Taras Tryndyk was born in Dneprodzerzhinks, Ukraine in 1973. Growing up Taras was never far from art as a result of his fathers work as an interior decorator and portrait painter. Taras' development as an artist was further influenced by the work of his uncle, Nicolas Tryndyk, an honoured artist of Kabardino-Balkaria, who was a landscape painter and master of thematic paintings. Taras has been living and working in the Dnepropetrovsk area of Ukraine since 1997 and began exhibiting his artwork in 2001.
What initially drew you towards becoming an artist?
On one hand, one of my relatives (great-uncle) was a famous Soviet artist. I saw one of his paintings and I really liked it. The painting depicted an oriental wedding. On the other hand, when I was 13 or 14 years old, I read Irving Stone's novel ‘’Lust for Life’’ and decided what I want to do in my life.
How would you describe your own personal style?
I was interested in abstraction, because it was an opportunity to study colour, space, light, forms, etc. Each time dictates its own laws and its own format - social realism, capitalist, realism etc. Abstraction was the ability to be out of the format to move away from the temporal flow of fashion.
What pushed you in that direction and how can you see your work evolving in the future?
For me, it is very important to see that the artist is constantly changing. Naturally, you can trace the change of style and technique. This shows what the person is looking for. For me, it is important to find something new in each work. And over time, naturally I have felt a desire to paint the landscape. In landscapes I use those developments that I found out in abstraction, taking into account the composition of form and plot.
What inspires you in your work, is there a driving factor that draws you to the easel?
I can do different things, but painting is the most interesting. This is a constant search and discovery. A succession of successes and failures. It is always interesting to me.
Are there particular individuals who have encouraged / inspired you along the way, friends, family, teachers, maybe even other artists?
As a child I was inspired by a book – a catalog of my great-uncle's work. At the age of 12 I began to study painting in a good school. I was inspired by the head V.N. Bogonos He was an amazing watercolourist and teacher. He revealed, supported the individuality of the student, and he did not suppress.
During studying at college there were many good teachers. The most memorable was K.S. Berkuta. He possessed amazing qualities. I felt his care, I was surrounded by it. He was a man with a difficult fate. During the Second World War, he lost his right hand completely. The desire to draw was so great that he learned to draw with his left hand. One of the most famous Soviet artists, Yablonskaya, T.N., sent her students to study his sketches.
When it comes to creating your work, do you have a preferred medium, certain types of brushes or tools you love to use?
In the process of forming my own manner of working, I naturally formed preferences for all sorts of tools that I use. Some brushes I made myself. I also use certain tools that help me to express the author's technique. I use different types of solvents, varnishes. Different processing of canvases before painting. Among different manufacturers of paints there are unique colors that I use in my work.
When I studied I really liked the artist Vladimir Brainin. I could not understand how he made his paintings. In a catalog there was a photo from his studio. There was a piece of his desktop in a cadre. After detailed studying of the photo, I noticed a tool on his desk. That is when I understood the author's secrets of his manner of working.
When it comes to the subject matter of your work, what draws you to those themes?
Now I mainly work in the landscape genre. The plot is very important. In these works it is possible to see the fact that I was engaged in a long abstraction. Some works are almost a hybrid of abstraction and landscape. Preference: composition, colour, form, plot. A mystery is important in the composition. It is important to have a space for the viewer. If it is in the picture then the viewer could dream. What is more? The picture should be ”opened “ from different sides. Also, it shouldn’t be dull. The same principle applies to me. If a work is neutral for me, over time I rewrite it.
Could you describe the process behind your art? How do you get from concept to execution?
For me it is important to see that one work flows from the other. There is the visible process then. It shows that the artist thinks. When artist is changed then the manner of working is changed as well. I have already talked about this before. I do not do conceptual painting. I just study nature, colour, light, space.
Now I divide the year into two parts. Series of works spring - summer season and autumn-winter season. At the end I do a viewing. As I work in the art museums, I discuss with art critics what changes have taken place in the current period.
Could you describe your normal day as an artist? Have you set routines and rituals or is a more a case of when the moment is right you work?
I wake up early. Then I have breakfast with my family. It takes me a half an hour walk from my house to my studio. I walk through a beautiful park. I come to the studio. I need about 30 minutes to tune in to work. From 9 to 17:00 I work directly. I listen to music, lectures etc. This is kind of a ritual.
When you work, do you focus on one piece at a time until completion or are you working on multiple pieces at the same time?
I try to paint a complete picture at once. However, this is an ideal. If it does not work, then I modify it. The process may take several days, and may take a long time. I am generally working on several pictures at once. It depends on how much the picture is dried up, what improvements need to be made. I can work parallel on 5-6 works. It used to be hard to switch from work to work. I went for a long time under the impression of a painted picture and lived it for a long time. Now I can finish work in a certain amount of days. I can modify fragments in different works. I can switch completely from work to work. I can fully immerse myself in the work that I am creating at that moment.
