Olexander Klimenko | Virgin Mary Icon Panagia Paramythia
Virgin Mary Icon Panagia Paramythia, 2022
Tempera on armament box bottom | 41 x 34cm | 16.4 x 13.6 in
A rare iconographic version of the Mother kissing the hand of the Infant was used for this icon. The unsteadiness and ghostliness of the image is achieved by application of transparent glazes. Spots of reddish paper increase the sense of fragility and bloodiness of the background. Protruding rusty screws contrast with the petite, fragile sophistication of the painting. The shrinking of the image and its placement in the center of the board suggests the antiquity of the icon, at the same time emphasizing the ancient situation, when mother and son are defenseless against the vicissitudes of war. But it is this defenseless fragility that wins in the end. At least in the speculative space of a painting.
© Olexander Klimenko
Icons on Ammunition Boxes
From 2015, Ukrainian artists Sonia 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.