In the Studio with Bogdan Koshevoy

In the studio with Bogdan Koshevoy, whose practice explores story lines that take place in suggestive open spaces between the dreamlike and imaginary scenes. We met with Bogdan to tell us more about growing up in Central Ukraine, their greatest influences, and unexpected sources of inspiration.

When did you first begin to see yourself as an artist?

Well, maybe it happened during the last years of art school, when I started to realize that I had my skills grown enough for expressing more or less freely. So, yes, I think it was the moment when a certain technique level was achieved.

 Where are you from and what was your upbringing like?

I was born and grew up in quite a big industrial city in central Ukraine. Its authentic architectural styles had a great influence on me and set my taste in a significant way. 

Paint us a picture of your artistic journey. What inspired you to first pursue, and then continue to practice, artistic work?

As a child I enjoyed drawing the characters from the books I was reading, I was curious to understand better how would they look like. Later, when I was studying at art school It became a habit to have a sketchbook and I think it was then that I started to realize that art is more a way to approach living than producing nice objects.

What’s the message of your work? How would you describe your aesthetic? 

I’d say that the main intention of my practice is creating a certain atmosphere, inside of which a spectator can make a journey, following the inklings I give.
The story lines take place in suggestive open spaces balancing between the dreamlike, the imaginary and the hypothesized.

These panoramic scenes are often made up of forgotten architectures (i periodically use the architecture of my native city) and punk characters who weave ever new relationships, giving rise to countless interpretations.

Who/what are your greatest influences?  

The place I currently live in and some people I’ve met here. And a series of great painters, of course, such as Sidney Nolan, Max Ernst, Candido Portinari and others.

An unexpected source of inspiration?

Could be really anything, like a particular illumination or oddly(funny) dressed person from a bar.

What do you want people to take from your work when they view it?

Actually I don’t really want to impose any specific interpretation of my work. I never think of the audience while painting, I believe it would distract and restrict me somehow.

What events in your life have mobilised change in your practise/aesthetic? How has your art evolved? Do you experiment?

The greatest impact on my practice was definitely moving to Venice. I’ve started some important relations and have seen in person lots of greatest artworks I never had a chance to see before. All of this inspired me to start experimenting with technique and materials.

What are your ideal conditions or catalyst for creating a “good” piece of work?

Having a good idea, which would stimulate your interest in proceeding on and maintain you concentrated.

Something in the future you hope to explore?

In the future I’d like to explore other cultural realities and art communities abroad.

Tell us about the inspiration behind one of your works?

The title of “Krasnoselsky palace” refers to a real existing building in the working-class district of my native city built in 30’s. It used to be a health and free-time activities center for decades, but now it  is abandoned and in ruins. When I heard of its deplorable conditions I decided to make it a protagonist of one of my works, in a slightly renewed version, because I think it is a beautiful architectural project.