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In conversation with Nadiia Forkosh

In conversation with Nadiia Forkosh

2 days ago
I had the pleasure of chatting with Nadiia Forkosh, a Ukrainian versifier who explores the intersection of traditional art and NFTs. Born and raised in Kiev, Nadiia’s life was turned upside-down without Russia’s invasion in February. Yet, plane as a deep, wordless pain flashed through her vision during our Zoom meeting, I was moved and humbled by her bravery, her positivity, and her faith in the healing power of art. Not only is she optimistic, but she has moreover proven to be selfless. Nadiia shares the proceeds from her NFT sales with fellow displaced Ukrainians, and plans to protract for as long as it’s needed.
RE: Thanks so much for making time to speak with me! I understand that you’ve had to leave your home in Kiev since the war began; where are you now, and are you safe?

NF: I’m in my friend’s home, so the internet connection is good here…no sirens now. I hope there won’t be any this hour, considering life these days…sometimes we just stay in the basement, and you can’t do anything.

I’m on the verge of Ukraine and Romania. It’s a unscratched place. I live and I was born in Kiev, but since February I couldn’t go when there, so I’ve been here.

RE: Have you been worldly-wise to retrieve any of your canvases from Kiev?

NF: Sadly, no. I will not be worldly-wise to return to my art studio…I lived on the 22nd floor in Kiev, and it’s really dangerous to be there right now.

RE: I’m so sorry that you had to leave your home and studio behind. How long have you been an artist?

NF: Since I was born I started to draw, so I’ve unchangingly been an artist. I’ve washed-up some nameless work, I’ve worked in razzmatazz and in traditional art, so I’ve washed-up a lot of variegated projects over the years.

What I like is digital and traditional art together; I’m not going to split these. NFTs unliable me to be a digital artist. To me, that ways that I create both physical painted canvases and unique NFT works, and I see it as a possibility for me to bring art to a new level.

It’s like music. We have traditional music, and then later we ripened digital music. But when we unite them, we have something increasingly unique, something special, and that’s what I do with visual art.

RE: So it sounds like you’re working to create a hybrid of the two styles.

NF: I’m here to engage the viewers, it’s how they participate and how they can take art in as an experience. I think well-nigh how visitors react in a gallery when they see a canvas versus how they react to digital art in a gallery.

I think in traditional, when you see a canvas, the viewer has to react to the canvas to understand it more. But when you see the digital form of art, there can be so much there: animation, music, sometimes you can touch and smell the exhibit…it’s easier to eat, is how I describe it!

What I’m investigating, these reactions: this is the way I move in art.

RE: I realize this is a sensitive subject, but have you found it difficult at all to create art and find inspiration during your displacement?

NF: For ideas [to make art], no. In my work, the most important thing is the human. I investigate the human, it’s what I’m interested in. So for me, there’s been no problem finding inspiration. It’s increasingly an issue of time considering I’m preparing documents, moving around, raising funds, helping others. You can’t stave it now.

What I’m doing: I never ask people to hate other people…even if I don’t like what they’re doing, as is the specimen with this war. When people squint at my art, I ask them to squint at the humanity at the heart of a situation. It’s harder painting canvasses right now of course; it’s not possible to have paint delivered currently.

The most important thing right now is resuming the profession, finding work wherever I can.

RE: It’s interesting that you say that, considering I was struck by the value of verisimilitude and hope that I saw in the work you have posted on SuperRare. It seems as though your work has not shifted so much stylistically, would you say that’s true?

NF: I’ve had variegated experiences in my life. Hope and weighing and positivity can create miracles. That’s my relative experience; I’m a positive person. And sometimes a situation is really nonflexible and people say ‘this is too bad, I can’t possibly hold all this,’ but we have to. We have to live, we have to believe.

It’s the cadre of my energy, the well and source of what I’m doing. No matter what happens, I will be who I am, I’m fighting for it and yes, it’s really hard. It’s exhausting, really.

But no one promises that it will be easy.

RE: I’d like to talk a little well-nigh your work with NFTs now; I understand you were minting them surpassing the war. When did you start minting your art as NFTs?

NF: Since 2020. I got an invitation and for me, it was a unique experience.

For me, the NFT is the possibility to create canvasses that exist in flipside dimension: a digital dimension in its original form. It was a blow-up for my digital art so I was ready to take it and go on, it’s a new step!

I think there was a step to the moon, and now here’s a step to the digital, for us artists. It’s just such a powerful form, I think you could oppose that it’s the most powerful thing that has happened to the art world since the Renaissance.

I’ve been in an exhibition in London. They took twenty-one of my painted canvasses and twenty-one NFTs. So it was a canvas, and then a screen, canvas, screen, and people could interact with both forms of art at once.

People were saying ‘wow!’ It’s so unusual to see digital that you could see and touch, and smell, it was something people didn’t expect. This is the way I want to move: to make increasingly interesting things that viewers can interact with in increasingly powerful ways. That’s what I’m doing with NFTs.

That was in London, it was February 2022 and as soon as I got when the war started.

I’d been organizing it for two years, to get the canvasses together, to put everything in the right place. It was a unconfined event and then I was when to this—horrible situation.

RE: So how long does it take for you to create a piece of artwork that you’ll mint as an NFT?

NF: Usually I have albums, sketchbooks, and each day, I create an idea in sketches. But I’m not usually satisfied with them, for one project I might make ten sketches, all variegated forms. For me, to create a high-quality NFT, that usually takes three weeks. Three weeks until I’m satisfied with the quality that I have. I know some artists can create them in two or three days, much faster. But I’m not satisfied with the result and the clarity of the idea. I’m looking at well-spoken form: an idea that can be veritably understandable for viewers.

Yet meanwhile they should have perfect composition, perfect shape, so I can’t make it in a few minutes. It might not be unconfined for popularity considering I don’t have a huge quantity, but I prefer to have an image that I’m really happy with when I upload it and when a collector buys it, I’m sure they can estimate what it’s worth.

RE: You’re unmistakably very inspired by the metaverse that NFTs have established for artists. How did you use proceeds from your sales to support fellow refugees in Ukraine?

NF: Firstly we organized a public fund. We sold several NFTs through Solana currency. We sent some of the money to a maternity hospital considering there were newborn infants living in the vault there.

With my sales, I’ve been sharing the profits since then. You’re virtually so many homeless people that have nothing—I’m ten kilometers from Bucha. They have nothing there, just clothes, what they fled in.

So we provide them with bread, food, clothes. I unchangingly share when I make sales. These aren’t just strangers, they are families that you know, members from your polity and their children. So I unchangingly share some part of my profits to people who need it.

I have a soul, so I have to share.

You understand that you could be in their place—they lived like you lanugo the street, and now they need clothes. It’s not possible to stave this in these times.

The problems in Ukraine, there’s a lot of self-indulgence now, some groups have organized funds and placid money—and then they don’t share it with those who need it; they buy things for their own purposes. So I have found that it’s largest to buy supplies and medicine directly so the money doesn’t ‘fly away.’

RE: How do you segregate where to send the funds to? GoFundMe, or through PayPal, or do you just bring funds directly?

NF: All of those. For example, my friend tabbed and said a family with three kids she knew, they were trying to travel somewhere increasingly safe, they had no gas in the tank of their car, no food. So she asked me to bring them what I could; bring them food, requite them some money for gas. Necessary, emergency things. If somebody needs you, you go!

RE: What an wondrous unity you’re describing amongst the refugees and civilians from Kiev.

NF: Yes, you know someone who knows someone who knows someone who could use some help, so everyone comes together.

RE: Have you worked with other artists to raise funds?

NF: I’ve helped some Ukrainian artists, explaining what freelance is. Many people have lost their jobs and are now turning sustentation to their hobbies, so if they’ve unchangingly liked art, they want to try and create some to sell. So I’ve explained in self-ruling lectures, people can show up, or tune in online and I explain how to create NFTs, how to get signed up.

