Yuliya Vladkovska Artist Statement
It sometimes takes the eye of an artist to capture and recreate that special essence not visible
to the average naked eye. A well-told portrait created by the skilled artist can convey a person’s
stories, triumphs and pain, allowing them to flow from the canvas through the unique
dimensions the artist is able to build with each brush stroke.
This is what I strive for in everything I create. My heart as an artist comes alive in the act of
capturing the secret essence of the everyday, the seemingly mundane, shaping two
dimensional paintings into transcendent vessels communicating wordless messages of truth,
substance, and the beauty that arises like smoke from tragedy.
Always eager to experiment, I look deep into my subjects’ eyes, panning for emotional nuggets
that I can emphasize in transformative ways. I distort natural hues and play with light and
shadow to emphasize a certain aspect of the subject’s essence. Sometimes, this is
accomplished through thicker brush strokes that create a depth of shape and reveal new
dimensions of the subject's nature while awakening a viewer’s tactile curiosity.
Never satisfied with the limited range of classic colors, nor with small canvases, I am constantly
searching to expand the scope and impact of my work through broader color palettes and bigger
canvases. I frequently work in different mediums, including oils, acrylics, pastels, markers, and
inks, experimenting with different paint techniques, playing with textures, and often turning to
fluorescent colors and saturation for impact. I love the power that comes with scale and find that
working on the largest canvases possible allows me an unsurpassed freedom of expression and
movement as I explore the space on a large canvas, using not merely hand and wrist but my
whole body to create a piece. I find this type of physical experience almost like combat: It is a
strenuous working out of the body and mind, an exercise in complete, integrated physical and
mental expression, bringing about a pure form of emotional relief while lending the subject a sort
of ethereal immortality on the canvas.
I love to document anything I see in my daily life that catches my eye as a potential art subject,
whether the banal food in my kitchen or an ancient wood flowing with life, a crowded global
marketplace, or from my experiences learning about a new technological advance, an inspiring
piece of music, or stories from the people I meet. I absorb and accumulate and draw creative
inspiration, applying this to my painting and everything else I create.
Inspired by artists like Valentin Serov, Amadeo Modigliani, Van Gough, Kaws, and Banksy, I
often use painting as a means for sharing personal stories with complex psychological themes,
recreated childhood memories, and visions from my extensive travels to memorable and iconic
places around the world. I am fascinated by the idea of giving life to the fleeting impressions and
experiences of one’s deep imaginative rumblings. I try to find the transcendent qualities of a
simple orange, apple, or any other fruit, capturing all of its unique physical qualities, correlating
them with the physical properties of paint and canvas to create a piece of art that is greater than
the sum of its parts.