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Evacuation of works of art from Ukraine during the war

The famous Ukrainian artist LES PANCHYSHYN talks exclusively about his work, the impact of the war on art, how Ukrainian artists are perceived in the world

Did your work change during the war?

My creativity has not changed, but the subject of painting has changed a little. I created a new series of works documenting Russia's crimes against Ukraine. At the beginning of the war, he set himself the task of showing the world the truth about the events in Ukraine. Art of that time always remains in history, which tells what happened. These were paintings, as well as collages. I understood that we had all planned our lives since the start of the Great War for the next day at most. That's why I chose such a form of art as conveying my thoughts in a collage. While I was creating it, a gallery in Vienna wrote to me that they wanted to evacuate my paintings from Ukraine. It was at the beginning of March 2022. The Austrians came and took away my paintings, which were in Lviv, and those in Kyiv were closed at that time. They brought me some of the paints so that I could continue painting. Everything was closed in Ukraine at that time, for me it was a great support from foreign colleagues. They believed it was an important wartime mission to preserve culture and art. I would like to add that we have organized several exhibitions in Vienna with this gallery. Later, I presented these works in America at a personal exhibition in Miami. They accepted my work very sympathetically and with great support.

Did the war affect the artistic sphere in general in the world?

The war affected all spheres.In fact, at that moment the artistic sphere stopped. People stopped buying robots. Many gallerists told me that the market has stopped. Everyone was waiting and did not know what would happen next. It also greatly affected sales. Although, on the other hand, they began to support Ukrainian artists. Invite Ukrainians to various residences, organize exhibitions. There were also a huge number of auctions in which I participated, where works were sold and all funds went to support Ukraine.

How did Ukrainian artists begin to be perceived in the world?

Ukrainian artists began to be perceived very well in the world. There was an opportunity to show yourself and a large number of different doors opened. Everyone wanted to help and was very much in solidarity with Ukraine, both in Europe and America. There was tremendous support: they offered a workshop, housing, participation in exhibitions and help with organization.

Do artists around the world support Ukraine?

They began to be perceived with great respect and support. This was not the case before. Unfortunately, Ukrainian art was perceived in the world as a part of Russian art. And now everything is different. Foreigners began to separate that we are different countries and peoples.

How did the war change you?

I have recently realized and felt for myself that there is no need to put off anything for tomorrow. We must live every day and moment to the fullest. I will continue to create and show the future generations and the whole world in my paintings what kind of times we live in now.


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