Saints of New York
Saints of New York is an ongoing project started in 2016. A series of portraits inspired by the life of the New York City subway, Saints of New York is made up of drawings and paintings of subway riders. Initially the project began as a result of the many hours that Loseva spent each day on the subway, traveling from home to her studio and to her teaching job and then back home again. At first using her commute to practice drawing, it didn't take long before Loseva would approach her time on the train as part of her artistic practice. Finding so much beauty and insight into life and city life, she eventually used the often quick sketches she made on the subway as material for paintings.
Exploring the inner conflict of often unknowing sitters through contemplative and reflective countenances, within just a few minutes was a new challenge for Loseva. The Saints in the drawings are the people of New York City who ride the subway every day. They are teachers, nurses, construction workers, waiters, and everyone else who is creating, working and hustling to make a living and a difference in this city.
"I started referring to these portraits as drawings of saints because in their quiet stillness and solitude among a crowded train car, the sitters reminded me of vulnerable yet dignified saints in paintings and icons across the catholic and eastern orthodox traditions, painted to show that gentleness and humility of spirit can prevail over physical strength and earthly pain."
In 2017, a collection of these drawings and paintings were exhibited in lower Manhattan in a show titled "Folk/Pop."
As the project continues and grows and continues, the idea of painting sitters as saints expands into working simultaneously within the scope of more classical portraiture, as well as within the boundary between portrait and mythscape.