The honorary artists of Ukraine Oleksiy Kulakov & Nataliya Papirna
by Olha Marchuk
Photo Olecsiy Kulakov
Ukrainian Journal No.3, 2007

alt   The honorary artists of Ukraine Oleksiy Kulakov and Nataliya Papirna are completing their work,
   which they consider extremely interesting and exciting - painting the ceiling in the Supreme Court
   of Ukraine. The huge area of about 300 square meters is soon to be finished. Only some details
   are left to complete.
  - When we were entrusted to do this job, I was perplexed how to embody this idea, says Oleksiy.
   Then he found the best solution possible: he recalled that Archistrategos Mykhayil, the protector
   of Kyiv, holds a sward in one hand and scales in the other. So, he started the composition with

  The artists say they do not have time to think about their status and place in the
  world of art.

  Then appeared the images of Wisdom, Benevolence, scenes of fight between Good and Evil, in
 other words those, which symbolize the activity in this place.
 - The task is not easy either intellectually of physically, adds Nataliya. We have calculated that
  each day we cover the distance equal to ten ascents to the Lavra bell tower; each 30-40 minutes
we have to go down from the scaffold to see a completed piece of work from the ground.
However, we would not have enough inspiration without our children's help, including its primarily technical side. Thus, we can be confident
to consider our work to be the family business.

alt   Archistrategos Mykhail, 
  a protector of Kyiv,
  holds a sward in one hand
  and scales - in the other
This grand painting for the state building is not the first artwork in the creative activity of Oleksiy Kulakov. He painted the renowned grand canvas "Creation of the State" which is now located in the Ukrainian Parliament. Answering the question if it was difficult to work on the artwork, Oleksiy smiles: "I have come to the conclusion that politicians and whimsical women have much in common..." To be serious, the deputies considered each stroke on the painting scrupulously, they discussed the smallest details at the sessions of the special commissions, approved even disposition of the persons according to their importance in the process of creating the state.
At present the couple work on another monumental artwork - the copy of the painting "Grundval Battle". For the painting to be holistic the special canvas was weaved, 4 to 9 meters in size. The artists want to get permission from the customer to show the artwork in Ukraine after the work is over.
Several artworks of the artists will be on display in one of the galleries. The artists are completing their work on the paintings and both of them are worrying that soon the artworks will leave the workshop. The paintings are sold immediately, just from the paintbrush. They are in demand for museums and private collections, in Ukraine and abroad.
The artists say they have no time to think about their status and place in the world of art. "If you stop to look around, blow up, and cock your nose, you will simply waste your time. There are so many things to do", says Oleksiy. And Nataliya shares her secret dream with us - she wants to paint a church. Perhaps, it will become the most responsible and needed work in her life. 

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                        The artworks of the masters are sold immediately, and they have orders for half a year in advance

August 8, 2009

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