Irene Sheri was born in the city of Belgorod-Dnestrovsky, Ukraine in 1968. Her diverse heritage probably makes her one of the brightest example of a new breed of inter-cultural artists emerging from a "Europe without borders". A mix of Bulgarian and French, she was born and raised in the Ukrainian city of Odessa, where cultures freely mixed, making Odessa one of the most colorful, bright and multinational cities in the world.
At an early age Irene knew she was going to be an artist. After several years of artistic training, she graduated valedictorian from the prestigious Saint Petersburg Avademy of Art. This renowned school, created in the eighteenth century, has influenced many masters in its years of existence, such as K. Briuollov, A. Ivanov, I. Repine, V. Sourikov and more.
Irene drew inspiration from the work of Botticelli, Chagall, Kandinsky, Picasso, and Goya. However Cezanne and Matisse made the deepest impact. Avant-garde Russian students, Falk, Konchalovsky, Mashkov, Lentulov, were followers of these French artists. Calling themselves the "Jack of Diamonds", a name proposed by Larionov (a member), suggested not only the roguish behavior of the avant-garde, but conveyed a love of popular graphic art forms...such as vintage printed playing cards.
The "Jack of Diaminds" group avoided realism, instead constructing a 3-D reality using mono-colored bright palettes. These color intensive representations of realistic images freed the imagination, allowing the development of artistic impressionism as counterpoint to the social realism of artists schooled in traditional art.
At school, Irene experimented with images and colors, allowing herself to paint landscapes with contrasts of light and shadow similar to the "Russian Expressionistic Movement" of artistic predecessors. Irene's style evolved from the influence of a renegade professor, who told his students - "After so many years at school you now are able to copy the world surrounding you. It is about time you let yourself create a world that is totally yours, that comes from within your soul".
Irene's paintings express her love of life, a toast to its wonder and beauty. Sheri's talent and style were recognized in 2001 when she was awarded Russia's highest artistic honor, the "State Award for Outstanding Achievement in Art", naming her as the "Best and Brightest" young artist in Russia.