Interviews with Artists

Maksym Mazur

Interview by Mariia Kashchenko


Published in December 2022


How are you in general? What helps you to continue creating?

I am answering your questions on Tuesday, November 15th. It’s one of those days in Kyiv when nothing goes to plan and chaos replaces normality. After hearing the air-raid siren, I went down to the bomb shelter in the building of the Institute of Automation in Kyiv. My studio is located in the Institute. Downstairs, I met other artists from the neighboring studios. We don't see each other very often now, mostly when we go down to the shelter. There is no electricity twice a day for 4 hours, so time has now become a particularly valuable resource for everyone. However, I can say that everything is fine with me and my family. I am working on two new series and I teach at an art college. Work helps me to stay healthy and my work prevents the anger becoming too toxic. When the opportunity arises, I donate my works to charity. Understanding that my art can now bring at least a small benefit, stimulates me to go to the studio every day.

Night. Maksym Mazur.

What or who inspires you?

I am inspired by my family, my son who is now three and a half years old. And also many different people; their "bright side" which became more visible after February 24th. Bravery, kindness, care, dignity...this is perceived as a counterweight to the horrors of war.

What do you see the uniqueness of Ukrainian culture in?

The uniqueness of the geographical location, the historical context, current events. All this has a special effect on artists. All these aspects, of course, manifest themselves in art. Malevich's Suprematism and the avant-garde as a phenomenon drew inspiration from Ukrainian folk visual culture. For example, the abstract structures by Anatoly Kryvolap and Marko Geyko of the late 1990s evoke associations with the landscapes of the Poltava region. There is a subtle connection with the place. It is interesting to analyze. Similarly, Henry Moore's sculptures resemble the plastic curves of the Scottish mountains.

Unnamed. Maksym Mazur.

What is your art about and what do you want to tell through it?

I strive to achieve a certain expressiveness using unusual materials for painting. Books that are thrown away or sent for recycling as well as found objects. These are peculiar fragments that can testify to the changeability of "values" and the fleetingness of time.

How would you like to develop further?

I am interested in working with non-standard (exhibition) spaces. I am also interested in collaborations with artists and curators with whom I have similar values in art. I was able to implement a project in the Dzyga gallery in Lviv this summer. It was a very good experience, because most galleries have similar spaces, and Dzyga is absolutely not typical. In addition, artist Vlodko Kaufman is the gallery’s curator, which also makes it special. I enjoy working on projects with the Institute of Automation, developing this local community.

Unnamed. Maksym Mazur.


Maksym Mazur is a young Ukrainian artist living and working in Kyiv, Ukraine.

︎ @maksym_mazur

Mariia Kashchenko is the founder of The Art Unit, online curated platform selling works by emerging artists, including works by Bohdan.

︎ @theartunit


Cover image: Maksym in his studio. Photo by Oleg Sai.


If you like this why not read our interview with Rhiannon Salisbury & Benjamin Murphy.


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