"In 2022, Russia attacked Ukraine. To keep abreast of the events, I subscribed to several Ukrainian Telegram channels. In addition to information about the war, they also published photos depicting dead bodies. More precisely, fragments of bodies that more closely resembled pieces of meat scattered on the ground. These were the bodies of Russian soldiers. Apparently, the images were intended to encourage Russians to speak out against the war. Be that as it may, the pictures were truly shocking.
These photos made a very strong impression on me. I decided to create paintings based on them, which became a series called Artefacts.
I didn't want the images to be too realistic, so I based them on the form of a person made up of cubes. I had been working on this concept even before the war. In a computer program, I added artefacts, or computer glitches, to the cubist figure. Defects, resembling holes, appeared on its body. I then transferred these images to paper and painted them with acrylic. I used a colour palette inspired by military equipment: khaki, grey, black, and metallic colours. Sometimes, I filled in the holes on the body with red.
The result was abstract paintings where one can discern a pierced shoulder, knee, or even a person's head. However, they do not evoke horror like the photos I saw on Ukrainian Telegram channels. My paintings help people feel the war on a visceral level. Hopefully, next time, people will put in more effort to prevent a new war."—Ilya Yod.