Tribute to Ukrainian street art

Tribute to Ukrainian street art

24 March 2022 2 By Séverine

I must confess that until a few weeks ago I didn’t know much about Ukrainian street art. So when I started to see the works of Street Art in support of Ukraine blooming all over the world, I instinctively had the idea to make an article on the subject. It is true that the work of the English artist My Dog Sighs in Cardiff or the one of Seth GlobePainter in Paris had touched me a lot.

Oeuvre de My Dog Sighs en support au peuple ukrainien

My Dog Sighs – Cardiff – Crédits ©MyDogSighs


Oeuvre du Street Artiste Français SethGlobePainter à Paris en soutien au peuple Ukrainien

Seth GlobePainter – rue Buot, Paris – ©Altinnov


But here we are, the hour is serious and I thought it was a little light to talk to you about the fabulous artists who create beautiful works in support of the Ukrainian people without talking about the Ukrainian artists themselves. Talking about these free artists without mentioning Ukrainian street art seemed to me really indecent. So I decided to pay tribute to Ukrainian artists who for the most part have lost everything in this terrible war.


Waone, the artist with the phantasmagorical style under the bombs in Kiev


A few months ago, I photographed Waone quietly creating a work at the Fiminco Foundation in Paris. He was listening to classical music while painting his work on the theme of metamorphosis with an Olympian calm. To know that he had to abandon his studio in Kiev to hide in a bomb shelter is chilling and surreal!

Gros plan sur l'artiste Waone Interesni Kaski

WAONE à la Fondation Fiminco – ©Altinnov


This kind-hearted artist, from the bottom of his shelter, managed to collect money for the people around him by selling his NFT works. Then he went to Lviv to participate in the happening of the artist JR. He has just gathered 12 artists from Kiev to sell prints of their work with the help of the excellent Juxtapoz Magazine for the benefit of Save Ukraine Now. To this day Waone has not left Ukraine and continues to do everything he can to raise funds and help his country. I sincerely hope that we will see his work flourish again, as it did here in Versailles last year.


Street Artist Ukrainien avec WAONE à Versailles - Quai 36 projet 1096

Curious Botanist – WAONE – Versailles – ©Altinnov


Sasha Korban : from the mines of Donbass to the most beautiful walls of Kiev


The journey of this artist is surprising to say the least; this former miner has certainly become one of the most recognised artists in Ukraine! Although he is not very well known internationally, his work in the city of Kiev, using aerosols or paintbrushes, punctuated the daily life of the population. Surprisingly, one of his works made the rounds of the Web last summer on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of Kurt Kobain’s death. This work was located in Soumy, a few steps from the Russian border.



Voir cette publication sur Instagram


Une publication partagée par Sasha Korban (@sasha.korban)

Just a year ago, he made a little girl with a magic wand. Today, the text he wrote in his “post” takes on its full meaning: “I created this work under the Kiev bridge. I believe that only a little magic can help our roads. If you are in Ukraine, you know what I mean”. As you know, there is no longer a bridge in Kiev, and the magic did not work. At the time of writing we have no news of this artist.



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Une publication partagée par Sasha Korban (@sasha.korban)

Marta & Yuriy Pitchuk : Distilling softness into Ukraine’s roughest buildings


Not much is known about this artist duo and city couple living in Western Ukraine. For years they have been highlighting the lives of the people on the walls of Ukrainian cities. Their four-handed work has always been very gentle. This duo understood that the social impact and commitment of murals could be important. This is why they chose to paint monumental murals, especially on the massive old buildings of the Soviet era.



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Une publication partagée par Yuriy Pitchuk (@yuriy_pitchuk)


Each of them also does more personal work. For some time now Marta Pitchuk has been painting Motanka dolls, an ancient Ukrainian talisman, a symbol that links the past to the present. Her work has been used in NFT and printed on phone covers to support children in Ukraine.


Aleksey Kislow : dreamlike murals that have crossed the atlantic


This artist was totally unknown to me and what a surprise to discover that he had made a monumental work in Wynwood Miami in 2013! Like Waone, he is strongly influenced by surrealism. His highly imaginative universe often refers to the realm of dreams.


Street Art Ukrainien - Aleksey Kislow pour Wynwood Walls à Miami

Aleksey Kislow – Wynwood Walls Miami – ©Kislow


While doing some research on this artist, I discovered with admiration that in 2014 he had collaborated with the French artist Seth GlobePainter in the heart of Kiev. The two artists, in the aftermath of the Maidan revolution, wanted to celebrate the new future of the country with this work.


Street Art Ukrainien - oeuvre de Seth GlobePainter et Aleksey Kislow à Kiev

Seth GlobePainter & Aleksey Kislow – Kiev – ©SethGlobePainter & ©Kislow


Sad coincidence… a few days before the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Sevastopol-based artist posted on instagram one of his works with the text “Make love not war”.


Viktoria Lime, the sexy graffiti artist from Kiev


For more than 6 years, her pin-ups with a touch of manga have covered the walls of Kiev. This young graffiti artist, a bit provocative, likes to say that she creates her own army of girls. On 11th of March she posted a photo of Kiev devastated by bombs on which she had drawn two little girls.


Street Art Ukraine - Oeuvre de Viktoria Lime sur une photo de la ville de Kiev dévastée par la guerre

Viktoria Lime – Kiev – ©ViktoriaLime


Her last post dates from 14th of March and shows one of her girls with a Molotov cocktail in her hand ready to defend her country. As she has not given any sign of life since, it is very likely that she has remained in Kiev to defend the city in her own way…


Kailas .V : the agency that embellished Kiev with murals.


In France we have Quai 36 who, if you remember, orchestrated the frescoes in Versailles and also the magnificent fresco done by PichiAvo in the heart of Paris. In Ukraine there was Kailas.V, an equivalent agency that called on artists to embellish the facades of buildings and brighten up the lives of the population. Such an agency could not have existed if Ukrainian street art had not been extremely developed! The city of Kiev had many more works of Street Art than Paris!

In 2017, this agency created a wall for peace in the city of Izyum with the face of John Lennon to embody it. It was written in Ukrainian and Russian “Give the world a chance”! The last photo taken of this wall shows it riddled with bullets on a building that has suffered many impacts.

In Memory of Ukrainian Street Art

As you have seen, onirism, surrealism, reverie, messages of peace and hope made Ukrainian Street Art an art form of its own. His death under the bombs is much less serious than the lives lost in this abject war. I simply wanted, in my small way, to pay homage to it, hoping with all my heart that we will see these artists offer us new works and amaze us again and again. If you also wish to join the tribute, do not hesitate to share and keep their works alive in the virtual world. For once, I would like to end this article with a simple phrase.

“Give peace a chance”.