How the largest community of artists helps to collect donations for Ukraine. Interview with the founder of the Ukrainian art community – Oleg Gryshchenko

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Pictoric, the largest community of Ukrainian illustrators, graphic designers, and artists, created 50 works of art for Warline, the largest charity NFT collection about war.

The collection, which includes more than 700 works, became the first Pictoric’s project in the NFT sphere. The team of META HISTORY museum, which creates Warline, invited the community to bring the level of work in the collection to a qualitatively new level. In order to do NFTs it’s not only a symbol of gratitude to buyers whose money helps Ukraine but although has become a valuable collector’s item, which will increase in price in the future. This corresponds to the goal of Pictoric, whose founders strive to represent Ukraine in the international arena with worthy artistic projects. The NFT art, which is at the peak of discussion for the third year, cannot be ignored by any organization operating on the cultural front. The co-founder of Pictoric, Oleg Hryshchenko, speaks about the collaboration, which is designed to tell better about Ukraine.

Pictoric on exhibition “Front Lines”, France

Why did you choose Warline to support Ukraine?

We have made a total of more than 50 exhibitions in different countries of the world together with Pictoric partners. All of them were in a more traditional format. We understand that to disseminate information about events in Ukraine, we must use all opportunities. Each of us now spends a lot of time online. Accordingly, art must also adapt and find its audience where it is convenient to interact with art. And if the popularity of NFT looks like a chance to win the support of hundreds of thousands of people in our fight for independence, why not use it to say something important? Therefore, Pictoric cooperates with META HISTORY, thereby entering a new niche for itself – art combined with the most modern technologies.

Pictoric on exhibition, Florence, Italy

What exactly did you like about the concept of META HISTORY?

We wanted to find a project for partnership, the idea of which would not be superficial. There are a lot of initiatives. However, they appear and disappear without attracting the viewer’s attention for a remote future. A strong concept is needed to stay in the audience’s field of vision for a long time, to claim their affection. META HISTORY has it: clear, transparent, needed by society, with the potential to enter the history of the state. After all, it is necessary to document the events and also tell about them. And about the authors who create this chronicle for future generations. And it is also necessary to attract money to help Ukraine. We support each of these goals and want to be with the team that achieves them.

Pictoric on exhibition, Poland

Do you think there is a fundamental difference between individual artists participating in such projects and the participation of the artistic community?

I think most Ukrainian artists are trying to do what they can to bring victory closer. The advantage of the community is that having dozens of collaborations behind us, we are already better oriented in the potential of various initiatives. And we respond to those that are worth the effort in the long run. That is, they will bring the greatest benefit to the country. After all, it is very important for artists that their work has a significant impact on public opinion and perception. We — like a quality filter — choose the most professional and conceptually strong projects aimed at helping the state, so that the efforts of Pictoric participants are not in vain. In return, our partner receives the works of the country’s strongest artists, designers, illustrators, and graphic designers.

Pictoic on Frankfurt book fair, Germany

How do you see the result as worth the efforts of the artists?

Currently, we want as many people as possible to get the right beacons and find their way in the sea of information that is quite contradictory and sometimes downright false. If being eyewitnesses of the events, Ukrainians can easily understand whose side the truth is on, it is much more difficult for foreigners to do so. Art has always been a tool for a better understanding of the world through universal images. Now, more than ever, it can serve this purpose. Therefore, we create it according to today’s challenges. And we hope that, as it has happened a lot of times, it will change society’s point of view and cleanse its vision of false intentions introduced by propaganda.

Do you think Pictoric along with META HISTORY will make it?

Warline is an incredibly relevant project. And with the end of the war, it will not lose its relevance. On the contrary, its value will increase in the future. After all, our victory is inevitable. And in the future, there will be more artists willing to join the struggle. At least to learn about its history is to learn about the path that Ukraine is currently on, changing itself and changing the world. So all that is required of us, by and large, is to continue to capture history for the future, making full use of the talent of the artists. Time will do the rest: the fog of war will dissipate, the truth will be revealed, and propaganda will be defeated.

Does it matter that META HISTORY is an NFT project?

Personally, now I am more of an observer who joins individual conceptual projects with interest. It is also the first full-fledged NFT project for Pictoric Warlinethat we implemented. But in general, new opportunities in the art are attractive to me. They mean development and moving forward, thanks to the evolution of technology. There is an opinion that art is dead and nothing new appears in it. But no – art continues to find new forms and possibilities.As an artist, it keeps me in shape and excites me as a connoisseur. Although I haven’t purchased any NFT jobs so far. I think for now my job is to create it.

What style do you personally work in?

I really love the ancient art and style of engraving. It is very interesting to work with it, using the capabilities of modern graphic editors. I like to refer to historical and cultural artifacts in my works. I have a series of works where I play mythological plots in the realities of Ukraine’s struggle against the Russian aggressor. They have been successful and have received many positive reviews at the international exhibitions that we have held since the beginning of the invasion. You can see my works on two Pictoric resources https://www.uastories-pic.com/ and https://www.supportukraine-pic.com/

Whose work inspires you?

When you work professionally as an artist, curator, and teacher, the circle of artists you admire becomes too large. And the further you study art, the less you focus on someone in particular. More — in whole directions. At the moment I prefer archaic and ancient art the most. There is some pure energy there. And it also perfectly shows that conceptually everything has already been invented before us. We are only looking for new forms and adapting eternal themes to our realities.

What are your plans for the future?

The main goal at the moment is to make Ukrainian art more popular in the world and better known not only because of war, tragedies, and exploits. We dream that Ukrainian artists could express themselves originally and broadly on any topic relevant to the world, and be heard. It’s hard to say all about what we want to do for this. Because the planning takes place in the short term – at most, a few weeks in advance, and the more projects we carry out, the newer connections and proposals appear, and the wider the horizons of opportunities in the future.

In your opinion, which art actions are the most effective for communicating with the world about Ukraine?

If we talk about our experience and those projects that were implemented in the Pictoric curatorial group with Olena Staranchuk and Anna Sarvira, the most successful were complex campaigns. By combining the efforts of illustrators, journalists, and cultural managers, we reach the widest audience and receive feedback and support that allow us to further develop the project.

One of the best examples today is the project “Even in dark times there is light”, where we tell visual stories about the struggle of ordinary Ukrainians, where personal initiatives and heroes are volunteers, children, teachers, athletes and many others. And since each hero has his own audience, the project finds a way to those people whom we personally are unlikely to reach.

What will you personally do after Ukraine’s victory in the war?

I love to travel. Therefore, after the victory, I want to travel through Ukraine. In particular, de-occupied cities. To implement creative projects there, to create a new Ukrainian culture.

Photos: Pictoric’s official Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pictoric.ua/

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