Strangely enough, I find it hard to write something about Irina Nakhova. That is usually the case when you have to write about someone, whom you don’t know well. But the exact opposite is true: I have known Ira for more than a long time — since the start of the 1970s, when she was 16. Even then her dazzling artistic future (“artistic” in the broadest sense) already seemed beyond doubt to me and to many others of our common acquaintance.
And we were not mistaken.
I have been lucky enough to watch her grow as a powerful and original artist before my eyes. The impression was particularly strong in the already distant 1970s, when our company of the time met almost every day and always included Ira. Our conversations in her kitchen on tremendously important themes were seemingly endless, and the metaphysical heights, to which they lifted us, were more intoxicating than the wine, which flowed just as freely.
Ira drew, painted and wrote texts, and the uniqueness of her intellectual and plastic gifts were apparent in all three activities, even in the context of mutual influence that was inevitable within our group.
Since then our personal biographies have gone in rather different directions, — including geographically, — but I have always followed and continue to follow the steady and unerring rise of this excellent artist and long-time friend with passionate interest. I am afraid that I do not know how to separate the artist from the friend. And, to be honest, I would not want to learn.