I grew up in Odessa, a vivacious and multi-cultural port city on the coast of the Black Sea, infamous for its conspicuous consumption and emulated for its satire.   I came of age during the Soviet Union’s shattering era of Perestroika, an exhilarating time of radical emancipation and social change.  In 1992 my parents and I immigrated to the United States and settled in Chicago, where soon after I met my wife Sveta.  We initially moved to Alaska as students, but it did not take long for the enchanted boreal forest around Fairbanks to capture our hearts and become our beloved home.  I returned here after completing an MFA in studio arts at the American University in Washington DC and have since then been teaching art courses, raising chicken, hunting, trapping, collecting mushrooms, and exploring ideas through art.