Vitaly Didenko

Artist Statement

  “Musicians, singers, artists are some of the most driven, courageous people on the face of the earth. They deal with more day-to-day rejection in one year than most people do in a lifetime. Every day, they face the financial challenge of living a freelance lifestyle, the disrespect of people who think they should get real jobs, and their own fear that they’ll never work again. Every day, they have to ignore the possibility that the vision they have dedicated their lives to is a pipe dream. With every note, they stretch themselves, emotionally and physically, risking criticism and judgment. With every passing year, many of them watch as the other people their age achieve the predictable milestones of normal life – the car, the family, the house, the nest egg. Why? Because musicians are willing to give their entire lives to a moment – to that melody, that lyric, that chord, or that interpretation that will stir the audience’s soul. Musicians are beings who have tasted life’s nectar in that crystal moment when they poured out their creative spirit and touched another’s heart. In that instant, they were as close to magic, God, and perfection as anyone could ever be. And in their own hearts, they know that to dedicate oneself to that moment is worth a thousand lifetimes.” 
― David Ackert















How wonderfully put, how expressive and most importantly exact!  Part of the artist's everyday work is not only the physical and technical  aspect of the routine, it is also an endless emotional struggle with "yourself" so to say. Sometimes I think it is more of a daily survival rather then what most people imagine and romanticize about the artist's life. Normally I do not like talking about hardship and the struggle of my work. I understand that not only artist are the ones who sacrifice so much in their lives in order to achieve their goals. But I must say that today I will be presenting to you a very different story - not the kind you will read in many autobiographical texts about inspiration and creativity for various exhibitions and publications. For good or bad I don’t want to write another pleasant story.    

Being born in the family of an artist gave me a priceless life experience and a deep understanding of how things are not simple. There were times when my father had to leave behind his artistic freedom and take jobs that would provide for the family and create an environment for me where I could study, grow and develop as an artist.  He succeeded, and from the very first steps in the world of art I have always had the opportunity to experiment and not think about money or materials.  I was absolutely free! Maximalism and Nihilism were often part of my self- expression, but I always tried to look at the world from different points of view and was eager to share what I saw. Most likely having this freedom is the reason that I work in many different techniques and medias and to this day I love to learn and try something new. I guess it's almost school like approach to art.  For example, even before entering the art school, I was fascinated by the study of printing technology on linoleum and metal. Later, I began to discover new opportunities for myself - painting, ceramics and textiles came into my life already at the Academy of Arts.

In my youth I was inspired by the works of the masters of Contemporary Western Art. While imitating the style of one or another artist I was growing, developing and trying myself. Between the age of 15 - 25 I was influenced by everything that seemed new and progressive to me. The experience I gained I use today in my work - experimenting with gold and silver, using 3-D objects. I have silicon paintings, 2-D flat sculpture made out of copper, bronze and steel. In quite voluminous series of works made in mixed media technique I use plastic, wood and fabric to create desirable effect and texture. I believe that thematically many of my works are connected by the fact that it is an abstract composition exploring industrialization and the city life style which I absolutely love. I like Cities. I endlessly enjoy the dynamic and movement that is often present in metropolises. Fashion trends, technology, endless contrasts between moderation and luxury. New forms and eclecticity of the City will not leave you indifferent. And I am a part of this world. This is a completely different harmony. It is Abstract. The harmony of the winner, the harmony of Homo Civitas - urban human.

At the same time, with no less interest, I embrace another more quiet and contemplative part of life. Enjoying the smoothness of the lake, a dense forest, flowers and the most unpredictable forms of plants, birds singing, a variety of animals, and just the movement of clouds in the sky during the day and the twinkling of stars at night, I always see it as a figurative story. As part of my other life. 

There is one more thing that had a great influence on my work, it is connected with the place where I was born - Turkmenistan. An amazing world of Decorative Arts. First of all, it is, of course, the tradition of seeing everything that I described above. They are graphic interpretations of stories from life or legends which are turned into stylized ornaments, into symbolism. I spent a lot of time studying this decorative world. Now I often travel and work in different countries, which allows me to compare and enrich my world with new discoveries related to different cultures and their values. It's not easy to keep and nurture everything that has influenced me over the years. Of course, I am changing and I see that this process is accelerating. Did I find myself? Will I ever? It's hard for me to say, but one thing I know for sure - I'm not going to stop or leave everything that I love so much. I hope that out of thousands of works that I have created in the past 25 years, some deserve your attention.