Alisa Minyukova

Brooklyn artist who emigrated from Russia as a child is drawn to Ocean Parkway and Brighton Beach

Alisa Minyukova
Interview Date:
February 22, 2020


Born in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1975, artist Alisa Minyukova immigrated to New York City with her mother and grandmother in 1981 and grew up on the Lower East Side. In a 2016 essay titled "Food Stamps and Caviar: How I moved to Brighton Beach," she writes that she once asked her grandmother "Why don’t we live on Brighton Beach?" In her oral history interview, Alisa recalls childhood memories of St. Petersburg and Coney Island, and the common visceral memory of the Soviet Union in Brighton Beach.

When Alisa's grandmother became terminally ill, she found a hospice for her in Brighton Beach and rented an apartment there to be close to her. During that time and for three years after her grandmother's death, Alisa and her family lived in Brighton Beach, where she says she found her own version of the place and a sanctuary by the ocean. 

Alisa Minyukova is the creator and co-curator of The Dream Mapping Project, an international art and dream research project sponsored by the Sleep and Dream Database. She has an MA from Kunsthochschule für Medien Köln and a Masters in Sculpture from St. Petersburg Art and Industry Academy and is Adjunct Professor of Art at CUNY.

This program is part of the Cultural Immigrant Initiative supported, in part, by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York City Councilman Mark Treyger.