Art lovers recreate Ukrainian masterpieces in COVID-19 confinement

By olya.insideart. Fedir Krychevsky, Portrait of Halia Starytska, 1906-1907 

Civil Society, Culture

What is the ultimate value of culture at a time when mankind is in lockdown, under great psychological stress?

By olya.insideart. Oleksandr Murashko, Portrait of a girl in a red hat, 1902

Of course, while we must do our utmost to protect ourselves and others from COVID-19, it is worth asking what the role of art and culture is in these trying times. In truth, this is a time when we need culture more than ever. We need art, books, music, theatre and films to remind us why life is worth living, to reawaken our senses and focus on the wonder of being, to remind us of our hopes and freedoms.

Thus, it is no wonder that the cosplay culture has captured the world. Thousands of people in different countries have become cosplayers (costume players), creating performance art where they dress up in elaborate costumes and use other accessories to recreate famous art masterpieces. Yes indeed, it is in times of uncertainty that people often find solace in art and other cultural manifestations… and then record their interpretations on different media and social networks.

By christina.svlp. Mykola Pymonenko, Idyll, 1908

This phenomenon testifies to more than just creating a good reproduction of a famous painting. As we enter a fictional world reflected in world-famous masterpieces, we seem to unite with something stable, eternal and reliable, which is currently missing in our world.

By victoriakhtn. Petro Kholodny, Tale of a girl and a peacock, 1916

Today, there are many hashtags for this flashmob occurrence. The challenge was adopted quickly by major museums such as the Rijksmuseum, The Getty and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. It has spread across the world, with gallery and museum collections worldwide picking up the phenomenon. You may have come across #TussenKunstEnQuarantine  #изоизоляция #betweenartandquarantine. In Ukraine, the Pinchuk Art Centre has launched the hashtag #мистецтвовдома. In Odesa, several prominent Odesites joined the flash mob and posted their creations on social media. Lviv resident Ivan Ischenko created a series of photos devoted to monuments of famous historical and cultural figures located in the city center.

Mykola Pymonenko. Idyll, 1908. REcreated by annasusharnik.

Art lovers in Ukraine have joined the world community, posting photos of prominent “reproductions” of Ukrainian masterpieces from the National Art Museum of Ukraine (NAMU), including such renowned masters as:

  • Oleksandr  Murashko (September 7, 1875-June 14, 1919),
  • Mykola Pymonenko (March 9, 1862-March 26, 1912),
  • Fedir Krychevsky (May 22, 1879-July 30, 1947),
  • Petro Kholodny (December 18, 1876-June 7, 1930).

By ddenouement. Oleksandr Murashko. Portrait of a girl in a red hat, 1902

Also, view NAMU on Google.

“Kozak Mamai,” recreated below, is a recurrent theme of Ukrainian art in the XVIII-XIX ct.

“Kozak Mamai” by Kateryna Iakovlenko

Works of art related to Ukraine but located outside the museum were given attention too.

Taras Shevchenko, Ukraine’s most famous poet from the XIX ct, was also a painter. One of his poems, “Kateryna,” is about a Ukrainian village girl called Kateryna who got pregnant out of wedlock with a Russian soldier who abandoned her, and committed suicide. Shevchenko painted an illustration for his poem.

Taras Shevchenko, “Kateryna.” Recreated by Sofi Lo

Shevchenko was exiled to nowadays-Kazakstan for his national-liberation activities that went against the Russian empire’s plans. This is one of the paintings from that period.

Taras Shevchenko, “Kazashka Katya,” 1857. Recreated by Helena Sørensen

“Dog with a dachshund” is a less-known painting by Aleksandr Murashko.

Aleksandr Murashko, “Girl with a dachshund.” Recreated by Laura Borovska‎

Artur Brahinskyi is a contemporary Ukrainian artist from Zakarpattia Oblast.

“Tenderness” by Artur Brahinskyi, recreated by Victoria Key Shapiro

Zinaida Serebriakova, although known as a Russian painter, was born in nowadays-Ukrainian Kharkiv in the times of the Russian Empire and emigrated to Paris in 1925, where she lived all her life.

Zinaida Serebriakova, Autoportrait. Recreated by Oleksandra Zalis-Yakymenko

Zinaida Serebriakova, Autoportrait. Recreated by Sophia Kathermes

Yevheniya Hapchynska is a contemporary Ukrainian painter.

Yevheniya Hapchynska, “Yoga for angels.” Recreated by Anna Guillou

Kazimir Malevich is the best-known Ukrainian avant-garde artist famed for his abstract art. However, only two of his works remain in Ukraine. Read about him and other avant-garde Ukrainian artists forgotten by history here: Recovering the forgotten names of the Ukrainian avant-garde.

Kazimir Malevich, “The peasant woman.” Recreated by Tatiana Yakhina

Kazimir Malevich, “The peasant woman.” Recreated by Tatiana Yakhina

Kazimir Malevich, “Sportsmen.” Recreated by Svetlana Sverchkova

Other major figures of the Ukrainian avant-garde include Aleksandra Ekster, David Burliuk, Aleksandr Bogomazov, Vasily Kandinsky

Aleksandra Ekster. Sketch of a women’s costume for a Spanish dance. Recreated by Tanya Sushenkova

David Burliuk. Head of Tatar woman. Recreated by Dinara Garifullina

Aleksandr Bogomazov, “Daughter’s portrait,” recreated by Eva Eva

Vasiliy Kandinsky, Abstract composition. Recreated by Anna Mitina

Vasiliy Kandinsky, Abstract composition. Recreated by Anna Mitina

Vasily Kandinsky / Valery Smirnov. Yellow – red – blue. Fragment. 1925. Paris, Pompidou Centre. Recreated by Zhenya Smirnova

Tatyana Yablonskaya is a Ukrainian-Soviet artist who worked in the style of Social realism.

Tatyana Yablonskaya, “Morning,” 1954. Recreated by Yulia Khachadurova‎

Tatyana Yablonskaya, “At home with a book,” 1954. Recreated by Nataliya Volkova

Tatyana Yablonskaya, “Spring is on the window,” 1954. Recreated by Dana Tsenzharik‎

Source: Національний художній музей України/National Art Museum of Ukraine

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