How has your art evolved to be where it is today?
When I studied at college, everyone thought that I would have a very good career as a classical artist. But in 1993, the USSR collapsed. I had to leave college and went to work. I didn't paint pictures for 7 years. One day my friend, he is an artist, invited me to his studio. He gave me a canvas and asked me to paint something. I did an abstract work. It was unexpected by me. I made about 10 pictures. My wife invited an art critic. The art critic suggested making a personal exhibition in the art museum. And so this is how I began my career as an abstract artist.
Which of your artworks are you most proud off?
There are a lot of them. As a rule, I try to paint a picture until I like it myself. Therefore, I have collected enough works, from different periods, that are different types of artworks.
Is there a fellow artist alive today that you admire? If so, why?
In some artists I like human qualities. I like several artists’ works.
If you could travel back in time, is there a particular artistic period / era that you would like to have been involved in?
What challenges do you feel the 21st century artist has to overcome?
I thought about this thing. I read an interview with the famous Ukrainian artist Anatoly Krivolap. He writes that while attending various international exhibitions, biennales etc. he cannot define in paintings where is the Polish artist , where is the Australian artist, where is the Mexican artist … Everyone follows the general format, trying to be in a time format. The artist often losses individuality and belonging to a particular people / culture. I completely agree with him. In my opinion, the artist should depict more of their experiences of their inner world. Try to be out of format. The history of art shows that the interest of viewers always remains open to such personalities.
What advice would you give to a young aspiring artist currently studying art?
I would recommend a young artist to study more of the art history. Study the great artists of different eras. I would recommend then to distance from all this and focus more on the inner world and the ways of its transmissions in the visual arts.
Despite having developed your own distinctive style, is there another style of art that you are immediately drawn towards and admire? Why?
When I began to work in the abstract genre, after about 5 -10 works I “got tired”, got fed up and began to repeat. Therefore, I took and painted an absolutely “hyper-realistic” work - still life or landscape. After that, a clearer vision and new ideas began returning. I also love to visit exhibitions of photography. In photos the moment of momentary time is transmitted to unique moments of life, something that is very difficult to do in painting. I admire and sometimes envy the photographers. Since my studio is in the museum, we often have exhibitions of sculpture, enamel, installations, and many different events take place. I enjoy visiting them.
We have all heard of the unfinished masterpiece, even Da Vinci laboured away at the Mona Lisa for years and years, have you works that are in a continual process of evolution? When working on an artwork do you find it hard to let go? Knowing when enough is enough?
There are works that I repainted 3-4 times. During many years. At that time, when I painted work, I did not have the technical ability to do it the way I would like it. When I get new skills after time. If I see that I can create better art, I often do it. So, I have a “test” work. The test work is a tree. After 2-3 years, I again come back to ‘’this” tree. I paint the tree. I look at the manner changes. This is the most effective way to see what I do and what happens in my creative life.
Many people see artists as storytellers or advocates for a cause, do you believe that it is an artist’s responsibility to shine a light on a particular subject / theme, or do you create purely for the sake of expression your creative nature?
I paint about my experiences in this particular period of my life. The pictures reflect how I feel and experience the events in my life and out of it.
What are you working on at the moment?
I am working on a series of landscapes. I think about abstraction. At this moment there are many ideas that I want to implement in the landscape genre.
Have you ever been part of an artistic group / movement? How did your work benefit from that experience?
I participated in different group exhibitions of paintings. I studied and lived in an art dormitory in the 90's. I am so fed up with the student community. I ate it during this student’s period. Now I try to select before I join exhibitions or projects. I do not want to waste time in vain. I want to do more creative process. I would love to see the process like this: the artist paints, the art critic describes the work and the manager sells them - everyone is busy with his own business. In my opinion it is harmonious.
When is your next exhibition? Is it a solo or group exhibition? Could you tell us a little about the exhibition, when and where it is?
I have had exhibitions in all the museums and galleries in the city I live in. Once, when I held my first exhibition, one very talented art critic and a wise woman asked me a question: - Why are you doing an exhibition? I replied: - To show works to people. To let the viewer see art. She answered: - This is all wrong. The artist should see his work in a neutral area outside the studio. For the artist it is important to understand what happened and what did not with his art. Later she became my artistic mentor. Two years ago I had a big exhibition. I exhibited about 100 works. Now I divide exhibitions into 2 categories - commercial and test. Commercial – for selling. Test – if I want to look at my works in a neutral territory. I look at my artistic level and understand where to go next.
To view Taras' full collection click - The Online Art Gallery of Taras Tryndyk