Artist Interview with Kateryna Bortsova: International Award-Winning Artist
Interviewer: Meera Shah, Director at Galleria Meera
Kateryna Bortsova is a celebrated artist and winner of the 2020 Merit Art Prize from Art Show International (USA) and winner of the 2016 Emirates Skywards (UAE) amongst 10 international art awards. Kateryna graduated with a Master of Fine Arts degree in 2008 and her work has been featured in over 100 international publications.
Meera: Hi Kateryna! With such a great body of work, what I’d like to know is what or who would you say are your biggest influences?
Kateryna: Hi Meera! I would say that at each new stage of my development, I was influenced by different artistic trends and personalities – the Impressionists, Pre-Raphaelites and Art Nouveau, as well as modern artists in the current age of developing technologies.
More broadly speaking, I think all types and genres of art have their influence on the disclosure of painful topics for society. However, at each stage of the development of civilization, each of the art forms had a greater or lesser power of influence. So, in the 20th century, especially in the middle of it, music became the voice of protest and freedom, however, the visual arts did not lag. Now with the development of the Internet and social networks, where the “picture” plays an important role, visual art has received a great opportunity to express and denounce the vices of everyday life.
Meera: So following from that, what inspires you personally as an artist?
Kateryna: Images tend to just come into my imagination, either as impressions from movies, music, or theater or by simple communication with other people. Some think my works are based on literature, but this is not so. The image of a potential picture will not leave my imagination until it is depicted on canvas or paper, or in an oil or acrylic painting. First, I inwardly develop all the details. Sometimes I start a small sketch, but the more I develop the details of an image in my mind, the less time, and efforts I need for its implementation.
Meera: I get that, because when an idea has been fully developed in your mind it can lead to a more fluid creative process. What does your work aim to say?
Kateryna: As an artist, I am always looking for something new – a new style, image, or viewpoint.
I believe that an artist’s work reflects their inner emotions and moods. For me, if the artist hasn’t left at least a piece of their soul or their emotions in their art, that work is dead. Many artist’s work is totally autobiographical – an inspiration of certain landscapes, journeys, or memories. Among my works there are many self-portraits and sometimes characters in my portraits acquire my features. It often occurs at the subconscious level. But I do not feel it. Only people with an outsider’s perspective usually pick up on it.
Meera: I feel that way too. I think a personal connection between the art and artist has a huge effect on the potential impact of the artwork on society. I really think it shows through, for me. So let me ask you this, what does art mean to you?
Kateryna: Yes I agree.I think that art means confrontation between life and aesthetics. It is a hard struggle for both of them. And the understanding of art is one of the main focuses of an artist.
With modern art I do not divide art works into mainstream, underground and classics. It is important for me that art masterpieces should have a response in the audience’s soul. This type of art will always be timeless. I think keeping up with ephemeral trends is not a great path to follow as an artist. Old trends repeat through time, and things that seem new to us today are just a repeat of things that have come before except they now feel ‘new’ because we are in a new era of civilization.
Meera: There’s so much detail in your work, tell us more about your creative process as an artist.
Kateryna: My creative process does not have many stages or complexities. Creation of a painting for me usually begins with the image of a potential work set inside my mind. Sometimes I have no time for creative works due to my other professional commitments. But the idea of a new picture does not ever leave me and I am eager to set aside some time to bring my ideas to life.
After the general idea of a new picture appears in my mind, I develop all the details inwardly. I make decisions about the technique and style of my work further, for example, regarding the best compositional conception. Sometimes after thorough thinking over I start to make a small sketch, but I do not always do this.
Meera: Thank you for sharing that with us Kateryna. Finally, can you give any details on which projects you are currently working on?
Kateryna: Sure, you’re welcome!
In April 2020, I started a series of portraits reflecting the internal state of a person in self-isolation. In them I want to convey my perception of this situation through the images of different people. I continue to work and analyze my inner world whilst reflecting on external circumstances.
I am also working on a project titled “Way to my Heart”. I love travelling so the basis of this project constitutes maps of different cities and countries in Europe. The maps used in the pieces were purchased during my various trips, where they served me well whilst trying to navigate through unfamiliar cities. Therefore, these maps bear the imprint of my journeys and impressions.
The concept of my project directly relates to the travel and self-realization of man in a globalized world. He refers to the problems arising in connection with the closing of borders due to the pandemic, and searches for the man’s place in a global world, which suddenly became narrowed to the same country or even the region. I want to draw the viewer’s attention to a paradox between the closing and limitation of the ‘offline world’ compared with the boundlessness and openness of the online world filled with information and content during the pandemic.
Meera: That’s great Kateryna, thank you for your time and sharing your story with us!
Kateryna: Thank you Meera! It’s been my pleasure!
To learn more about Kateryna, click here: https://www.galleriameera.com/kateryna-bortsova/
To view and enquire about Kateryna’s works available for purchase, visit our Virtual Gallery here: https://www.galleriameera.com/gallery/