Vladimir Kraynyk Street art to abstract expressionism; Kraynyk does it all

Cover Image - Vladimir Kraynyk

Abstract painter Vladimir Kraynyk started out as a street artist. He explains that the pieces you make with a spray can need to be finished quickly, and so they naturally have an energetic and dynamic nature: “It’s like music: you either like it right away or you don’t,” he says, of this sense of movement which still defines his paintings.

Inspired by the 20th Century masters, Vladimir, quickly moved on from spray painting to the canvas. By studying surrealism, figurative arts, futurism and the like, Kraynyk aims to “synthesize these different interests and combine them in my paintings.”

And it shows. Even though the artist claims his work is still maturing – “I’m still in the beginning of my artistic development” – his abstract paintings are drenched with the philosophies and styles of artistic movements of the last 100 years. As a result, the paintings’ dynamism dazzles the spectator, as if they were actually animated and moving before your eyes.

One of Vladimir’s main inspirations is Wassily Kandinsky, one of the pioneers of abstract art. Kandinsky believed that art and music were not about the reproduction of natural phenomena, but instead should reflect the artist’s soul. Furthermore, art should not depict the world as it is, but rather make up a whole new world for itself.

Vladimir is following a similar train of thought: before getting into abstract painting he tried landscapes and figurative pieces, and he regards this period as the time in which he learnt the necessary techniques to improve his work.

But he found himself frustrated by the conceptual side of his work, because he was not able to answer the why – why should this element be put in this specific place or in this specific way? So he moved on to abstract painting in which he could free himself of the need to recreate actual things he saw.

Although not as farfetched as for Kandinsky (who said he could hear music when seeing colors), music plays an important role in Vladimir’s pieces too. While painting, he listens to two very different styles – electronic music, like ambient and techno, and its apparent opposite, classical music. However, these two styles both feature a sense of abstraction, which Vladimir translates to the canvas impressively.

For Vladimir, it is key to keep evolving his style. By visiting museums, reading books, listening to music and, most of all, by trying different artistic techniques, he constantly adds a layer of maturity to his work. When working on a new piece, he modifies and adds extra elements while he goes.

As a result, he isn’t worried about repeating himself, although he admits that repetition is sometimes inevitable and he is keen to keep pushing himself. “In ten years I might be doing something completely different,” he explains. You could say that as an artist he is as dynamic as his paintings.