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

The image of uncertainty

Artist Vlodko Kaufman drew thousands of portraits of ATO warrior
13 March, 2017 - 17:45
Photo by the author

On March 7, an exhibition of graphic installations by artist Vlodko Kaufman, entitled “Conversation” opened in Lviv gallery “Dzyga.” The exhibition presents of several thousand portraits of a man in a helmet. They are made on different surfaces – envelopes, tram tickets, recipes, receipts, stamps or just shreds of paper.

According to the artist, it has been long since he had done any authored projects. But he presented what’s the most painful. This pain has transformed into a relevant project. The project “Conversation” reflects Kaufman’s thoughts on what is war, what is army, and how accurate is the information he gets about the events in eastern Ukraine.

“I paint the same character, a man in a helmet – he is either a soldier or a volunteer. I paint him every day. Every time he is different. Each image is like a newsflash about the dead, wounded, and missing. I draw him on every piece of paper I come about in my household. This is a technology I use in other projects as well. I use paper that is somehow connected to me and includes some of my experiences. What I portray is imposed on something that has something to do with me, my life, my everyday routine. Sometimes the picture is not of very high quality, it may be fuzzy or blurry. After all, the same may be with the information I get,” said Kaufman.

The exact number of images in the “Conversation” is unknown even to the artist himself. He says that they are about the same number as the number of dead and wounded according to the statistics. He adds that it is unknown how many dead and wounded are there, and unknown how many more there will be – and thus unknown how many more he is still going to draw.