New York based art dealer Cuban Fine Arts and EUASU (the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences in Ukraine) started the project “Art Against War” to support scholars, journalists, photographers and people in need due to the present conflict in Ukraine. The participants in the project are Ukrainian artists who express the courage and unity of the Ukrainian people through their art.
Since the invasion of February 2022, Russian forces have waged a brutal war, laying waste to cities, villages and infrastructure. Thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of civilians have died, along with tens of thousands of soldiers on both sides. Millions have been forced to leave their homes behind and flee abroad. Russian forces have targeted journalists doing their work, with at least eight killed in the line of duty and another six while off-duty. One was shot dead at a Russian military checkpoint and another died in a precision strike on the Kyiv TV station. Art and artists are also being targeted. More than 30 artists have died in various circumstances, some fighting for Ukraine, others dying because of air strikes and still others murdered outright. For example, conductor Yuriy Kerpatenko was shot in his home for refusing to take part in a Russian-backed concert, and artist Liubov Panchenko starved to death in Russian-occupied Bucha.
The artists who are still alive are pulling together to use their special talent to help the Ukrainian people and document the horror of the Russian invasion. They stand in a long tradition of using the arts to document the horrors of war, including such outstanding examples as the war poetry of Wilfrid Owen and Siegfried Sassoon and Pablo Picasso’s Guernica. These are not works of glorification or propaganda, but show the pathos, trauma and courage of wartime as experienced by human beings.
Each print is available for $580 inclusive of printing and US shipping. 100% of profits go directly to the Keep Ukrainian Scholars and Journalists Safe. The money goes to fund essentials including electric generators, solar batteries, charging stations, power banks, thermal blankets and sleeping bags, flashlights, tactical medical backpacks (35L, 55L), medkits, medical supplies, splints, potbelly stoves, heaters, plate carriers and hardbody armour, open fire cookware sets, holsters, tactical winter clothes, fleece winter jackets, pants, tactical shoes, boots, earmuffs to protect hearing, night vision binoculars, distance measuring instruments and protective glasses. This fundraiser will provide immediate assistance to people who are in desperate need.
Ukrainian artist LiberU explains the reasons for this campaign.
“In this war, everyone has his own weapon, and the artist has his art. When I go down to the bomb shelter during air raids and sometimes spend hours there, I take my tablet with me and draw what I see and feel, what people in Ukraine are going through. I wanted to convey the pain, anxiety and courage that Ukrainian people are experiencing. Everyone has their own language and their own weapon. Art is the language through which I can speak to the world and show the suffering of my country. When you are sitting in a bomb shelter, and the walls and the ground are shaking from explosions, you want to somehow respond to this horror. The paintings “Art against war” are weapons, tears, courage and unity of the Ukrainian people against the terror of Russia. With this art, thanks to Ed Steinberg, I want to raise money so we can buy more of the supplies that we really need. The European Academy in Ukraine is doing very hard work, every friend of mine is working selflessly night and day. Thank you for your support.”
Recently, the project was endorsed by British conceptual illustrator John Holcroft. His works have been published in numerous media and other work for clients such as the Financial Times, The Economist, The New York Times, the BBC, Nike, The Guardian, Honda, the Wall Street Journal, Experian and Oxford University Press among many others. John also takes his talent to personal projects and creates powerful illustrations that should resonate for any contemporary person. John Holcroft’s work can be followed on his social media accounts on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/johnholcroftillustration/), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/john.holcroftillustrator/) and LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/john-holcroft-3a4a0135/).
Shares, comments and words of support on social media are also very much appreciated: we are trying to draw more attention to the fundraiser.
This project is possible thanks to Simon Assaad and his close friends, Ed Steinberg and Natacha Merritt. We thank everybody who shows support for human kindness and solidarity with us in Ukraine.
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