The Crimean artistic life is rather dynamic and rich. However, among regularly changing exhibitions that abound in landscapes we don't notice that from exposition halls thematic pictures and portraits are disappearing and that watercolors are becoming a leading genre of graphic department. We should pay more attention to those masters who want to return its past fame to engraving that according to its creative abilities was equaled to painting.
Yaroslav Myskiv is the artist in whose work not only different artistic school features are combined but geographically and historically different cultures. He was born in Ternopolschhina (Ternopilska region, Ukraine), studied in Lviv, the Crimea became the source of inspiration and achievements.
Sometimes life grants you meetings which seem to be chance ones from the first sight but they actually may be determining for your future life. Myskiv even now with thanks recalls R. Vasylyka - professor, director of department of sacral art at Lviv Academy of Arts, and D Dovbushynskyj - assistant professor of painting at of that time Lviv Applied and Decorative Art Institution, Honoured Art Worker of Ukraine. It was at their lectures that artist-beginner saw printing press and started to master etching. In Sevastopol he was supported by G. Brusentsov, maybe the only artist who on the background of mandatory patriotic-production themes managed to determine philosophical and contemplating orientation of his work. And the high appreciation of Myskiv's works by the classic of Crimean art D. Bisti put him to the range of the leading masters of Crimean graphics.
Creative growth of Myskiv was clear: he always naturally learned and developed only those things which met his moral principals and his internal needs. On consolidating his positions he has never thrown himself to contradictory movements experimenting perhaps only with technical skills. Aquatint, mezzo-tinto, dry-point… it is necessary for Myskiv to master these skills in order to arrange, bring together his impressions, views which are clashing, interacting, and changing from youth to maturity, from love to landscape to broader world perception. Spectators, however, are not interested in the way the work is made, they only wonder what made artist depict this or that phenomenon what was he thinking about while creating his work of art.
Ancient Chersoneses is the first love and first Crimean theme of Myskiv. It has been accompanying him for twenty years. The marble torso of a woman turned away from spectator suddenly gets softness of a living body. The head of the antique statue lying on the sea shore among ancient mussels - these are contrasting masses of light and shadow, clear creative expressiveness of shape at first amazes you by arousing in you two opposite feelings of concrete and unreal, but gradually leads you to the main thing - this is our past and unfortunately present…
Exquisite simplicity and visual lightness of etching by Myskiv are deceptive. It is this technique that reveals character of artist capable to save the sense of freshness and not to lose thread of his thought while making an etching. The whole way from first marks made by etching needle or a burin to anxiously expected print is passed by author by himself without printer's help.
In Myskiv's landscapes prevails silence. With a mastery hand he sets bridges and aqueducts, boats on river banks, architectural buildings, but deserted and in a way distracted, they go beyond the scope of everyday life, making us not only feel the author's mood but also be fascinated by the surrounding world and the same time be saddened because of the ephemeral beauty of its objective display. Obvious "dialog" between the painter and the material is trustful and harmonious; it is possible only due to polite attitude to the leaf, to the instrument, the lathe. The subject suggests the choice of techniques, sometimes of pure, sometimes of mixed one, and being at times unforeseen, it gives the painter an opportunity to improvise, or being subdued, it helps to express the planned. That's why in Myskiv's works you sense dampness of late autumn, transparency of clear day, hear the squeak of old trees and rustle of dry leaves. But for all perceptible probability, no sense of penetration in some hidden mystery is remained, and getting amazed at this you start to comprehend that sense is generated by special property of etching leaf which velvet glimmering surface picturesquely depicts "makes" brightly aerial environment and variety of strokes, sometimes deeply solid, at times dashing, now light and delicate like an ancient lace brings forth new and new shades of picturesque sounding.
Myskiv is a man of few words in life as well as in his creative work. His onlooker captured by a magical language of metaphor and symbols builds up himself the topical plot discovering eternal verities. Life is diverse; it generously provides us with the material and the topics which firmness is obvious and inexhaustible. A woman… portrait-perceived, elevated to the ideal, attractive in her pure in her nakedness and honoured in the classical image of Virgin Mary - the motifs that are played up from different angles, in various techniques and each time with an exaltation of discovery.
Indissoluble connection with all that surrounds her, is the main leitmotif of monotypes by Myskiv. This technique is especially attractive for Myskiv of recent years as it gives space for immediate and spontaneous embodiment of impressions, gives warmth and a trace of free hand. Reality is visible and imaginable, nature is like a push, reason but in no way of minor importance, because only being with it you may conduct a rich and frank conversation that gives you a right to interpret the reality, create it anew, in your own way. Flowers, sea, cities woven from line rhythms, sizes, coloured spots like mirages change their outlines turning into either or chamber epic visions this way giving rise to different associations - of sadness and delight, of concentrated thoughtfulness, and coloured with warm golden tonality - give a sense of purity and spiritual fullness.
The creative work of the Honored artist of Crimea, of Sevastopol graphic artist Yaroslav Myskiv is greatly defines the level and character of modern art.
Inspired by its own vision and thought, free from "modern" trend and influences, it always manages to find its admirer, thinking and indifferent.

Leyla Tayrova
Arts critic
Magazine " Fine art " ¹ 2, 2003 year. pages. 78 - 79.


   © Myskiv, 2000