Olga Krykun

by Aglaja Stehnejová

Olga Krykun (*1994, Odessa) is a young artist of Ukrainian origin currently based in Prague. She graduated MA in Fine Arts at UMPRUM. Her works, mainly video-installation, sculpture and painting, comprehensively depict the philosophy of today. Combining recent pop-cultural attributes with intuition and storytelling, Olga creates „a kind of trance-like surrealism“.

Discover Olga Krykun here: http://olgakrykun.com/cv

Follow Olga here: https://www.instagram.com/ok.rykun/


Why do you do what you do?


I‘ve been artsy since the first steps in my life 🙂. I always drew everything and everywhere, paper walls in our place were all drawn over. Then I went to a normal elementary school, but I didn’t feel good there and I switched early to an artistic-aesthetic elementary school. So I just do it my whole life.


Seems like you have supportive parents?


Yes, my parents have nothing common with art, but they've always supported me!


Do you consider yourself a bard or a storyteller?


I guess a bard, my stories are not clear but used more like poetry. I like to give the viewers impulses and impacts to construct their own stories. But at the same time, I also have some of my own meanings inside. But I believe that since we all have a different personality and background, I can’t just tell a story with a singular (mine) meaning. That’s not interesting to me.


What kind of stories do you tell?


My videos, installations and paintings are all very imaginative and intuitive. But since I am educated in arts and I know how it had to work before, and how it has to work now in the art field, I like to play with that as well. So it for sure isn’t just “intuitive'' or naïve art, since it’s rooted so deep in the art scene and in communicating with my peers. But aside from this context – with people outside of the art scene for example – I strongly believe in intuitive and emotional understanding of my art 🙂.


Have you ever been interested in mythology?

I am interested in mythology, specifically in symbolism, which I use a lot in my work. I am also now researching the impact of symbols on viewers without the need for a text, which would explain the artwork.


I think the art world is very closed-in and elite. It somehow started with modernism, abstraction, and conceptual, post-conceptual art of course. The average educated person has a problem with understanding a lot of things in the exhibitions. But people still need art and they like it when it’s more accessible. I am not against this kind of art, and it was very important then, but I feel that now we are somewhere else, more in the future 🙂. Art also changed because we use social media and everyone creates a lot of content. And art somehow becomes just another piece of content in the ocean of content. It just isn’t as moderated as it used to be before – by an art institution for example.


What pillars connect your works with mythology and what are the main features of mythology for you? What role do aesthetics play in both cases?


Regarding mythology itself, I am working with some kind of “archetypal“ character behaviour of actors-improvisers in my videos. And I am interested in the archetypes as well, and it’s also connected to this interest in symbols I was talking about before.


Your work is well-known for its specific ambiance, which you previously described as a "trance-like state". How should this be interpreted (if at all)?


I would interpret it like this “trance” feeling you can get from seeing a mixture of symbols and archetypes, and pop-cultural references, of course. And during that, you are open to create your own meanings as well.


What are you most proud of in your work?


I think I’m proud, that I manage to make my work fresh, contemporary, but I’m not sure if it’s something I should be proud of 😃.


What are your favourite pop-cultural attributes of today? Which social trends inspire your current work?


Currently, I’m inspired by e-girls, and working on a series of paintings. I’m also watching TikTok pretty often, playing games, watching anime, different ''geeky stuff'', which is not considered geeky anymore and I’m happy for that. I’d say it was considered geeky around 2005–2015 but now it’s fairly normal.


Describe how we can encourage your career growth


I would be happy if my work could infiltrate people’s life, their homes, or become a gift for example. I have several experiences with exhibiting in galleries, but I still feel that it’s only a small group of the same people seeing all my shows again and again. So I’m just very open to get a wider audience and I hope that you can be part of it this way 🙂.


Photo: Iryna Drahun