Olga Nenazhivina is a Russian–American artist born in 1966 in the city of Saratov in Southern Russia. In the '70s, her family moved to Vladivostok, a neighboring city quarters with China and Japan. She then received her initial artistic training under her father, Valery Nenazhivin, a professional sculptor, and her mother, Nina Nenazhivina, an art enthusiast. In 1985, Nenazhivina received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Vladivostok College for the Arts. Since then, her works have been extensively exhibited domestically and internationally. She now lives and works in New York Metro Area, United States.

"Possessing excellent technical skills, impeccable taste, and great pic­torial imagination, she creates very personal visual images, using human figures, masks, and floral and geometrical ornamentation. American art critics often use an expression "ademanding work of art".  In its personal symbolism Olga Nenazhivina’s paintings and drawings may indeed be demanding,but also visually very attractive and accessible."
- Serge Hollerbach
Member of the National Academy of Design
Honorary President of American Watercolor Society
"As a poet would, she invites the viewer into her imaginary world by creating strong complexity of pictorial space, without necessarily imposing her interpretation. One is simply asked to take a journey."

My parents always lived an artistic life, and when they had me, they had no doubts I would be an artist. By looking at them I had no doubts as well. They put me in an old suitcase, which became my first bed and my first art studio; there I found my first pencils. My parents moved from one place to another, and I drew, drew, drew. That was a happy time. I used to draw on any surface I could find - on paper, walls, and asphalt, everywhere. As a child, I loved reading books with paintings of great artists and anatomy books. My mother used to help me finish my first drawings and my father explained to me what composition means and how to make a drawing complete. When I turned four, I began to call my activity “work”. Most importantly, I knew what art was. Now, this world gives me information, and I put all that I see and feel on paper.

I work in all mediums, but mainly ink and paper. These media are natural materials with live energy. Just like humans, each sheet of paper has personal differences. Before starting a new drawing, I put a sheet of paper in front of myself and start a dialogue with it. First, I touch the surface and check the structure to understand its capabilities. Then I choose the side on which I will draw. Daily practice has reassured me that ink and paper are my most suitable media. Each thing created in this world has its name and purpose, and if I have to choose a name that would unite all of the pieces of my work into one whole, I will name it Chronicle. The reason driven by my work is that I genuinely enjoy the process, the outcome, and the feedback I get. For many years I have drawn the world I live in, and I continue. I pull it as I see, feel, and understand it. The images in my works are born from a combination of these factors. In other words, I do not come up with pictures and plots; these images are a product of this world. To some, figures and objects from my drawings may be fantasy, but this is only a point in the extent to which many factors intersect and form a "thoughtform." The aesthetics of images and objects, their definite sequential arrangement, create a particular philosophical aspect of the drawing. My work is a friend and partner, it will "talk" to you, and you will discover new facets in it with each new sight.

-Olga Nenazhivina

Autoportrait, 1998, gouache, paper
Selected Awards

Library Fellows Competition, The National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C, USA

Art Educators Grant, Japan Foundation, Tokyo/Kyoto, Japan