Sappho goes Digital

Sasha Katz is a Moscow-born, Athens-based artist, working primarily in the medium of 3-D art, with elements of gif-like animation which brings her detailed renderings to life. Since the beginnings of her career in the mid-2010s, Katz was interested in the so-called Pixel art, which is characterized by an angular quality of the depicted objects. In fact, her early works were not necessarily pixelated at all and only some had a Minecraft-like block quality to them. They had certain sharp cleanliness to their style, which has remained in Katz’s DNA until today. Their allure has been appreciated by Dunkin Donuts, who commissioned simple animations including the colourful, angular doughnuts. Her early works were centred around the themes of nature and technology interacting with each other, with delicate rose tulips and lavender growing out of Apple keyboards and computers. The muted, pastel colour palette contrasting with the detailed depictions of plants had a comforting a universal allure, landing the artist collaboration with Tumblr in 2016.

In 2017/2018 Katz was engaging more and more closely with detailed depictions of objects, starting with pieces of technology, plants and flowers which were present in her early works, she was importing those elements into new, more elaborate environments, playing with patterns and textures, for instance evoking the patterns of Persian rugs lying on the sand or hanging from car’s trunk. While interest in the intersections between natural and human world remained, she was more eagerly exploring types of domestic still lives with crinkled sheets and duvets surrounding MacBooks, which positioned as facing each other, appeared to be speaking to each other, almost as an extension of their human counterparts.

When the first lockdowns started in Europe mid-March, Katz’s digital works took the form of subtle animations of snowflakes falling slowly as seen through the units of the sea of a block of flats. While somewhat melancholic, the subtlety of her animations made them peaceful and comforting. Simultaneously, the most significant shift in Katz’s work was taking place – she made the human form the central focus of her works.

While earlier she hinted at this growing interest, including dozens of hands reaching out of the car window or seaweeds peeking from a woman’s bathing suit, a clear new focus has been established. And with what force. To Katz sensuality is a mother tongue. Starting with the early-lockdown work depicting sets of fruits, grapefruits, melons, orange peels, all kept in a muted, pale-pinkish colour palate and adorned with elaborate gold and diamanté encrusted intimate jewellery and captions ‘isolation – masturbation’ and ‘stay home explore your vagina’.