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Olena Ivanyshyn

Lviv Metro

Biography of a passenger of the Lviv metro. The nature of the characters I met is somewhat ironic. However, in their provincial simplicity there is a lot of sincerity, immediacy, and beauty. They are like antipodes to the slavery of Instagram aesthetics. Life itself is in imperfections.

An eternal lawn that grows continuously and we patiently mow it every day. The beauty of everyday routine, in which we find the meaning of being, by entering a dialogue with the surrounding world, which we do not choose.

Olena Ivanyshyn

Ordinary - unusual

At the center of research is a person.

Each watercolor sheet – a portrait or an urban multi-figure scene – appeals to the imperceptible but ubiquitous images of seemingly random passers-by.

A whole life drama is unfolding before us with hints of irony of exaggeration and fondness for the ordinary, everyday, routine.


We encounter ordinary people, but in somewhat unusual pictures.

People – quite ordinary people – and their stories are at the center of an appeal of this exhibition.


If we are more meticulous in studying the nature of these images, they will change and reveal to us a multi-layered world of meanings and moods.


The purpose of this project looms as a kind of instant group shot, the fixation of people of our time, before us is a whole series of images of people going about their daily business without too much fuss or trouble. The common people! I hear you object. Well, there is no such thing as a simple person! And, it is quite true, and this unusual exhibition is a strong proof of this very fact.


There are people, portraits whose images we usually don't see painted: saleswomen from the market, random passers-by, a grandmother on a bench in her home yard, employees of ZHEK, homeless people, passengers of shuttle buses or the fictional but very real Lviv metro.


Moreover, all the paintings depict people living today. They are named, identified, placed in their specific places, surrounded by objects that attract their attention day by day. Yes, this small show of 20 watercolor works takes us back to an era when a painting could be extremely exciting because of its subject. By saying this, I do not mean that all works are crudely figurative in a sophisticated academic form)

The author gives us the joy of knowing more about the lives of these people. It must be said that all this democratization of the subject does not look at all surprising, it places sensitive, sometimes ironic, but sentimental accents in the picture of reality and the dialectic of our values.


Look carefully at the gaze in "Man without a name" or the organicity of movements and expressions in "The Beauty of Being", the monumentality of delayed observation begs for a luxurious baroque frame or a large mural in a public place.


Perhaps it is somewhat dreamy and paradoxical, but we have the opportunity to see the everyday that is worth eternity, a fixed routine moment that burns with flashes of fantasy and guesswork.

Art Critic Natalia Tulina-Marunyak


Olena Ivanyshyn was born in 1983 in the city of Kyiv.

She studied at the T.G. Shevchenko State Art High School. In 2007, she graduated from the Lviv National Academy of Arts, Department of Art Glass.

After completing her studies, she went on a long-term maternity leave and did not engage in art until 2018.

She lives and works in Lviv. Author of personal projects and a participant of group shows.  

The artist works in watercolor technique.


  • 2023 "Vid•Chuttya Vid•Liutoho", Group watercolor exhibition. The works that have been done since the beginning of the full-scale invasion. Art gallery "Artist", Kyiv.

  • 2022 Chosen. Personal exhibition. L. V. Cafe Jazz Club, Lviv.

  • 2022 Watercolor evenings. Project IWS (International Watercolor Society) Ukraine.

  • 2021 Your names, Ukraine. MSUMK, Lutsk, Ukraine.

  • 2021 Lightning. Personal exhibition in the gallery of the Lviv Organ Hall.

  • 2021 Our Wonderful world. Kharkiv-Lviv-Lublin, International exhibition from IWS Ukraine.

  • 2020 Lviv Watercolor School. PM Gallery, Lviv.

  • 2019 participation in the IWS Ukraine project. Lviv Palace of Arts.

  • 2019 Watercolor. Personal exhibition. L. V. Cafe Jazz Club, Lviv.

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