Lena Sotskova was born in Moscow in 1963. The only child of her parents and a descendent of generations of Russian aristocracy, Sotskova benefited from the immersion of art and culture through artists, musicians, and actors frequently visiting her parents’ home. With classical music, the paintings of old masters, and sculptures surrounding her, Sotskova’s artistic and creative instincts gained life.
Traveling extensively with her parents, and later by herself, Sotskova visited Florence, Paris, London, various Asian capitals, and many regions of her native Russia. This exposure to the diverse, rich, and vast cultures of centuries of global art and music continued to mold her inherent artistic qualities.
She started painting at the age of four which prompted her parents to seek formal education for her in art school and through private lessons from extremely talented and highly acclaimed artists. Studying music and art simultaneously until the age of seventeen, Sotskova gravitated to the canvas. Her renderings celebrated her love for the fine arts through the continuous exploration of musicians and dancers as subjects.
At a young age Lena already realized that her gift of talent alone is not enough to become a master, and therefore she took her education very seriously: Sotskova gained entrance into the most competitive art university in Russia. Named after Count Stroganoff, this elite university only accepted one student to every three hundred applicants. During her six years at university, she studied (among many other disciplines) the history of art world styles, art techniques of Renaissance masters, and methods of icon paintings as found in Russian churches. Sotskova even studied anatomy and observed actual corpses in a morgue to become better acquainted with the human form and enhance her painting of the human body. She was among selected group of people permitted to access archives of the Art Fund of Russia, closed to the general public; Sotskova gained entrance to the vaults of prestigious institutions such as The Hermitage, The Louvre, and royal palaces and cathedrals of Moscow and St. Petersburg. She was involved in the restoration of rare pieces of art that were damaged during the Moscow fire of 1812, in the war with emperor Napoleon Bonaparte.
After her many years of formal education in art and a wealth of cultural experiences, she relocated to New York City where the vibrancy and excitement of the place coursed new life, impulse, and enthusiasm into the veins of her art. In America, with its effervescence and omnipresence of color permeating every aspect of life, Sotskova’s classical art training merged with elements and inspirations of this new environment to support an artistic evolution that embraced the morphing of subject matter and tonality.