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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

“Art always remains an antioxidant”

1 October, 2014 - 16:19

This project has brought together the works the author has created in the past two years. The artist says that when he began working on the canvases, they did not yet mirror the idea of our life – they were rather about his inner reflections, but the now exhibited pictures are all too closely linked, conceptually, with what is going on around.

“Art always remains an antioxidant, as do the difficult times we we’ve been living in. We lost paradise very many centuries ago,” Pavlo MAKOV says. “There is a very dramatic situation in Ukraine today, but it does not exceed the limits of a traditional human drama. The loss of paradise is always topical for us, for it is a biblical metaphor. Today’s events in Ukraine result from our unwillingness to hear one another. Society and all those who are now fighting the evil that struck roots in the old regime, have existed in this medium for 23 years without or almost without taking any care. This is a perennial problem which does not leave each of us, especially now, indifferent.”

The artist created the eleven multi-format works of “Paradise Lost” when he read Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht’s book After 1945. Latency as Origin of the Present. The artist’s landscapes are not linked to the real space of Kharkiv, where the master lives and works. What immediately catches your eye are the accurate details of images, a contrast combination of the engraved elements of a concrete fence or a slated roof of a house and the empty spaces around, the neat rows of withered sunflowers, and well-ramified, sometimes blurred, roads. Everybody can recognize their own city, a familiar landscape, in the monotonous steles and monuments, dry and seemingly dead trees, and empty houses in which no light is on. Metal containers and wooden boxes, surrounded with a concrete fence, are still darker in their enclosed space and prompt one to try to find a way out of this silent latency.

“Art is not intended to superficially spotlight the events that happened yesterday, today, or will happen tomorrow,” says artist Mykola STOROZHENKO. “These artworks are an analysis of today. They are outside the time, addressing the problems of not only social existence, but also eternal morality. The works are also important outside the specific things we come across in everyday life. The author resorts to reconsideration, expresses the essence, and makes us understand that this is an elite art.”

The biblical metaphor of lost paradise is actualized in a new way in the artist’s graphic works and each time adapts differently to the spectator’s perception. The launching of this project is also linked to “Lions Do Not Abandon Their Side,” a charitable action by Ukraine’s National Art Museum.



“During the Maidan, the museum stood on the fire line for two and a half months,” says Maryna SKYRDA, the museum’s deputy director general. “Now we have decided to focus on the themes that bear an important essence. Pavlo Makov’s project quite fits in with this concept, all the more so that there are not many graphic canvases on the permanent exposition. The action “Lions Do Not Abandon Their Side” is aimed at bringing together all those who would like to take part in charitable projects, presenting their personal works and books for exchange. We collect 15 to 25 thousand hryvnias a day. This may be a drop in the ocean, but we render concrete assistance people in need, purchase medicines for the medics who are working in the ATO zone, that is, in fact fighting on the front line. Everybody can join us, acquiring a catalogue of Makov’s works and thus donating money for the wounded and museums in the ATO zone.”

The exhibit will remain open until October 26.

By Natalia VUITIK. Photos by Artem SLIPACHUK, The Day