He was born in a family of a well-known local weaver in Moskalivka, Ternopilska region (Ukraine). In times of the Soviet regime the painter was under the gun of KGB (USSR Committee for State Security). In 1988 the National Artist’s Union officially refused to admit him as a member of the union though by that time he had held 15 exhibitions in different cities of the former Soviet Union. At the end of 1980s he immigrated to Australia and then to Canada and USA. But wherever he was, he always wanted to come back to his motherland. The 3d president of Ukraine, Viktor Yushchenko, promised to build a museum in his honor; also there was a capsule put on the place of a future building in Andriyivlky Uzviz, an old part of Kiev. But still it was only promises and nothing had been done. We are talking about the Ukrainian gifted painter, a founder of Plontanizm style, Ivan Marchuk.
“Give me thousand years and I will cover the sky with drawings!” Ivan Marchuk’s name and works entered to the history of Ukrainian art. Still there were long-lasting depressions and forbidden exhibitions.
His saving boat was dreams and work.
As Marchuk says, he started to paint in boyhood days. Adults talked about perspectives of being a surgeon or biologist, but his inner artist had won. Flower juice was his first colors. He made his works on sheets of paper taken from his father’s bag.
“Being a little boy I drew a Ukrainian flag. I used to paint with the help of flowers using its juice. I painted the Ukrainian flag using peonies – yellow color for a yellow part, and blue – for a blue part” says the artist.
Marchuk gained technique and knowledge at Lviv college on the department of decorative ornamentation and on the department of ceramic arts at Lviv Institute of Applied Arts.
The painter studied world art trends avoiding social realism and fanatically searching for his own way.
“I don’t know what I want to do” says Ivan Marchuk.
He continued trying something new despite of being out of that-days-system. By 1988 he was out of official art and decided to continue his way beyond the sea – in Australia, Canada and USA. Being abroad the man understands that he can spend his time on art instead of fighting with windmills.
“In Soviet times I said: I want to want to work. I want to want! When I was on the West – in America, Australia – I got rid of this thought” says the painter.
This paradise had been continuing for 12 years. However, the call of his roots and the need of communication made his come back to Ukraine.
“I see beauty everywhere and I want to express it. I haven’t seen the more beautiful place like this” says the artist.
The painter creates his own new styles of art. His works are The Voice of my Soul, Blossom, Landscapes, Portraits, Abstract Compositions.
He gets inspiration from the simplest things and creates his own style – plontanizm. Instead of usual painter’s strokes he uses an interesting technique covering the canvas with a lane of lacework.
“If you look at his works from some distance it seems like an ordinary landscape painting, but if you come closer, you see that the picture is made of quaint threads” admits the director of Mystetska Zbirka art gallery Maksym Voloshyn.
“I have been asked “How do you create your works?” and I say “I go to the sky to see what’s going on there and when I see an amazing picture I cut it into pieces to be able to place it into my gallery and start to paint it”.
After years of work Ivan Marchuk admits that in the same time art is his confession and burden. Most of all he dreams about rest, but every day he returns to his gallery.
In October, 2007, he entered to the Top 100 living geniuses list formed by The Daily Telegraph; The International Academy of Modern Arts in Rome included him to the Golden Guild and elected him as an honored member of the scientific council of the academy. Still in his motherland, he listens to promises about his own museum. However, he doesn’t lose his heart.
“There were cases when people were standing and looking at one picture during half an hour. This abstraction is performed in a very exact manner that we can feel a 3D effect” says gallerist Maksym Voloshyn.
Marchyuk’s pictures are very unique, sometimes he can gift them, but he never sells them surprising in such way collectors who can give hundreds of thousands dollars for one of his works.
The artist says that he treat them like his own children. Every day he gets inspiration, paints and dreams.
“Build a wall like Chinese one from Kyiv to Lviv and I will draw it all over to the last days of my life” says Marchuk.