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Oksana Zmiyevska Parallel 2022

True Love - Stories

Ukrainian ar(st Oksana Zmiyevska (1987, Crimea) is an open minded and careful observer of herself and the people around her. She says she learned respect for her images from Amoako Boafo. Daniela HammerTugendhat and Verena Krieger would have shaped her understanding of the connec(ons between (me and art. Johanna Kandl, with whom she studied pain(ng at the University of Applied Arts from 2005 to 2011, made her aware of her color competence, and ORo Zitko showed her how to do the candlelight test.

She paints human bodies and characters in all their appearances, forms and shades. In doing so, Zmiyevska prac(ces an oTen intui(ve approach, the gut, the feeling are important to her. The models she portrays in sessions that oTen last several hours are found in her personal environment as well as in everyday situa(ons. On impulse, she some(mes approaches people and asks them if she can paint them. The portrait is at the center of her work, but while for several years working with models in the studio remained her preferred method of working, she has recently taken a different path and is increasingly turning to autobiographical themes.

An example of this is "True Love", an oil pain(ng measuring more than two by four meters that shows the then 16-year-old ar(st with her first childhood love in Ukraine. The picture surface appears divided, the two-thirds on the leT are taken up by a couple si[ng in front of a blue background. The young woman's arm is casually and equally in(mately wrapped around her boyfriend's shoulder, and while her gaze falls dreamily out of the picture, the young man next to her winks provoca(vely mischievously at the viewers. At first glance, the blonde curly-haired girl in the picture has liRle in common with today's Zmiyevska - here she casts more of a glance at a past self, an in(mate but also reflec(ve look at her (me in Ukraine before she came to Austria. With the news of the war in the country of her birth, where she spent her childhood and youth, came the return of memories of it and the urge to confront them.