This body of work comprises a series of oil paintings and mixed-media drawings that serves as an exploration of the Ukrainian identity. In a response to the political and social upheaval instigated by the ongoing Russian incursion into Ukrainian territory, this series stands as a testament to the resilience and spirit of the Ukrainian people.
While this exhibition is a tribute to Ukraine and the evolution of Ukrainian identity, its inception is deeply rooted in a personal narrative. This tumultuous chapter in history catalyzed a profound transformation in my artistic mission, shaping it into a civic duty. It compelled me to translate this newfound purpose into my self-expression as a painter, channeling the power of visual storytelling to reflect and recount the intimate narrative of my own family's experiences.
The Russian war in Ukraine has left a trail of devastation, causing immeasurable suffering and precipitating a dire humanitarian crisis. The toll has been staggering, with hundreds of thousands losing their lives and millions forced to abandon their homes. In the wake of this tragedy, it became imperative for many to reexamine the foundations of pan-Slavic identity, to embark on the journey of decolonizing a Post-Soviet mindset, and to embrace and master the Ukrainian language. Ukrainian society, as a collective entity, found itself questioning the long-standing narratives of Soviet propaganda and historical Russian perspectives that had been ingrained for generations.
The military occupation of Ukrainian sovereign territory stands as a precedent challenging the core principles of Western democracy. It serves as one among many compelling reasons for Westerners to confront the challenges posed by the autocratic world. Addressing them becomes imperative in safeguarding the foundational values that define Western democratic ideals
This body of work is distributed across both private and public collections, with a significant portion finding its home at the Ukraine Art Institute of Chicago.