Katya Gridneva (Ukraine, 1965) studied portraiture at the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts, 1993-99, renowned for teaching a realistic manner. Prior to her acceptance here, however, she was selected to be a gymnast at one of Russia's prestigious Sports Schools. Unfortunately, after an injury, her gymnastics career was brought to an abrupt end.
She won first prize for her portraits after just one year of study in 1994, and has since established a successful career in the visual arts. She has exhibited widely in Great Britain, exhibiting with the Royal Pastel Society at the Mall Gallery and the Alberti Gallery in at many of London’ Art Fairs and in the USA.
She is recognised for her figurative pastel, oil and charcoal works, namely in the portrait genre, and often taking renowned ballerinas from the world famous Kirov company and Marrinsky Theatre as models. Her style combines the Russian realistic school with her knowledge of Western art schools, to create a distinctive, characterised portraiture.