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… Masterfully cutting thin slices of peppers, onions and tomatoes with one hand, while preparing pitta bread with cheese, marjoram, sage and mint with the other one, listening to stirring Hungarian folklore on MR1 Kossuth radio, an artist, lecturer and in general an extraordinary person Yurii Dykun talks about his art life, Spain, France and, in fact, about art, his works and built by him studio.


He started the story from his childhood when he was fond of sports - football, which gave him a certain freedom, so he did not even think about his creative abilities. But, over time, when the question about the further education rose, he did not hesitate to go with his friend to the Art College. They were preparing for several months. The first "work of art" was an unexpected still life – a pot of cucumbers, and then more and more … Daily sketches gave the result –opportunity to enter the college. Studying in the Art College, he was involved in the process, began to like it, and thus he fell in love with art. Forever. His teachers Ivan Didyk and Ivan Masniuk contributed to the understanding of art and taught him good humour.

Upon the graduation, the talented young man was drafted to the army. He had a specific service – in the museum. That is, one can say, he deepened his knowledge of art, but it was necessary to move on, to study, so later he left for Lviv to enter the Institute of Applied and Decorative Arts. And, the life of Yrii Dykun changed – once and for all. He was lucky enough to get into the company of good, talented people and that had an extremely big influence on the artist's future fate. A. Medvetska, N. Hrabar, A. Koval, N. Kikot - all these people became original artists and friends for life.

Nothing happens by chance. Therefore, on his third year, Yurii unexpectedly got acquainted with the work of the outstanding artist Ivan Ostafiichuk, whose painting on the glass impressed him. At the same time, he came across a book on the Romanian icon on the glass, which he thoroughly studied, comprehended and began to create similar works. Subsequently, those copies were a good chance to replenish the budget, it was very helpful, because he lived in a dormitory. With the achievement of a certain level, he began to create his works, experimenting and using various techniques, textures, etc.

The paintings on the glass of Yurii Dykun are a story, episodes from his life, reinforced with imagination and symbolic load. The artist believes: “If something important happened to you, then it just needs to be used. So, I take and convey the essence on the glass. Art should be done easily, then it is easily perceived. The specificity of my works is that their secret meaning needs to be explained, like to lift the curtain. When a person delves, everything starts to be easy.”

In 1991, the artist met a Frenchwoman, gave her two works and in two weeks received an invitation to visit a quiet city among the mountains - Grenoble. Therefore, a short-term weekly voyage turned into five unforgettable years. In France, he plunged into creativity and had several personal exhibitions. He recalls that he liked to live in peace, cleanliness and without manifestations of arrogance. Still, he says, “I wanted to go to the Moulin Rouge so much, well, it was just a cherished dream. I asked, at least to go and drink some water there. This is the place that Toulouse-Lautrec portrayed, there is such an aura, history, and generally... And, I did come, drank some water – and it seemed as I got into the fairy tale! I just went deep into that atmosphere. It inspired me to create my own Moulin Rouge. Then there was my "Notre Dame". In the cathedral I was at the organ concert. Imagine: the sun sets in the Seine, the stained-glass windows "played" and organ music is heard … Just breath-taking! And, besides, I have a perfectly developed imagination. Man is rich in what he sees. We must be able to perceive and feel it.”

Creative trips to France broadened his world view, gave the opportunity to enrich culturally and… to improve the financial situation, so the artist himself began to build a house-studio in Uzhhorod. Today it is a two-story building, very cosy and colourful. The interior of the studio is full of paintings on the glass, clay jugs, painting works, bells from Spain and majolica from France, the tiles of the XVIII century, decorative cushions and chandeliers from the wheel carts... Here, each thing is real, as the master admits, it has its own history, feelings. “And, this is, for example, a batik that Nataliia Kikot did when we visited the Kuzhbei village in Mezhhiria. We went there together with Agitsa Medvetska for the rest, and we painted there. Here is the jug of Lesia Kots, which she made when she was still studying. Here is the work of Beata Korn. And, here is the jug (showing. – Author.) which my neighbours wanted to throw away”, – the artist tells about the objects in his studio.

Particular attention in the building attracts literally gold-embroidered canvases. They are still waiting for their time, when the creative imagination of the master and his virtuosic brushes will touch them. The artist speaks about them with a special warmth, because this picturesque style was developed on plein air tours in sunny Spain. He recalls that time: “It was a terrible heat, in the summer haze it was impossible to breathe at all, and I thought about how to convey these feelings … Then it dawned on me that I would paint in gold tones with light watercolour (a thinly dissolved oil paint). The first work was ruined, but then it "got better" and started to work out well. Later, I could already create without nature, on my feelings. In Spain there are a lot of holidays, great food. So, I decided that I want first to "eat" and "drink" this country, because the cuisine and wines are fantastic, and only then I will paint. When I managed to feel Spain both from the outside and inside, I was incredibly delighted! (Laughing. – Author.). And then, everything went easily, I enjoyed my life. Spain is a beautiful sunny country”!

In general, cuisine is a separate facet of the artist's talent: he not only masterfully paints, but also masterfully cooks. Art taste is obvious here: every dish cooked by him is not only looks good, but is also incredibly tasty, all the ingredients fit together like the colours in the picture. That's why the master makes special emphasis on his vegetable garden, where grows ten varieties of mint, about five types of basil, sage, marjoram, salads, tomatoes, cucumbers and other vegetables. “I really like cooking, – the artist tells about his hobbies. – In my dishes, the Transcarpathian, Spanish, and French cuisine are combined and, of course, wine– the truth is in it indeed ...”

Now Yurii Dykun teaches painting and composition in the Transcarpathian Academy of Arts, visits to numerous plein airs, rides a bike and goes on hiking, he cooks delicious dishes and invites his closest friends. And, of course, he enjoys life, develops creatively, looking for new facets of his art talents. The artist is convinced that doing what you like is a great human happiness!

Text: Oleksandr Nikitchuk

Photo: Robert Dovhanych 


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