Yana Bystrova is a third-generation Ukrainian artist, born to create undeniably conceptual, enticing pieces of art. Having her body of work showcased in galleries around the world, Yana has continuously stunned audiences with her meticulous creations full of color, concept and mixed media.
No stranger to pouring her countries rich history into her designs, we now see Yana’s paintings amongst the traveling exhibition “Painting in Excess: Kyiv’s Art Revival, 1985 – 1993,” originally set to be showcased in her homeland of Ukraine.
Engulfed in the world of artistry since before she can remember, Yana often questions whether she had a choice on becoming an artist. Her professional ability has been evident from a young age; with Yana’s mother often telling a story about a painting she created in her adolescence. The piece, showcased at a children’s museum, was suddenly stolen from their home. Yana created the painting at the mere age of three years old.
Having doubted her position as an artist, Yana, too, experimented with differing professions before returning to her craft. She dabbled in design and programming, in which she gained mass success with. Nonetheless, she knew that the corporate environment did not suit her appropriately and went back to her original passion for creating art.
Amidst the ongoing war in Ukraine, Yana has been deeply affected by the destruction to her country. A daunting task, Yana spoke about the devastation she felt from hearing about the Russian invasion when stating, “It is horrible, I was in shock and very disoriented in the beginning [of the war].”
Yana’s thoughts pour into her work, evoking a new era of her works. She finds that her most recent paintings are a version of the distilled reality of the situation at hand. Each hue used in her art represents something deeper than the color wheel could ever encompass, it exemplifies the weight of Ukraine on Yana’s heart.
She often considers the conflict endured by everyone affected by the war; those who have fled and those who are still in the country. The situation at hand in Ukraine has had an everlasting affect on her personal and professional wellbeing.
“[It is] one thing is to be a tourist; another thing is to be a refugee.”
Her latest participation in the new exhibition “Painting in Excess: Kyiv’s Art Revival, 1985 – 1993” was organized a few years back, postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Held at the Coral Gables Museum through October of 2022, the showing was originally conceived by the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers. The project embraces a life of its own, taking a new shape and meaning modernly with the tragedy occuring in Ukraine.
Yana utilizes delicate use of color to personify her artistry, creating new narratives. In the way that verbal communication only accounts for a small portion of human interaction, Yana attributes color to bridging these gaps and expressing what cannot be stated in words. Often investigating new mediums for her artistry, Yana carefully crafts art that is theoretical and impactful.
Amongst her upcoming exhibitions, Yana has a New York residency opening on June 3. Entitled “Yana Bystrova: Approaching a Chaotic Reality,” the showing will be held at Gallery Arte Azulejo. A gallery walk will be sported on June 16 as well.
Additional resource on Yana.
Article by: McKinley Franklin x Vaughn Lowery