When did you get interested in art?
It is impossible to say when I started to be interested in art. It seems like I have always been interested in art even before I knew what the word meant. It looks like it is a family thing as everybody in my family draws or paints. I grew up between Kiev's artistic environment and a tiny village near Chernobyl, that is the same as it was hundreds of years ago. The clash of the urban and artistic with rustic and primitive created tension that resulted in my necessity to paint. My somewhat unusual life experience produced somewhat unusual vision of the world. Later, my extensive travels increased the urge to paint and to tell my stories through paintings.
What is your artistic credo?
I try to see beauty and magic in ordinary things. There is a world of unexpected facets of common elements around us if we learn to see them. It makes me happy if I manage not only to see them but to show to others through my work.
What is art to you?
Arguably, art is impossible to define. Nobody knows what art is. The infinity of its definitions just prove it. The only thing I know is that art does not “progress” or “develop”; itis not better today than it was ten thousand years ago. It is probably not worse either. Joan Miro used to say that art has been deteriorating since the time of the cave paintings of Altamira. The good thing that it has not disappeared and looks like it is not going to. I explore the brighter sides of what we call “art” and since I am a painter and not an art critic, I have given up trying to define it.
Where do you get the ideas for your paintings?
My paintings are almost always connected to words and stories. Most of them are illustrative and are connected to a variety of folk tales, myths, songs, stories and proverbs. Some are easily recognizable and some are obscure, but the storytelling element is almost always noticeable in the paintings.
Who inspires you?
The painters that influenced me the most are Niko Pirosmani, Mexican muralists, Henri Rousseau and Ivan Generalic as well as the anonymous creator of the Paleolithic paintings of Altamira.
Some of my favorite sites