Anton Karyuk. The young Kiev artist was born and raised in Dnipropetrovsk, where he got architect education. The theme of loneliness became the key one in his first personal exhibition and early career.
How did you start to draw?
It happened when I entered the faculty of architecture. A sense of freedom, which I first experienced to the fullest, pushed me to the painting. It was associated with a period of growing up, when I could finally draw what I wanted, but not what I was required.
Why did you decide to come back to it?
I’ve never stopped. I’ve been drawing all the time since creativity is a continuous and endless process for me.
Is it rather a “spiritual impulse” or a “business project”?
It’s certainly a spiritual impulse. It’s impossible to treat art as business. As soon as a commercial approach appears, art stops existing. I depict my feelings on the canvas. Is it for money? –Never. Not for this purpose.
Must creativity bring the grist to the mill?
I don’t agree the opinion that an artist must be hungry. It’s good when your works are in demand. Of course, it’s a mental work, but if it makes profit – that’s not bad.
Has any work already been purchased?
Yes, Svetlana Bevza, famous Ukrainian designer, has bought one of my first works. I’m very grateful to her for believing in me.
What is the price range of your works?
It all depends on the situation and the person who buys it. If I see that the person is not able to pay the price, but sincerely wants it, I can sell it very cheaply or even make a present.
You had a personal exhibition. What is the next step?
It’s to work. I don’t plan to exhibit again. I’m currently working on my new paintings and if they result in some interesting project then, of course, I’ll do the exhibition. Perhaps, I’ll take part in the group projects.
Is your family connected with art?
I can’t say that my family is closely connected with art. My mother also graduated from the Academy of Architecture. My father worked in the construction industry, and grandfather is an artist but in the family circle. I can’t say that I followed someone in my family.
What are your plans for the nearest future?
My plans are to find supporters among people of my generation, with whom it would be possible to share the ideas, to find artists who would become my close friends.
Would you like to continue to live and work in Ukraine or in any other country?
Now I’m happy with everything here. It would be interesting for me to participate in the long-term projects abroad, but moving is not in my plans.
What famous artists influenced you?
Rothko with his intuitive sense of colour influenced me a lot. Among the modern ones are Wolfgang Tillmans, Bill Viola. The last one is a video artist. And I really admire his works.
What is your attitude towards your works? Are there any favourite ones?
My attitude towards them is smooth. It’s constantly changing: I can be very satisfied with them, or vice versa. It’s so shaky. I think it’s not me to judge.
What is more important for you: the process of creating or the result?
The process of creating is more important for me. I selfishly enjoy it. As for the result, I can’t say that I’m always satisfied with it. I’m not attached to the work. I’m always happy when I sell something or make a gift. And I easily say goodbye to my works.
Your project is called “33 Solitude”. Each of the works has the name which shows your understanding of loneliness. Which one is the closest to you at the moment?
Do you like to be alone?
Yes, I do. I live alone and often enjoy loneliness. Few people love it as much as I do.
Lack of harmony
How do you feel about criticism? Who determines whether the work is good or not?
I feel neutral about it. There are people whose opinion I trust. I’ve heard mixed reviews from different people and even negative helped me to reach a new level and this is useful criticism. I don’t care if it’s a meaningless comment or post in social networks. Art is a very personal thing.
You created prints for Bevza, Nadya Dzyak, FLOW The Label, Sistan Varvara. What other Ukrainian designers would you like to collaborate with?
Creating specific prints is no longer interesting for me. If someone of designers likes my works, and he/she wants to use them in his/her collection, I’ll be happy.
Are there any artists you would like to work with?
It would be interesting to do a joint project with the guys who create graffiti. For example, Psyfox. I’m attracted by the street art, but I haven’t worked in this direction yet.
What is in common between fashion and art?
The desire to change the world for the better is in common between them. Initially fashion is art, until it turns into the sales. Many designers treat the creation of clothing as artists. For example, Alexander McQueen created a “haute couture” of recycled garbage, and Vivienne Westwood and Haider Ackermann refer to Asian motives in their collections.
What should the young artist do to express himself?
The young artist should work. Just to work.
Is PR important?
Unfortunately, it is in modern world. You have to show what you do. I follow the works of many young artists and it’s not necessary to get acquainted personally. As an introvert, I’m satisfied to do it through social networks.
The artist must be honest.