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The Transcarpathian artist Yurii Bodnar, undoubtedly, developed his own style, according to which he is a recognizable among numerous masters – his works are called radiant, as penetrated with light, sun and heat inside. Moreover, nobody can imitate him, because the author's style of Bodnar is unique and very original.

The cosy wooden studio of Yurii Bodnar is located next to his house in the suburbs of Uzhhorod. In a spacious room, among dozens of his own paintings, surrounded by the talented and creative family, the artist is inspired himself and inspires others. First of all, he proudly tells about his wife - Mrs. Lesia, who is a well-known art critic and at the same time the laureate of the Regional Prize named after Y. Bokshai and Erdeli for one of her fundamental researches; the eldest daughter of the artist – a musician, opera singer and curator of art projects, the younger one masters the speciality of the artist, experiments a lot, she studies abroad now. All together – a unique idyll, without which creative development and rich spirituality of Mr. Bodnar is inconceivable.
The host tells about his life and career: he studied for many years and worked in the Ternopil region, so, when the children grew up, he decided to return to his homeland. It was here, on the picturesque Silver Land, that he let his creative imagination travelling generously to the colours and ideas of the Carpathians. ‘My works of the early period were more muted, and then, when I returned to Transcarpathia, the colouring of the pictures became rich, expressive, which, of course, is the result of the Transcarpathian School of Painting," the artist recalls. – In general, my first idol was Anton Kashshai. When a child, I had a black and white booklet with his works, I looked through it repeatedly, scrupulously studied and wondered: what heights can painting achieve in depicting nature"!
It is this highest mastery that the artist is constantly striving for - he tries not only to depict what he has impressed, what inspires, but also to give works the profound philosophical content. If the painting depicts a temple – this is not just some kind of ritual construction, it is primarily a symbol of faith, human hopes, and all the elements of work, means of expressiveness speak to the viewer ("To the Temple", 2011). A number of works by the master are complex compositions and deeply philosophical, in one picture he can masterfully combine several ideas, figures or meanings that bear in themselves an integral idea seen only by the author of the panorama ("Through the Noise of Centuries" from the series of "Revival of Spiritual Life", 1990, Triptych "St. Trinity", 2009). For the similar works the master often finds the name – not just a definition, but a real folk wisdom ("There is no road to the temple if there is no temple in the soul", (2012). 
The artist's studio is large, spacious, but it is not enough to accommodate all the works of the master. How many of them – he himself does not know, several hundred – for sure. The part is placed, like books, on shelves, quite a few – on the walls, some still waiting for completion, framing, finally - a captious look of the owner. "Sometimes it happens that I myself carefully review my works and I think how the picture could be portrayed differently. But then, I understand that every work was written in a certain mood and it should not be altered. "The master works on his canvases a lot and emotionally, verifying each brush stroke, thinking over each shade of paint. "Even when you do not draw, you still work on the picture, accumulating ideas," says the artist. – The process of creation "from scratch" is complex and interesting. Sometimes it takes a year to work on one canvas… I can even write in parallel other small paintings, but the serious work takes a lot of time and energy."
All his works the master treats with particular attention and respect for each can tell the whole story – from conception to implementation. Repeat each of them, admittedly, is unreal, because every moment – like the mood of the soul and the movement of the brush – are unique. Therefore, it is quite natural that to the journalist's question: "Do you have any favourite work"? the artist sincerely answers: "No, it's difficult for me to single out any one. They are all dear to me, like children"!

Text: Nataliia Petervari
Photo: Nataliia Pavlyk

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