Art critics call him one of the most famous and the most expensive artists of Ukraine because paintings created by Mykhailo Demtsiu are often exhibited not only in Ukraine, but also in Europe: France, Spain, and Germany. The expressionist artist himself modestly denies the “yoke” of genius and popularity, admitting that an artist can earn something from art in Ukraine only if it becomes his life. “In our time often it is the name signed on the painting and not the level of artistic representations that has the utmost value. True art suffers from it greatly,” stressed Mykhailo Demtsiu. “Today, a talented artist in Ukraine can make good money from his art but only after he earns his good name by many years of hard daily work.”
Gallerist Maksym Voloshyn is convinced that Demtsiu has long deserved the name of an extraordinary artist, since only a few of Ukrainian artists can so skillfully and finely combine colors and textures on the canvas, creatively mixing Western European and Ukrainian national traditions.
“His paintings are unique life stories told in bright colors,” said gallerist Maksym VOLOSHYN. “Mykhailo Demtsiu is a traditionally surprising artist. His paintings rich in color literally charge you with positive energy and optimism. The most significant paintings exhibited in ‘Mystetska Zbirka’ are Spring in the Carpathian Mountains and Arkan. Even though both paintings are of large size, they have been painted in ‘a la prima’ style – light manner of painting created in one session. Some artists spend months painting something and are unable to reach such effect. Demtsiu does it in only few hours.”
The artist admits that he cannot spend a long time working on one painting. As a result, all of his recent works were created in one session: “I have a golden rule: I create a painting only during a day. This brings discipline to the creative process. On average, the work takes from two to seven hours, but I never put off work until later. Once I started painting, there is nothing else existing for me at that time.”
“Despite the lightness of compositions, Demtsiu’s paintings are traditionally expressive and saturated with powerful dynamics of what is rendered,” artist Mykhailo DEIAK, who came to the opening of the exhibition “Arkan,” shared his impressions with The Day. “Most of the colors used by the artist are open and bright. Some people get the false impression that it is an easy genre. In fact, there are only a few artists who work successfully in this genre.”
Demtsiu says that his artistic secret is the inborn love of bright colors. “I never use dark, black, or brown tones. Generally colors of sorrow in my paintings do not play a major role,” said the artist. “I like to work with red, blue, purple, and yellow colors and their shades, which are literally saturated with light and warmth. When I start working on a painting, I set myself a goal to make it ringing, dynamic, and optimistic. I believe that every painting has its ‘character.’ In most cases this ‘character’ is given to a painting at the stage of its creation, therefore, it directly depends on the place of its creation. For example, when I work in Spain my paintings turn out more temperamental, while those made in the Carpathians radiate tremendous drive and energy. Of all the paintings presented at the exhibition, my favorite is Arkan. On holidays boys and men in the Carpathians traditionally perform this dance, which literally sends buzzing all over the mountains. This dance symbolizes not only the union of men (initiation of boys into men), but also the unity of society. Unfortunately, at the present time Ukrainians lack this unity of the society. My paintings make people think about such things.”
Exhibition of Mykhailo Demtsiu’s paintings “Arkan,” which presents 14 most recent works of the artist, will be open until February 17 at the art gallery “Mystetska Zbirka” in Kyiv.