• Jenny

Interview with Ukrainian Artist: Iryna Maksymova

Discovering artists outside your city during a worldwide pandemic can be complicated and overwhelming. That is why here at The Nomad Salon, we do the work of finding fresh new talent for you so that you can relax in the comfort of your home while also expanding your art world horizon. In this interview, we welcome you to meet Iryna Maksymova, an emerging artist based in Lviv, Ukraine, whose abstract expressionist artwork has the power to lure an audience in to explore the canvas and reflect on its imagery meaning. The colorful and fun canvases at times are a commentary on serious issues found in every society such as sexism. Read on to find out more about her inspiration and what drives her unique practice.

Iryna Maksymova in her studio. Courtesy of the artist.

Tell us about who you are and what you do. What's your background?

My name is Iryna Maksymova, and I'm an artist from Ukraine. I received a degree in graphic design, but I was attracted to art all my life, and I've always been painting in my spare time. A year and a half ago, I quit my job, and when the quarantine started, I decided to spend more time on art. I rented my first studio, and that was a starting point. Now I can't even imagine myself being anything else other than an artist or going back to work at an office. Finally, at the age of 30, I found something I really love and want to do all my life.

Iryna Maksymova, "Divka," oil on canvas, 2020. Courtesy of the artist.

What is life like for an artist living in Ukraine? Does the country support its artists with a strong art infrastructure? If not, what is missing?

I think being an artist in Ukraine is the same as being an artist in any other country. First of all, you do it for yourself! Talking about support, I never reached out for it and therefore did not find it. I'm sure that there are some grants and competitions. I know that sometimes you might get an artist studio for free. I don't need it now; I just hope that whoever is looking for it can find it. But to be honest, I haven't heard many positive stories about my country being supportive in the art field.

Iryna Maksymova in her studio. Courtesy of the artist.

What does your work aim to say? What are the major themes you pursue in your artwork?

My art is an attempt to convey the emotions and impressions of what really worries me. They are either positive or negative experiences that affect the world and me - themes such as joy, love, feminism, sexism, cruelty, and injustice. Someone will say that all these topics have been done for a long time...but why should I keep quiet if I have something to say?!


My works are a deep part of my inner feelings. Every piece is a manifesto, a voice, a call to action. I believe that my works have the power to influence people to speculate not only on the visible part but also about the inner meaning of the work- the idea and the concept that can motivate change.


Iryna Maksymova, "Panianochka," oil on canvas, 2020. Courtesy of the artist.

What series or artistic project are you currently working on?

I'm working on a series of works for the exhibition, although it is difficult for me to stick to one topic. I hope everything will work out, and I will be able to exhibit my pieces in a large, bright gallery. I'm still in the process of developing my unique style.

Iryna Maksymova in her studio. Courtesy of the artist.

What art movements have influenced your worldview and the way you create art?

I can hardly say that any artistic movement influenced me. I'm influenced by life and love for art, love for the painting process, love for spending time in my studio thinking about work, love for plans' realization.


Iryna Maksymova, "St. Girls Power Day," oil on canvas, 2020. Courtesy of the artist.

If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?

I don't aim to own art; I only want to have the opportunity to see art everywhere around the world.


Iryna Maksymova, "Orange," oil on canvas, 2020. Courtesy of the artist.

Follow Iryna Maksymova on Instagram at @maxymova

For inquiries on the artwork, please email the artist directly at maxymova.iryna@gmail.com

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