From the book about Viktor Zaretsky
by Lesia Medvedeva
Kyiv, 2006

Viktor Zaretsky's creative work  impresses not only with its eccentricity of creative thinking and stylistic variety but also with wideness of
artistic interests: fine arts, graphics, monumental arts, essays, memoirs, etc. Being simultaneously traditionalist and innovator, from time
to time he was shocking the public with extreme pop-cultural thinking, becoming an artist of fashion, forming or even moving ahead of it. 
In late 1950s he started with actual at that time and spiritually close to him industrial miners thematic.
He was one of the folklore style founders, along with T. Yablonska, A. Gorska, L. Semykina, V.Zadorozhny, O. Zalyvakha, depicting "khutory"
and peasant-beauties in folk costumes.
Zaretsky's artworks of the second half of 1960s differentiated in two creative trends: monumentalism and easel painting.
In 1978, Zaretsky opened the artistic studio where more than 200 students were tutored. The studio had informal status, thus, the authorities
suspended its activity as of a "hotbed of free-thinking". It was the protection of his teacher S. Hryhoryev that saved Zaretsky from persecution
and convictions.

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               Natalka, 1986
         80x61, oil on canvas
           Paint Me A Blue Bird, 1989
        Girl From Polissia Region, 1965
             120x80, oil on canvas
Since the end of 1970s the artist has been fond of Gustav Klimt. The image of a woman became a constant symbol in Zaretsky's art.
In his perception any painting is an icon. That is why he was painting  fairy-tale and dream, moving away from reality, putting a woman
into the world of spiritual beauty as well as physiological passion.
In the artworks of 1980s Zaretsky did not avoid stereotypes of mass pop culture, so called pop symbols. The objects of Zaretsky's art
were   mannequins, cars, jazz, drugs, fashion, parties. Ephemeral modern life attracted him and pushed him off simultaneously.
At the same time this ephemeral life was full of deeply human problems: complicated human relations and loneliness.

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                       Folk Art 
  (in memory of Hanna Sobachko)
                    oil, tempera
                   Girls, 1962
   145x160, oil on canvas, tempera
           Making Braid, 1965
        100x110, oil on canvas
Zaretsky was very much interested in Pra-Slavic art but also studied Egyptian, Greek, Japanese art, the language of Byzantine icons.
The artist was not afraid of imitation because he thought that the great styles were formed absorbing global experience. He often
mentioned Picasso who stilyzed aboriginal patterns, showing to the whole world his "free creative consciousness".
V. Zaretsky created under the influence of Ukrainian folk art, Guistav Klimt works, icon-painting, impressionism, and expressionism.
His artworks combine the elements of different styles, trends, tendencies and forms.
The artworks by Viktor Zaretsky were presented at the Christie's auction in London.

The last painting by Viktor Zaretsky was about Holodomor (Great Famine) in Ukraine 1932-1933. 
To read about it please check GENOCIDE GALLERY:

December 28, 2009

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