Olexander Klimenko | Pimenov Icon of the Mother of God


Pimenov Icon of the Mother of God, 2022
Tempera and gold leaf of a fragment from the armament box
41 x 34cm | 16.4 x 13.6 in

The Byzantine strict compositional hierarchy often contrasts with feelings that the character depicted on the icon experiences. As a result, the character’s experience seems to be depicted from the inside, which enhances and complicates the gamut of feelings. The Pimenov icon perfectly illustrates this method. A mother covering her son with her hand to protect him and not let him die, is seemingly calm and at first glance impartial. But this is only on the surface.

© Olexander Klimenko

Icons on Ammunition Boxes ™ 

From 2015, Ukrainian artists Sofia Atlantova and Olexander Klimenko have been using wooden fragments from ammunition boxes abandoned by Russian soldiers on the battle fields in Ukraine to paint icons and donating all sale proceeds to mobile hospitals that provide urgent medical care to wounded Ukrainian soldiers and civilians. Since Russia began its invasion of Ukraine in late February, 2022, their work remains more relevant than ever.