"Julia Skrypka's Levkases" - Article by Dmytro Korsun

⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Everyone knows that levkas is an iconic technique that has received a "second wind" in the hands of contemporary artists. It is an imposing diverse, improvisational, at times almost sculptural technique when it comes to the metaphorical significance and beauty of the paste relief itself. Painting on levkas is a special color, form, action depicted in the plot, remaining on the iconic solid of the base, and thus acquiring its original monumentality and indestructibility.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Yulia Skripka boldly declared herself as a master of levkas long ago, and it is pleasant to see with what confidence her works are poured with mature skill and are gaining more and more power of impact. One can already, having seen everything created by her, talk about the style of the artist, about the established methods and a special personal poetics of images.Yulia's "gingerbread" colored works are by no means childishly simple... they constitute something important, significant, impressive with their cross-cutting, enigmatic, complexly subordinated, multi-valued intellectual moves, charming personal perceptions, hypotheses, assumptions, memories, often and difficult to read oxymorons, mystifications....⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀There are unexpected plot twists, most often enigmatic, speaking of the artist's immense and vividly playful imagination. Julia discovers a tendency to intricate narrative, the need for personal messages, messages inspired by strong feelings, narrative. This is how new forms of life, pictorial codes, language games, nomadic meanings are constituted... Within the postmodern conceptual space, any such message is expressed as a move made in a game.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀There is also a constant invention of phraseologisms, words, hybrid characters and their new meanings, their mutual attractions through stories. It is a levkas conceived as a charade, a rebus, a "guessing game", as a game. And that's why there are so many of the whimsicalities of the game, like Carroll's tale of Alice.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀This looks like an attempt to create a new urban folklore, a kind of "bookish" poetics of the typical modern urban girl.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀For example, how the human body pinkens on the plane of the levkas, and in this case it is indifferent even whether it is a male or female body, but it is strange to see how it is half absorbed by organic forms of plants, insects, fish, lace, smoke and details of mechanisms and even ornamented fragments of architecture. Always in her painting there are elements of portraiture, which are presented in the usual for Ukrainian art genre of parsuna.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀This invariable presence of a person in any fairy-tale plot makes the work more intimate, more individual, makes it closer to the humanistic traditions of Italian Renaissance painting.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀When you look at Julia's plot, it becomes a little incomprehensible, a little scary, a little busy, but always very interesting... Because Julia is interesting both in her life and in her work. And the backgrounds of these subjects are unusual, because they are as if between paradisiacal and urban landscape. And also at times the images are reminiscent of a cinematic storyboard, they are animation with elements of real, even frightening reality.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀The culture of postmodernism is based on language play, where no statement can be unplayable. This serves as a factor of evolution, and gives great pleasure in comprehending the meaning of playing with images.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀For example, dogs, these loyal friends of man, occupy an honorable place on Julia's creative Olympus... Maybe because she perceives the world as if through the eyes of these kind animals, being, according to her confession, a dog by horoscope. And around her is a gracious world of dogs, often even dogs with putto angel wings. Around the artist such a special world in which the presence of dogs is strictly obligatory. It even comes to the point that Noah's Ark for Julia is a ship that is packed, filled exclusively with only dogs. This means, in that case, that their salvation on Ararat for the total settlement of the earth will be certain....⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀It's like some kind of dream, a trance state, dreams, acting in its inner, immanent slow motion.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀The colors of Secession are present here, murky divisions of transparent colored or illuminated fog, some distant reminder of Leonardo... Execution in paint is not difficult for the master in itself, the complexity here is deliberately created by a special bumpy layer of levkas, here and there - white bare gauze, untouched fragments of pavoloka, wooden board.... This is necessary to acquire the complex mood of the ancient, "antique" spiritual continuum, which is inherent in any meaningful text of painting. Then both such a painting and the levkas as a whole become almost a historical palimpsest.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀The poetics of the levkas remains unchanged, as usual. What is decisive for painting is its technique of sense-making. Because it is the poetry and feeling itself that called the image to the present existence.Bravo, Julia.

February 10, 2016 Dmytro Korsun