of dogs, and the other of all kinds of fish. I would outline and color them again and again.

At the age of seven I joined my family in the Far North . The colorful palette of Luga changed to the black grey and white of the arctic north. My parents weren’t really supportive of my art. Their plan was to train me as a piano teacher. They never denied my requests for art supplies however, and I was drawing and painting constantly. At school, kids noticed my love for doodling and made me the illustrator of the school newspaper. I really enjoyed doing this. Most of the drawings  I made for the paper were caricatures. I took my inspiration from a magazine called Krokodil (crocodile) which was a Soviet propaganda magazine. One of my first tasks was to copy a caricature of president Reagan playing a grand piano with the caption “Reagan is playing the strings of International Capital.” I was praised for the result. This was the beginning of my fascination with portraits.

We left Russia in 1991. We immigrated to Israel and we were penniless since all our property was taken away by the Soviets together with our citizenships. New life, new language, new college (I studied industrial engineering). I put my art on hold for a while to provide for myself and my family. One of my new friends later on brought me to the School of Art in Tel-Aviv, where I attended still life painting classes.

15 years ago I got married and immigrated to the United States, where we live happily with two kids and a pup in the suburbs of New Jersey. In the present, I am a full time artist and own a home art studio where I create my paintings and give art lessons.


My art is available for viewing here:




 The Art of Lauren Martino


lauren painting


Lauren Martino Art

Lauren Martino Art


Lauren Martino Art


Lauren Martino


Lauren Martino Art


Lauren Martino Art


Lauren Martino Art


Lauren Martino Art


Lauren Martino Art


Women We Worship

by Lauren Martino


we worship the women who are barely there
pigment void eyes
and platinum white hair
her torso is so thin she threatens to disappear
her skin is so white it’s verging on clear
she is a silent image with no voice of her own
she is an object of perfection — a capitalist drone
she is the height of Dennett’s zimbo —
the disengaged bimbo
and we’ll never hear her theory of mind
and she’ll never skull-crushingly illuminate humankind.

But there are these women who are filled to the brim
with pigments so demanding —
as to color the passion within
with voices so loud your brain will vibrate
and you will thank her out loud for showing you heaven’s gate

Her curves are fierce with unapologetic life
and her enormous dark eyes strike like an amorous knife
We must worship the earth as we worship the air
we must worship the women who are actually there.



The Vision of Collision

We are perched on a peak as we watch it collide,
deep and destructive.

The static in our veins
is the wreckage of the week
and the avalanche has become conductive.

We will see it unfold
before we have time to catch up
and the bottom falls out all over.

We crack like eggs into a syrupy glue,
the contents of our souls simmer out like steam.

We are but a dream in the land of a baffled philosopher.

And so we lay naked,
in the contents of one another
hoping to make something more than a child.

More than another one
of what we are
or always were
or became.

We are the seams of dreams
meeting as one defies
the Other
and we seek to retreat
from the hearts pulse
into the cosmic beat.


Internal Battles

Claustrophobic thoughts, I must be insane
Packed tight in the tousled tubes of my brain
Electric, shaking, wild, and dense
A vicarious vacuum of intangible sense.

Conflicted and raw, my heart beats in my eyes
Pick the wrong card and the fantasy dies.
Muffled truths cry out in dirty-rotten air
You’ve said it before mama, you sincerely don’t care.

But ill stand idle in the night neglecting the drowning hours
Dismal and dead are their strong standing forever-powers.
Callous deceiver,
Your mind is so weak.
Notorious griever,
Your moans are so meek.

Now picture this

Without word or a rhyme

You drop into space

One inch at a time.

Give me your eyes
I can give them true vision

Now give me your heart
It’s not your decision.



Artist Statement:

It feels as if I am filling in an impulse, or a beat, what feels like an intuitive template or scaffold that I never asked or looked for. The process of my work often feels more like an unfolding rather than a directed venture there is never a point A to B, Its a point A to which ever point feels natural. My portraits are all informed by the psychology and personality of the subject as well as my own state. I strive to find an integral balance of external and internal impressions, a marriage of the objective and subjective. I would consider my photography to be an attempt to use my perspective and addition of various edits to reconcile the objective information a camera provides with the subjectivity of the shooter’s perspective and imagination. Finally, my abstracted pieces are the expression and solidification of something that I cannot verbalize, they are physical imprints of my innermost personal interpretation of reality. All of my pieces are learning experiences, I have mastery over none of them nor do I attempt to, i wish only for my pieces to reflect intentionality and to have autonomous agency.



Lauren MartinoMy name is Lauren Martino and I refuse to write about myself in the third person. I paint, I write poems, I take pictures, I draw, I sculpt, I build sets, I make things. The day I stop learning is the day I die. I am the daughter of two painters who gave me the experience of a lifetime by raising my twin brother and I in a building called Westbeth Artists Housing. I pray one day to be at least half as talented as they are. Taking summer classes at FIT throughout my adolescence had an enormous part in shaping me into who I am today. I am currently embarking on a new journey as a part time student at the New York Studio School. I have shown at Westbeth Gallery under the alias of Heather Bridges because if they knew how old I was they wouldn’t have accepted my work. I have worked as a Set Designer for the ID channel and other independent projects. I am young, with time I will collect more anecdotes to inspire and impress perfect strangers, but for now this is me and that is all.


To view more of Lauren’s work: