Olesia Trofymenko en train de peintre le tableau Mariupol 2022

The « Mariupol 2022 » painting depicts the initial weeks of the capture of the city of Mariupol. It exposes the brutality of the Russian invaders through the systematic destruction of civilian, medical, energy and cultural infrastructures, even as the fighting was concentrated outside the city in the Azovstal steel complex.

We all remember the traumatic images of the bombed maternity ward, with a young mother being carried out on a stretcher while in labor. There are also those of the Dramatic Art Theater where more than 1200 people, including women and children, had sought refuge, thinking they were safe, protected by the inscription « Children » in Cyrillic letters on the steps.

This artwork will remain a symbol of Ukrainian martyred cities as Bucha, Irwin, Izyum and unfortunately many others.

The painting is a part of the documentary “Mariupol, Hope is Not Lost” by Max Lytvynov, produced by Volodymyr Borodiansky (OUP Documentary). It is one of the three pillars of the film, along with testimonies from women who survived the ordeal and current footage taken on-site during the city’s destruction.

Rather than overwhelming the viewer with the brutal shock of images of death and mutilated bodies, Max Lytvynov had the idea of incorporating a visual artwork into his production. The purpose of this artwork is to encourage viewers to use their imagination for a deeper reflection on this tragedy.

He then asked the Ukrainian artist Olesia TROFYMENKO to create a painting where everything is denounced.

In just 7 days, the artist dedicated herself entirely to the creation, considering this work as a true mission. The result is extraordinary, exuding a force and attraction imbued with emotion when presented to the public.

Thanks to this masterful piece (300×205 cm), the documentary maintains its authenticity while displaying a great deal of sensitivity.

This painting had never been exhibited before; it peacefully slept at the back of the artist’s studio. It was time for that to change !

Therefore, we proposed the painting to the Salon des Indépendants for their exhibition at the Grand Palais Ephémère in February 2024.

Aware of its importance and unique character, the President and the organizing team were unanimous in welcoming the painting to the exhibition, thus offering a World Premiere in Paris.

Judging by the reactions of the visitors, it seems essential to us that the painting continues its career in France and around the world as a cultural vehicle to raise awareness about this tragedy at the doorstep of Europe.