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Sculptor who is inspired by Baroque art to create his Crucifixion


Michel Ishchenko is a young Ukrainian sculptor who is inspired by Ukrainian Baroque of the eighteenth century. He has developed a very complicated style of sculpture, which requires great physical and spiritual efforts, in addition to perfect knowledge of the human anatomy and other skills.


УI consider Crucifixion to be central in my work. It is done in a Neo-Baroque style. This piece of sculpture is an attempt to revive traditions of the national Ukrainian sculpture, which have been largely lost. My style is based upon the eighteenth-century Baroque School of Sculpture of Lviv, which, in its turn, had its roots in Prague and Rome.

The present-day School of Expressive Dynamics of Form has been formed on the basis of spiritual search embodied in sculpture, and on traditions of realism. Art experts, historians, collectors and aesthetes show a lot of interest in this school, which seeks to represent psychological states and longings of the soul in three-dimensional forms.

Crucifixion took over a year to create. The creation of it was a time- and labour-consuming process. I wanted to show Christ as a redeemer who dies on the cross for all of us. He dies in his human form only to be resurrected in God. When I was working at Crucifixion, I experienced the feeling of a great loss and pain Ч and then came the feeling of redemption. I was emotionally exhausted. I modelled the face of Jesus with my own face as a starting point. I wanted to put as much of spiritual content into my sculpture as I could. At the same time, I wanted to remain true to the anatomy of a maleТs body. I studied anatomy on corpses and on myself too.

Later, after the work was finished, I could hardly believe that it was I myself who had done it. I felt as though I had been no more than an instrument of some sublime force. It was not my brain that commanded my hands to do this or that, it was something else Ч there was a flow of some energy passing through me. I think it was a divine inspiration, a direct link with God. I felt with my whole being that I just had to do what I was doing. I felt His presence, His breath, His vibes, His refinement and His kindness.

I wanted to capture all these feelings, states and emotions in bronze. The desire to do it was irresistible. At the same time, I felt a great responsibility Ч my creation was more than just a piece of sculpture. I hope it will live in the centuries to come.Ф


Design by Michel ISHCHENKO


Crucifixion. Bronze, H 80 cm;
the cross is made of marble,
H 120 cm. 1999.


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