Irina Valkova was born in 1982 in Kemerovo, Russia. From 2004 to 2007 she studied art and systems theory at Art Center College of Design (Los Angeles) and Smolny College (Saint-Petersburg). After that, she studied at Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weißensee, where she completed her master’s degree in 2013. Irina currently lives and works in Bielefeld, Germany.
Irina Valkova has had solo exhibitions in Hamburg, Bielefeld and Helsinki, and has taken part in numerous group exhibitions in Germany, Finland, Austria, Japan and Bulgaria. Her work has been supported by the Ministry of Culture and Science of North Rhine-Westphalia, the Mart Stam Foundation and the Alfred Toepfer Foundation. Irina Valkova has been on the board of the East Westphalia-Lippe Chapter of the Federal Union of Visual Artists (BBK OWL) since 2020.
In her work, Irina Valkova looks at how people of different cultural origins perceive themselves in their natural environments, and how they express these perceptions in words and images. She is also interested in the influence of socio-cultural backgrounds upon the practice of seeing.
Irina Valkova tries to incorporate perceptions, tastes and conventions of general audiences into her artistic production, fostering 'direct democracy' in arts as a possible alternative to its top-down management. To address these issues, she works with various media including painting, video, textile, installation, interviews and choreography.