This project is about shifted values. Standards, often absurd, influence our perception of beauty and wellness, gender and self-identity. Sometimes I feel that the cult times, like it used to be several centuries ago, have returned. The cult followers are often harebrained and uninformed.
In the past, it was accustomed to keep icons at home. It would spiritually connect the real world with the heavenly one. A traditional icon was viewed as a portal through which holy spirits would come down to us from their holy place. The saints of today are often some well-known humans – musicians, actors, tech moguls, or politicians. Through gadget screens and media, they influence and guide the population.
Often, a church of today is either a chosen news channel or a social media network. Everyone can become a preacher, an opinion leader, and a newsmaker. Everyone can get their fifteen minutes of fame, as predicted by Andy Warhol.
As in Dada, a key element of which is humor, my collages sarcastically observe what beauty or wellness mean today. Often, it’s nonsense or whimsy, paradox and absurd. Dadaism inspired me to become a collage artist. Through an array of mediums and elements that form my collages, I can convey my messages and show things in a more dimensional perspective.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Oxana Kovalchuk is a New York based visual artist, MFA at SVA NYC, 2019. In 2022, Kovalchuk had two solo shows in NYC: Roots (Kente Royal Gallery) and Making Fools Pray to God (Gallery 456). The both exhibitions showed an essence of Kovalchuk’s artistic journey – her delve into the intersection of world events and human reaction to them. She explores cultural shifts and human spirit through her own experience.
Kovalchuk has participated in an array of group shows in the USA and internationally: “Stories from my Childhood” (Museum of Art, Northern Illinois University, 2022-2023), PaperWork9 (Upstream Gallery, Hastings-on-Hudson NY), “Lost / Found” (Kehler Liddell Gallery, New Haven CT), “Perfect Day: Drugs and Art” (White Box Gallery, NYC, 2021), “America the Beautiful: The Real and The Imagined” (Williamsburg Art & Historical Center, Brooklyn, 2021), among others.
Oxana Kovalchuk’s artwork “Diary of Memory” was purchased for the collection of Williamsburg Art & Historical Center, Brooklyn, NYC by its founder and curator Yoko Nii.
Born in Kazakhstan, Kovalchuk had been in search of her ‘perfect place’ – she lived in four countries and visited even more. Her two-year stay in UK impacted her mindset and influenced her later lifestyle. In Europe, Kovalchuk adhered to critical thinking and discovered the diverse European culture. She feels now settled in NYC – the city where she studied art.
Self-reflection and self-identity are the key themes to Kovalchuk’s art. Having been a resident of four countries, Kovalchuk is familiar with mental, psychological, and social challenges of immigration.
© Oxana Kovalchuk