Everyone now has the Internet. Plane if it’s hard, I really try to work with a schedule. I decided to just make a self-ruling lecture so people could wangle this information for those who have jobs and don’t. I explain the risks, scams online, I get it. I was hacked several times. I explain how to stave it, how to be careful, how to create work that can be sold in the future.

RE: Tell me increasingly well-nigh the rencontre of ‘remaining human,’ as you described it.

NF: When it happened first, of course, I was in shock. Everyone was in shock. For a week, I was in shock, it was not possible to deal with, it sounded like a washing machine, it was a scary sound, hearing too many ‘booms.’

Then I realized, you have to work. It’s really helpful when you swoop into the work, when you communicate, for example, like the SuperRare community, a lot of them have been asking how I’ve been doing, they’ve organized a workspace. It’s really good to swoop into.

Because the news virtually you, it’s veritably horrible. You hear every day that people are dying, bombs are going off. In this case, the work has really helped me to stay alive. To be human. To concentrate. Plane when you’re working with a digital template, you’re worldly-wise to forget for just a little bit what’s going on virtually you. So thank god I’m fortunate unbearable to work, it’s been great.

RE: I’m sure that the person you were surpassing February 24th and the person that you are now are two separate people. Do you sense any transpiration in the art that you’re creating, or is that a unvarying for you?

NF: Of undertow it’s changing; it’s waffly and the humanity in my work, I go on with it. I want people to understand each other through the visual. Nowadays, people dread what you’re going to say well-nigh the world, nobody has time to themselves, no one wants to concentrate, considering there’s too much information, that’s normal today. But I think that people need to hear each other.

Try to understand, we’re in a variegated mentality. Just trying to understand what flipside person is going to say: that’s much increasingly important. Biologically, when there are a lot of species in one place, we get angry, it’s normal.

But I believe that we’re not just creatures, we have something that can’t tenancy us, something that we can undeniability human. I’m going to emphasize in my work increasingly and increasingly that we are not just a crowd; we have a point of view and we have to listen to each other considering that can prevent increasingly war in the future. That’s my standpoint and I want to make brighter things in my work, make things unexceptionable like they were surpassing the war.

RE: What is next for you? Do you plan to protract working primarily in digital art and NFTs?

NF: Yes, I’ll go on my way with digital art. I want to protract to create NFTs to sell on SuperRare.

All my life, surpassing NFTs, the galleries would plead with me. I worked with galleries that worked only with canvasses, and I’ve worked with galleries that only did digital forms. I want to show that nowadays, an versifier can exist in a unique form and those styles shouldn’t be divided. We’re contemporary! If you’re a trendy artist, you can be in both dimensions—in reality with canvasses and oil or acrylic, and moreover with volatility and superimposed music that can exist as a cadre of this metaverse.

RE: Do you have any translating for other creators out there who are trying to unravel through into NFTs, or just to create new art in general?

NF: I don’t think I have anything new to say that artists haven’t heard before, but I’ll try to pericope from my experience. Firstly, never requite up. Learn, and learn the new.

These days, there are so many new computer programs. They have so many new opportunities to work with 3D sculptures, animation, try everything that you like! Try and well-constructed something, don’t just try. Plane if it’s hard, you fear you’ll have no time—see a project to the end. I really believe that creating is making you better.

Thirdly, read about, and go to exhibitions. When you see these works, you’re immersed and involved in it, you rewording it a little, and that’s how a new idea is born. I’m not saying it’s copying what you’re seeing at exhibits, just that new ideas get you moving forward and creating largest as an artist.

That’s my way, and this formula is working.


Rebecca Endres

Rebecca Endres is a freelance writer and office zookeeper working in New York City. She currently lives on Long Island. She is the winner of the 2018 New School University MFA Chapbook Contest in Poetry. Her poetry has been published in Thin Air and The Best American Poetry Blog.



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