Exhibition “Home” by Yurii Bolsa


Exhibition “Home” by Yurii Bolsa

Project HOME

In the first days of the war, I painted pictures based on the emotions I was experiencing for the first time. It was a direct reflection, but after a while I calmed down a bit, and the paintings were just on the war theme, so I stopped painting.

After a while, I went to the village where I lived for the first five years of my life. I ran away there because I was afraid, I wanted to hide, and that’s why I feel like a little child now. In this state, doing something serious and “adult” seemed inappropriate.

I started looking through my old toys and books. They looked like small monuments, memorials that reminded me of events and traumas from my childhood. But from now on, personal memories are also combined with war psychosis in my head: when I poured all the toys on the ground, I saw a picture of bombed-out Mariupol from above.

That’s why I decided to make such toy monuments. When you were a child, you just played with soldiers without fully realising the game, but now it’s a reality and it evokes not happy emotions.

After the start of the full-scale invasion, people from big cities began to flee home, to their small towns and villages, to their parents. The place where you grew up will always protect you and help you survive everything. Parents and relatives are the most important people in life, so they give you a sense of calm even in such terrible circumstances.

Artist Yurii Bolsa

Hypersensitivity, imbued with existential experiences. Today, constant psychological fluctuations are sublimated into objects and installations rather than paintings, as in 2016, when Bolsa’s first major project took place. These media are still the only form of communication between the artist and society. Visual art and Bolsa are nothing more than a contemporary Ukrainian bastardisation of Chervonohrad. A bold nay-sayer on the verge of a foul. Yura’s works are as sincere as possible, they contain sometimes sad images and ghosts: of his village, childhood, fears, war, toys, love and anger.

Yura Bolsa is a sensitive artist – an observer who uncompromisingly documents and lives all that life, in all that reality that most people try to leave somewhere aside, somewhere out of their sight, out of their comfort zone. This is probably why Bolsa’s work is often so strongly, almost magically, attractive and repulsive. This is uncomfortable art. This is the precedent in art when an artist pulls out of the jar with claws all those social fears and traumas that society tends to hide. Of course, such art may seem and be often unpleasant, sometimes rude, sometimes dark and even evil. But at the same time, Bolsa’s art makes the viewer unconsciously reflect, understand and see everything that is incorrect to ask, think and talk about in society.

Curated by Roma Gromov