Nina Slipchenko

12 April 2024 — 14 July 2024
  • Nina Slipchenko. Metamorphoses

Erarta Museum of Contemporary Art presents an exhibition by Nina Slipchenko, an artist who evokes enchanting visions through modifications

  • Imaginary superheroines rendered via the medium of digital painting

  • Meanings encrypted in shapes, poses, and gestures

  • 3D graphics reflecting the artist’s perspective on both the outside world and a modern person’s inner realm


The artist Nina Slipchenko, who works under the moniker Designnina, grew up in a creative family and was serious about drawing and studying from early on. Her grandparents were actors at a Moscow-based theatre, and Nina had a chance to attend rehearsals and follow the show production process, which informed her mindset and artistic sensibility.

Speaking of the works featured in the exhibition, the artist defines their subject as ‘metamorphoses,’ referring to the well-known novella by Franz Kafka. According to Slipchenko, reading The Metamorphosis completely transformed her thought patterns, gave her a new perspective on herself akin to that of a theatre spectator, and made her reflect on the reasons why life circumstances trigger people into vastly diverse, at times unpredictable, reactions.

Designnina’s artworks convey the mood through the characters’ poses and gestures – a common theatrical device whereby body language acts as the critical tool for expressing emotions and setting the context. For instance, the show features a triptych based on three easily recognisable graphic symbols: Prelude echoes the peace sign, Epistle resembles the outlines of the Haglaz (hail) rune, while the third part, Macabre, contains a visual allusion to the medieval cultural allegory of the Dance of Death. The artist explains: ‘These are three individual and to a certain extent tragic stories that have a universal dimension common to all humankind that everyone can relate to. Every person’s life is a kind of dance that can put the world around us in motion. My manifesto is: seek refuge among your loved ones and patience within yourself.’

Flamboyant and flexible, the artist’s imaginary female characters seem to recall the Slinky – the iridescent and fluorescent toy capable of travelling down a flight of steps and performing mesmerising tricks in one’s hands. Designnina’s protagonists, with their mysteriousness, impossible anatomy, and extravagance coupled with aloofness, suggest that we are in the presence of a new breed – the superheroine. Futuristic in essence, this image also bears semblance to the mythological Chimera – the immortal fire-breathing monster sporting the heads of a lion and a goat plus a tail that looks like a snake. Today, ‘chimeras’ are bred by the synthetic biology scientists who construct biological systems with controlled properties and functions, including those not found in nature. The artists achieve similar results with digital graphics. Hence Slipchenko’s superheroines emerge as a mishmash of the current pop culture and fashion industry trends, such as the trademark inscrutable faces of runway models, stylish outfits or equally stylish nudity, colourful hairdos, and of course the superpower to modify one’s own body.

For Designnina, her characters are the sole focal point: the world around them does not exist, they are self-sufficient, appearing outside of any specific context, as if travelling through faraway universes aboard a spaceship completely devoid of earthly traces. Perhaps these chimeras created themselves in some lab according to their own ideas of perfection. However, until a superheroine faces the outside world no one can be sure whether she is good or evil.

about the artist

Nina Slipchenko was born in Moscow in 1991. Following graduation from the Lev Oborin Art Lyceum in 2008, she went on to study at the Design Department of the HSE University, graduating with honours in 2013. Her artworks were exhibited at The Crypt Gallery and The Unfold Gallery (NYC, USA) and featured in the NFT.NYC (NYC) and #NFTC (Valencia, Spain) events.

Supported by:

current exhibitions
all exhibitions