The artist Lana Kaufman participates in exhibitions in New York and Rome, holds solo exhibitions in Kiev and throughout Ukraine, brings up three children and cares about the environment. Over the past five years, her works have been presented in the Palazzo Velli Roman gallery at the Genesis exhibition, devoted to the problems of development and progress of modern society, as well as in Greece, where the artist participated in the Greek accent: Ukrainian vision art project. Lana has become one of 7 contemporary artists from around the world whose work has been selected for the Dialogues of Imagination in New York. Her works are annually presented at Kyiv Art Fair and other art fairs around the world. Now Lana not only works on new art projects, but also supports the eco-movement for a healthy planet. We talked with her about her career, the new My Power Farm project, and how to update her wardrobe without harming the environment.
Lana, have you always dreamed of becoming an artist?
I did not dream of becoming an artist. Since childhood, I dreamed of being a ballerina. (Laughs.) But five years ago, I really started dreaming of a career in art.
How long have you been drawing?
My mother is an artist, so I have been painting since childhood. But I didn’t even think of it as a profession.
I took a big break in my creative life when I entered the university, where I studied economics. After that, I got married and spent ten years raising children.
During this time, I received my second higher education – “The Creativity of the Mystery”, painted, traveled and already understood what my first exhibition – “Places of Power” would be. All my life I lived in places of power and wanted to express this not through writing and books, but through paintings.
You travel a lot. What are your favorite places?
I travel from birth. My dad was a military man, so we moved a lot to different cities and countries. My love of travel has remained since childhood.
My favorite places are places of power where I am aware of myself, where I feel even stronger and understand what is happening to me, what needs to be done, where to move on. I do not like empty places where there is no energy, they do not cause interest in me. To just relax, it is not necessary to go somewhere. It is enough to get enough sleep in your bed just by disconnecting all the phones. And when traveling, I really want a catalyst, which is only in places of power. Therefore, I write them, pass this energy – so that everyone who is interested in my work has a piece of a place of power in the house or apartment with the energy that I transfer from that place. Traveling is a necessity for me.
What projects have you been working on lately?
Now I have several projects. I continue to work on the “Pillars” series – this project will be presented at the “Zhinka ІІІ tisyachorichchya” award, where I am a nominee. This is a series with the image of pillars of power, which is already known to many, many collect it. I will introduce her in my new vision.
The next big project I am preparing for is personal exhibitions in Ukrainian cities. From November 26 to December 8, "Places of power" will be shown at the National Museum. T. G. Shevchenko, as well as in national museums throughout Ukraine: in Cherkassy, Odessa, Kharkov, Chernihiv and other cities over the next year. The third global project is related to art, fashion and ecology: I will explore how artists inspire and encourage people to a daily routine that will help us and our planet.
Our society longs for new knowledge and changes for the better. As you know, I love to motivate and change myself to be the best version of myself every day.
Most recently, you launched the My Power Farm project. What is he talking about?
About the future of our planet. My Power Farm is a large community in which citizens can interact with government and private businesses to work together to combat climate change. This project will help reduce carbon dioxide emissions from heating the planet by investing in renewable energy.
We have already secured the support of the UN and the Estonian authorities and are now attracting private business to cooperation. In the near future we plan to launch the Global Academy – an educational project that will inspire people to change their habits in order to save the planet. After all, the solution to global problems must begin with ourselves.
Caring for the environment requires a lot of effort, including refusing to constantly update your wardrobe. How has your style changed in recent years, when sustainability has become the most talked about topic in the fashion industry? Where do you most often buy clothes and what advice can you give to those who are just trying to stop consuming?
I have in my wardrobe quite beautiful, high-quality things that I once bought. This is the basic clothing that I will wear under any circumstances. I treat her very carefully, and she doesn’t bother me.
I prefer the classics, so I do not need to chase the latest trends. And I really stopped buying a huge amount of things. This is irrational.
Recently, I have given myself the word to buy only what suits my figure and what I really like. I approach the purchase of new clothes consciously.
In my wardrobe there are clothes from Ukrainian and foreign designers. I like to sew clothes in the atelier – so I can be sure of environmental friendliness and that the thing will sit perfectly on me.
But in this case, you need to initially understand what colors and silhouettes suit you. For example, we know that beige, black and white are classic, universal colors. But only the stylist will determine which shade of white (or milky) suits your face. It will help to create a basic wardrobe, where there are jeans, and shirts, and dresses – all these things can be combined with each other, and from several items of clothing dozens of images for different exits. And you don’t have to worry about whether you will look good. To do this, it’s enough to work once with a stylist.
The refusal to consume is actually a lot of advantages. In addition to environmental benefits, you save time that used to go to shopping. It can be dedicated to children or to oneself. If you want to go shopping, go for groceries. (Laughs.) Only with his bag!
That's for sure! Delicious food brings no less pleasure than shopping. But let's get back to creativity: who or what inspires you the most?
Love inspires me the most. Love for people, nature, for our planet.
Sometimes I can see a small strip of sunset among the gray sky, and this can also inspire. The most inspiring details are those that everyone can see. They are really very strong. Personally, they bring me a huge charge, inspire creativity.
Who is your favorite artist?
I really like almost all artists – both modern and classical. I respect the work of everyone, because it is an expression of creativity and a personal outlook on the world.
But most of all I love the work of Mikhail Vrubel. The way he saw the world, portrayed it, still delights me. His manner of expressing images enthralls.
They say that every person has a filter. When we meet a new person, we see him through our filter. So, Mikhail Vrubel had an incredible filter!
Penetrating the work of Vrubel, I seem to find myself in the world of crystals! His manner of combining color, the mosaic of strokes, fantastic stories as if from another reality. Hidden subtle symbolism makes the viewer look for meaning. His work opens the door to deep areas of consciousness.
What qualities must an artist have in order to succeed? In the art market, one talent is not enough.
The main qualities of any artist are curiosity, patience, the ability to discipline himself.
The artist should be interested. To be in the subject, to know what is happening and where, to communicate with the curators, to understand what he wants. And always work with love!
Each artist must have an agent. I think it is impossible to combine the qualities of both a creator and a businessman at the same time. As soon as I begin to engage in the business side, all my creative energy goes there. Therefore, I prefer to create on canvas, and transfer the remaining questions to the manager.
Although everyone says that an artist is a free person (for which I love my profession), discipline is still necessary. Fulfilling orders stipulated and deadlines, regardless of the inspiration you need to fulfill them.
And finally: if you could paint with only one color until the end of your life, what would it be?
Definitely cool pink. I love all the colors — black and gray — but the color of the tea rose is my favorite.
Read also: How it was: Presentation of the Lana Kaufman exhibition "Places of Power"