• Українська
  • Русский
  • English
Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty
Henry M. Robert

“13 Tall Tales”

This is the name of an exhibition slated to open on May 1 in Kyiv and featuring designer dolls by Olena Stupa and paintings by Volodymyr Tarasenko
29 April, 2014 - 10:48

The Parsuna Gallery will invite Kyivites to the world of children’s fantasies and fairytale characters. Ordinary shoes, clothes, books, furniture, houseware stop being themselves in Volodymyr Tarasenko’s paintings. Shoes become cars, a bookcase turns into a city hall building, coat stands become trees, floor lamps transform into street lights, and a sewing machine – into an archway with gates.

After looking at the artist’s paintings, associations with literary works come to mind: with Nosov’s Dunno, or Bradbury’s Drew Erickson... In the majority of canvases, Tarasenko poeticizes the home, everyday life, and ordinary people. The artist’s character is a dreamer and conformist, like the gardener from the painting A Gardener who Catches a Bug with a Stare (2012). He climbs his apple tree (which is a chair), hugging the pole picker (which bears fruit too), and stares closely at a dragonfly. But it is not flying away. Reproachful glances do not scare butterflies and flies that are swarming around.

One of the key elements in Tarasenko’s paintings is a stairway into the heaven, ephemeral like a dream. That is why a flight on a bug (Spurt, 2012), which has a lantern instead of a head, and a three-window house and a wallet stuffed with dollars instead of a body, is so touching. It is obvious you will not fly far on that one. But nothing keeps you from dreaming.


Side by side with such dreamers, Olena Stupa’s fairytale gnomes feel the most comfortable.

At one of the previous exhibitions there was a lop-eared, pug-nosed one, with a dimple on his chin, who was licking his lips. He was sitting in a spoon, which lay across an open jar with cherry compote. His left toe was triumphantly sticking out through a hole in a tiny woolen sock. The left shoe, which was used as a hook and tied to an improvised fishing rod, was lowered into the jar. It seemed that as soon as you turn away, the little cunning thing would catch his cherry and scurry away... But he was sitting there in the anticipation of bountiful catch. And the cherries were so mouth-watering, that visitors even argued if they were real.

Now there is a dozen of those naughty gnomes created by Stupa at the Parsuna Gallery. The author calls them Little Gatherers, who deliberately moved closer to people from forests and fields, adjusted to living in simple labyrinths of hallways and rooms. On the one hand, these merry kind gnomes harmonize the space and relationships, and on the other, they sometimes are up for mischief. They can steal a brazen pot, reduce it to the size of a hat, and sport it marching on your cupboard, or eat your breakfast, or turn the milk jug into a bathtub. And they will boast to each other about their deeds. These tiny adults who never grew up continue inspiring the feeling of miracle and happiness in visitors. When looking at them, you remember about your own childhood and come back into a fairytale.

The exhibition “13 Tall Tales” is open through May 31.

By Maryna BRYKIMOVA. Photos from the website PARSUNA.UA