Artist Interviews 2024

Tetiana Kalivoshko  
By Johnny Otto

You went to L'viv National Academy of Art in Ukrainian. What was that like and is that your only formal training?

When I was growing up in Ukraine, I always felt the fire within me wanted to come out. L'viv National Academy of Art was one of the best University for Art in Ukraine and I felt that to study there will help me find the way to express myself and to an important steppingstone for a life of creation.

I had quite a few avenues of training and inspiration. When I was in high-school, I used to take a 5-hour train ride to L’viv every Thursday night to study art all weekend with Igor Chomsky who was my first art teacher. Igor took me under his wing and taught me the basics of art. I remember that the first question he asked me when we met was to show him my sketch book. I didn’t have one and he later told me that it was much easier to teach someone who didn’t do art before than to start changing the way someone create.

How do you approach the depiction of the human form in your artwork?

I focus my “art attention” in the positive in humankind and in situations. For example, if the cup is only 10% full, I will focus my art on the 10% that is full but will not ignore the 90% that is bad. I would like to leave for generations to come a message of hope, that behind a cloudy horizon the sun is shining and peace, beauty, prosperity, or any other hope is possible.

How has the war in Ukraine changed you and your art? What were you doing before and how has that shifted?

When Russia invaded Ukraine, I was in the mildest of the creating of my feminine collection. The news causes me so much saddens and stress that I couldn’t create for many months.

My feeling shifted when I was looking for the positive in this horrific situation in Ukraine. I will tell you a personal story that in retrospective shows my point of view as a person and as an artist. When I was very young my grandmother used to take me to the forest near her village in Ukraine to collect berries. After a few minutes of walking into the forest, she showed me places where soldiers were hiding their tanks and staying there in anticipation for the next horrific battle. At that place of horrific memories for my grandmother, all that I saw was the beauty of the forest and the flowers. Because as I said, my personal attention and my “art attention” always draws to the positive.

Is Art enough to change minds and change the world?

I don’t think art by itself can change the world, but it can help giving another perspective, the ones of the artist. In 2017 I started the creation of the War Collection. I created this collection to express in each piece what both adult and young kids experience see during the dark times of a war. Each piece shows a metaphor of war and a metaphor of beauty. The Beauty of the forest is like a medicine that heals the ugliness of the memories and horrible events that took place during the war. In my art you will see few different types of weapons intertwined (twisted together) with flowers. It's how beauty turns into a war zone and a war zone turn back to beauty. So, each piece shows a metaphor of war and a metaphor of beauty. And that was my way to express my feelings, my pain and to give a message of Hope. And as I said, this message of hope may not change the world but may give another perspective, a perspective of hope and a vision of the light in the end of the tunnel.


How do you push yourself out of your comfort zone creatively?

  Because I am more of an introvert, I always must push myself out of my comfort zone. When I was 16, I pushed myself to travel 10 hours per week to study art. When I was 17, I pushed myself to move to another city to study art. When I was 21, I pushed myself to move to China and so on and now I push myself to create, create and create all while being a wife and a mother.

The human element is so important in your art and is indeed important to most great art. Do you fear Ai or other technologies replacing it? What elements are irreplaceable?

  AI is not a threat to art. AI is a blessing to art. Its merely another tool to create art, it’s another dimension for art and it is opening the doors of the future to an unknown and exciting worldwide experience.

  How do you approach experimenting with new techniques or styles?

I like to explore many different artists, styles, museums, books, internet search all those to find inspiration and to develop ways and technics to create more and to find new avenues for creation.

What is coming up for you? Any shows or art fairs? And what do you hope for the future of your art?

I just finished the last few pieces of my War Collection, and I am now reverting to my feminine collection that you can read all about it on my website and bio. I am heading to Ukraine to participate in a show of my Spring War Collection. I will also be showing my art in the coming Art Basel in Miami this coming fall. I can promise you that I will never stop to explore latterly and figuratively.


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