Irene was born in the city of Belgorod-Dnestrovsky, Ukraine in 1968. Her mother was Bulgarian, father French. Her art carrier started when Irene's older brother Vasily, then 9, was given as a birthday present a set of paints. And Irene was told NOT TO TOUCH THEM! Those paints became an object of desire for her, almost an obsession. She stole them, mixed them, painted on paper, walls, on her dress and on the bodies of her friends. She was 4 years old.