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Revolutionary Kyiv is a Playground for Daring Street Artists

Three world famous street artists took on creating graffiti in Kyiv. Thanks to them, the city has got its first street of outdoor art, as well as a route for a new tour. In this article, DreamKyiv is presenting this route to you.


This article is originally published by DreamKyiv. Translated by NovaEuropa.

 1. The square of Heavenly Hundred, and a portrait of Sergiy Nigoyan

Meet Vhils, a Portuguese artist (Alexandre Fartu) who has just finished the portrait of a Maidan hero Sergiy Nigoyan. The artwork was completed on a wall of a building on the square of the Heavenly Hundred (named after the heroes of the Maidan revolution). A green area was restored by locals last year. It was a dump previously.


Vhils was invited to Kyiv by the activists of the Heavenly Hundred Square. In particular, by its founder Evgeniya Kuleba. The artist was chosen for his personal philosophy. He believes that a human being has the greatest value and millions of stories in their eyes. He also believes that buildings and cities have souls too.


The artist did follow the events of the Ukrainian Revolution of Dignity, and quickly agreed to make a painting in Kyiv for free. The cost of the airfare and materials were covered by locals. A significant part of it was raised by kids of Novopecherska school, who organised a fair and were selling handmade biscuits and toys. Even the president of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, attended the opening of the painting.


The work of Vhils is quite special since he doesn’t paint in the traditional sense of this word. He grounds the wall, plasters it, and then removes this layer with a perforator and a drill while making the picture appear. There are three more people working with him in the team. Currently, they are making a film about Maidan, Kyiv, and their art.


2. Mural of a Cossack

In Autumn 2014, the artists of a Ukrainian art-duo Interesni Kazki Volodymyr Manzhos and Oleksiy Bordusov created two new murals in Kyiv. One of them is located at the beginning of the Strilecka street. The artwork is called the Time of Change. It depicts an agile cossack who conquers a
Cerastes that resembles Putin.


3. Arch graffiti

On the same street, in November 2014, Kyiv artists Olena Staranchuk, Ilya Ugnivenko, and Oleh Gryshchenko created another appealing object. They painted an arch which leads to a cosy green yard.


4. Ballerina sculpture

The artwork of Kostyantyn Skrytuckyi has been around for a number of years and even has got its own legend. Accordingly to it, at first Kostyantyn mounted a monument to a match on a stump of a dried linden tree. However, within a few days a note was left attached to it. Locals asked the artist to replace the monument of a soulless match with a sculpture of a ballerina in honour of a dancer living in a neighbouring house.


5. Mural of a Gymnast

An Australian street-art master Fintan Magee created his first Kyiv’s artwork in Podil district, on a wall of the state sanitary-epidemiological service building. The founders of the CityArt project invited Fintan to create another mural in Kyiv. So now he is working at Strilecka street. The mural will display a young and beautiful Ukrainian woman – the world champion in rhythmic gymnastics, Anna Rizatdnova.


6. Mural of Lesya Ukrainka

Another Australian, Guido van Helten also came to Ukraine by invitation of the CityArt project. The founders of the project Geo Leros and Anastasia Drizo plan to create a quarter of graffiti by the stars of the world street art in the very centre of Kyiv, next to the Golden Gates.


The airfare and accommodation were paid by donors. Gvido works for free, as a gift to the city. His mural is dedicated to Lesya Ukrainka, one of the most known Ukrainian poet and writer. Another his piece, the artist is creating in Svyatoshyn district, on a wall of 18-storey residential building.


7. Retro photography building

The project’s name is “Looking in the windows”. It was carried out by the Kyiv’s Charity and Ukrainian Association of Professional Photographers two years ago. Window openings of a neglected monument of Ukrainian history have become the frames for the retro photos of Kyivers. The pictures were found in the archives of 1900 – 1920th. Who were people on the pictures the project creators don’t really know.


8. Art handrail

The art handrail was presented in May this year. It is covered in quotes from novels by young Ukrainian writers and poets – Sofiya Andruhovych, Lesya Beleya, Tania Malyarchuk, Dzvinka Matiyash, Ostap Slyvynskyi, and Oleksandr Ushkalov. The idea of the project belongs to a Polish artist Elzhbeti Yablonskiy, and it was carried out by a Ukrainian architect Ivan Melchuk, assisted by the Polish Institute of Kyiv. The font for the handrail was developed by Oksana Kapranova. There is a plan to enable artificial heating for the handrail in winter, so it would warm up hands of the passers-by.


9. Pencils bench.

A bench that resembles pencils was mounted last summer, thanks to an art studio which is located nearby.


10. Trees with the eyes

The eyes on trees are painted by Kyiv’s artist Mariam Nayem to bring attention to the nature conservation. The initiative started last year. Mariam also painted the eyes on trees in Carpathian’s, which are being massively cut down. The message is – “nothing is gone unnoticed”. Also, the eyes on trees can be seen in Shevchenko park, and in Syrec wood.


Enjoy the art tour! Here is the map for your convenience…



By the way, the story has only started. Now it’s your turn to do something…



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