Mixed media on wood
26 x 26 x 2,5 cm
My artistic practice primarily stems from the autobiographical. Traumatic experiences lived very closely, such as the death of my parents during my childhood and of my partner years later, as well as shared experiences with the community such as poverty, the decay of a political system, foreignness, and being a woman, among others, are narratives that integrate into my entire artistic body of work in one way or another. In a certain sense, artistic creation became a promise of salvation that I made to myself from a very early age, although it wasn’t until 2016 that I exclusively dedicated myself to my artistic project.
My work consists of autonomous series that together form a kind of self-portraits-self-narratives. Panels where seriality and repetition contrast with the detailed execution of each piece prevail. To date, my favorite plastic tools include vibrant chromatic juxtaposition, chromatic dissociation, and realistic representation that explores the psychological.
My work has been exhibited in various international and national festivals and fairs in Spain, in both national and foreign galleries. I participate in multiple opencalls, and when rejection becomes a constant, insecurity and sadness invade me. Although I am an artist born and raised in an environment of exclusion, unfortunately, I have never been able to boast about security and pride.
– Natasha Lelenco
Natasha Lelenco’s “Exchange Currencies” series embodies a vibrant interrogation of identity and societal values through a solitary coin, part of a larger narrative in mixed media. Each 26 cm diameter piece, crafted from wood and adorned with acrylic, spray paint, staples, and nails, serves as a canvas for Lelenco’s exploration of human significance beyond central life figures. The selected coin for the Salon de Refusées encapsulates her artistic inquiry: it juxtaposes the permanence of wood with the transient nature of the immigrant experience, the materials themselves a metaphor for the economical and existential aspects of foreignness.
Natasha Lelenco’s art subverts traditional currency iconography, supplanting emperors and national heroes with anonymous profiles, each coin’s face a universal yet heterogeneous representation. Her work delves into the psychology of value—how society ascribes worth to both currency and art, and the underlying human desire for recognition and belonging. By setting a price on each coin that invites exchange for future works, she transforms the art into a playful yet poignant commentary on commercialism.
Natasha Lelenco’s ‘Exchange Currencies’ series, presented at the Salon de Refusées, features a set of four coins, each a vibrant interrogation of identity and societal values. These 26 cm diameter pieces, crafted from wood and adorned with acrylic, spray paint, staples, and nails, serve as canvases for Lelenco’s exploration of human significance. These coins juxtapose the permanence of wood with the transient nature of the immigrant experience, symbolizing the economical and existential aspects of foreignness.
The artwork echoes themes of connectivity and isolation, as the faces reflect personal, often heartrending testimonies from immigrants in Europe, alongside comical misinterpretations that underscore the alienation of ‘not being from here.’ By offering a piece of her series in an environment dedicated to the undervalued and overlooked, Natasha Lelenco participates in a deeper dialogue about the principles of exchange—not just of goods, but of culture, identity, and ultimately, of human understanding.
This single coin from “Exchange Currencies” not only stands as a testament to Natasha Lelenco’s innovative vision but also aligns with the Salon de Refusées’ commitment to showcasing art that transcends boundaries and challenges the viewer to reconsider the very foundations of value and identity in art and life.
SALON DE REFUSÉES
The "Salon de Refusées" is an art initiative inspired by the historic 1863 Paris exhibition. It's a platform celebrating female (read) artists who've faced rejection, turning exclusion into empowerment. Our project is dedicated to showcasing art in its most authentic form, creating a space where diverse voices and stories are seen and revered. Join us in this artistic uprising, where each piece adds to our resilience and the unyielding spirit of creativity.