She strikes a pose and stands motionless for minutes at a time until a curious passerby stops to look. Then suddenly she winks, or waves, or beckons him to come closer, and then resumes her pose. Soon enough a crowd of curious passersby will form, and kids will run up to throw a hryvnia into the artist’s bin and take a picture.
The woman, Vlada Zadnebryannaya, is one of at least five living statues that perform on Khreshchatyk Street even on weekdays. The characters range from the female impersonation of Ukraine, to Caesar, to a cowboy. Each character has his or her own way to amuse the curious.
If men are in the audience, Zadnebryannaya says she might hit them with her whip or beckon to them. If there are children, she’ll shake their hands and soon enough they will want to take a picture. On average, a statue can make Hr 70 to 100 an hour, said Alexander Dymchenko, who says he has been in the business for 11 years, mostly in Crimea.