Words from Alexandra Manukyan: "The central theme that unites all my paintings examines how seemingly separate and isolated life experiences actually disguise the extent of our individual and communal bonds. The “masks” and the accompanying identities we all assume depending on the life role we must play, obstructs the conscious mind from acknowledging what truly unites us through the isolation and chaos: our shared encounters of pain, loss, desire, and longing for serenity and acceptance. The false facades we all manufacture to adapt and belong also renders most blind and lost in a world where the meaningless has somehow become meaningful and the idea of a shared honest self devoid of hidden agendas all too infrequent. I focus on combining traditional oil painting techniques with surrealist symbolism to explore the presumably dystopian landscape of emotional and physical scars carried all too often amongst the female characters. However, the subject of my paintings refuse to fall into victimhood or self-loathing; instead, the women that often preoccupy my paintings figuratively and literally wear their wounds with resounding pride and empowerment. The mistakes of their pasts, the festering wounds of pain and loss, and the hauntingly icy stabs of betrayal, none of these specters weigh them down or define their destinies."