Amidst the overwhelming violence seen in Ukraine’s recent riots, Gizmodo’s Jesus Diaz (an outsider) decides to create visually stunning, but heartbreaking images that explore Ukraine’s reactions to the sudden cultural and political changes.
By taking some of the techniques applied by Sergey Larenkov on his famous series, The Ghosts of World War II, Diaz creates images that merge shots of Kiev from before and after the Ukraine riots using the same vantage points. Through this technique, a masterful trick made possible by the almighty Photoshop, the viewer is able to experience two polar opposites: a happy, peaceful Ukraine, and a chaotic Ukraine.
Looking at the dramatic contrast between happy people enjoying the sun and peace and the anger of people behind in barricades is disheartening.
Irena Zablotska is a Ukrainian artistborrows inspiration from Eastern European folk art and super saturated cartoons to make drawings that are mythic, cute, and psychedelic. Like Stacey Rozich, she makes creatures that are combinations of animals, people, plants, and patterns. Her world is one where life hasn’t splintered into different forms but exists in one animistic force, or maybe it’s a world where we’ve evolved to such a degree that we can collage lifeforms onto one another to make new inter-special selves. As graphic as they are colorful, they’re a real visual treat.
Tania Scheglova and Roman Noven, based in the Ukraine, are frequent collaborators, especially in the realm of fashion photography. They also work together on more personal material as well, and often post the results to Synchrodogs, a website they share. Perhaps due to a lingering Cold War sensibility or some other intangible, Eastern Europe maintains a dark, unknown quality. Full of strong emotion and isolated coldness, the photographs created by these two perfectly illustrate such atmosphere, reminding us how easy it is to get lost sometimes.
Together, artists Anton Abo and Ooli Mos make up Orka Collective. The like-minded, Eastern block natives draw inspiration from nature, animals, people, and magic in the creation of their predominantly black-and-white illustrations.
Alexander Kostinskyi is a photographer hailing from Kyiv, Ukraine. His work is chilly, sparse and sometimes a bit strange. Some of his images give me the heebie-jeebies while others make me smile, all while retaining his natural untouched style.
Speaking of art and sand…here’s an awesome video of the day. Kseniya Simonova is a 24 year old sand animator from Ukraine who began her rise to Ukraine’s Got Talent fame when her business collapsed. She’d been drawing for only less than a year when she entered the contest with her piece (animated portrayal of life during the USSR’s Great Patriotic War against the Third Reich in World War II) and won earlier this year. I guess we at B/D will just leave the granulated stone masterpieces to the pros.