Natalia Brichuk: The Ground

8272 Melrose avenue, Los Angeles, 90046
Nov 11, 2 PM - 4 PM — ends Dec 01, 2023
The Korshun Art Project is pleased to present its inaugural show “The Ground” by Ukrainian artist Natalia Brichuk.

In the heart of Ukraine, where cultural shadows cast by Russification linger, emerges the luminous artistry of Natalia Brichuk. Anchored deeply in Ukrainian heritage, her journey since 2016 has unfolded a tapestry of ethereal lightness, unexpected nuances, and audacious strokes. With each brushstroke, Natalia seamlessly weaves folk motifs into abstract masterpieces, echoing a tale of resilience amidst the erosion of collective memory. Natalia Brichuk's canvas tells a story that resonates with many — a narrative of seeking inner solidity amidst the world being in turmoil. "Ц1 роботи присвячен1 моїй внутр1шн1й опор1," she says, meaning, "These works are dedicated to my inner resistance.”

Growing up, Natalia's familial surroundings were dominated by an adulation for Russian intellect and artistry, overshadowing the rich Ukrainian traditions she yearned to connect with. Her father, mirroring the sentiment of the times, lamented that Ukraine had not borne a notable intellectual. This sentiment echoed louder when she confided, "ти1 все р1вно в1дчуваєш себе чужер1дно з тим з чим, здавалось, ти1 повинен мати контакт з дитинства. немає опори в с1мї. Н1яких1 традиц1й, н1яких с1мейних 1стор1й, н1чого сп1льного, ти завжди окремо, ти не в1дчуваєш близькост1. Ти не памʼятаєш себе." This encapsulates the feeling of alienation from what one believes they should inherently know from childhood — a lack of familial support, an absence of traditions and shared histories, a perpetual sense of being separate and an overwhelming feeling of distance.

Symbolic female figures emerged on the canvases are capturing her yearning to reconnect with roots and unearth silenced memories. Those figures in her work, emblematic of her own journey, personify the collective longing of many — a desire to reclaim histories, trace roots, bring obscured truths to light, and most importantly to find inner love and acceptance in this unstable world. However, there's an additional layer to this tale, making it even more personal one. It's a story of resilience amid wartime instability.

These heroes depicted in Natalia's art symbolize her own delicate world, one that could crumble at any moment. Figures she depicts in this series of works are not mere fragments of imagination but recurring presences in her daily life. They signify a familiar continuity, something she clings to when the ground beneath feels unsteady, especially while living in a war-torn reality.

As she poetically notes, when life seems to crumble, the routines and familiarities we often take for granted become our pillars, our sanctuaries. In those moments of overwhelming weight, even a simple act, like buying flowers from ladies selling it by the supermarket “Era" for decades or picking up fresh pears and homemade tomatoes, or seeing and interacting with other characters like the elderly man with the inverted Ukrainian flag, who remains unchanged for decades, riding the bike decorated with the Ukrainian flag proudly inverted—a deliberate statement of defiance. Whenever he boards the train, he passionately shouts, "Chase away the wolves," symbolizing a call to challenge and urge to remove the current authorities. Another man seated near the "Slovo" bookstore, a constant in the city center, selling blown-glass toys. A recent interaction led to the purchase of two of his crafted items: a rabbit and a horse, with the added connection of his Viber contact for updates or a man - basket- seller, whose voice, though not pitch-perfect, harmonizes with the nostalgic tune of “Green leaves, white chestnuts,” old folk song cherishing hardship of female life.

Witnessing theirs daily presence and interacting with them becomes an act of grounding oneself, a gesture of finding solace. These heroes of her homeland, symbols of her delicate world that stands strong amidst adversity became her anchors— representing routines that signify hope and stability.

Yet, her canvases do more than just sing Ukraine's tales; they resonate with America's socio-cultural heartbeat, mirroring its struggles with identity and the erasure of marginalized narratives. In a land where the dominant stories often overshadow the rich diversity of Indigenous cultures and immigrant voices, where the 'American Dream' glosses over systemic barriers and the 'Melting Pot' sometimes blurs genuine multicultural appreciation, Natasha's artistry pushes forth. Her work challenges these prevailing tales, urging a collective awakening, a re-imagination, and a deep dive into obscured truths.

This exhibition beckons you to delve into intertwined tales of an artist's exploration and a nation's undying spirit. As Natalia's stories find solace in the characters of Rivne, may the diverse tales of America find their anchor in her art. Witness a journey of collective rediscovery, and let the unwavering resilience of Ukraine illuminate a path to a brighter, hopeful tomorrow. Join us, for in the confluence of these narratives lies the enduring spirit of cultures, waiting to be celebrated.

Natalia's artistry is thus a powerful commentary — an exploration of personal identity, the ache of cultural displacement, and the resilience of spirit, channeled through familiar routines and characters that provide solace in tumultuous times.