Living in a country struck by war and pandemic, Ukrainian artists have unleashed their creative sides during times of adversity.

But the local art arena has been flourishing long before COVID‑19 took its toll on humanity.

As Ukraine tries to transform into a democratic European state while defending its borders from Russian aggression, public discussions of national identity, values and human rights, have sparked artistic minds. Small avant-garde galleries have popped up all around Kyiv to showcase the pieces.

The works of Ukrainian artists are also exhibited in the world’s top galleries like the New York Museum of Modern Art and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

French artist and designer Isagus Toche, who has lived in Ukraine for four years, says that Ukraine’s freedom of artistic expression allows local artists to create bold pieces that steer the conversation in the right direction.


One example is Dariya Marchenko’s “The Face of Corruption,” a critical portrait of ex-President Petro Poroshenko made of candy wrappers from a confectionary firm that he owns.

“(There is) an amazing freedom of creation, and a very young spirit,” Toche told the Kyiv Post.

Though the pandemic forced galleries and festivals to go online, making it harder for buyers to assess art quality, Toche says that there is a silver lining, as it became easier to discover talents from anywhere in the world.

Still, people have become more reluctant to spend money, especially on low-priority items, hurting art sales, according to Kate Taylor, the founder of cultural management agency Port. During the first three months under the 2020 lockdown, the international art auction sales dropped by 80%, Taylor says. But then people adapted quickly, and almost all works were bought online towards the end of the year.

“Buying a picture with just a click is even nicer,” Taylor told the Kyiv Post. “What is the point of flying to London for an auction if you just have to click ‘bid’ on time, and the picture is yours.”
Aside from supporting the local artists during the crisis, buying art is a way to brush up a home and invest in something timeless.


Here are six online and offline platforms to purchase contemporary works by Ukrainian artists.

The Naked Room

The Naked Room gallery emerged on Reitarska Street to make the art world more accessible for the new generation of art enthusiasts in Kyiv.

Once a tailor’s shop, it is now an exhibition space where art pieces decorate the “naked” walls. Visitors can also enjoy coffee, wine and cake in a small coffee shop inside.

“We are on one hand a really high-level, professional art market, on the other hand also a casual place to meet each other and eat and drink,” Marc Wilkins, Swiss film director and the co-founder, told the Kyiv Post.

A core value of the gallery is building long-lasting friendships with the artists that it represents, according to Wilkins. That’s why there are two types of exhibitions at The Naked Room: month-long displays of artists the gallery has collaborated with for at least two years and shorter “experimental” displays by guest artists. Art bought during an exhibition can be claimed by its new owners after it’s over.

Colorful photographic prints from Ukrainian artist Elena Subach’s “On the Edge” project displayed at The Naked Room gallery in December 2019-January 2020. The Naked Room sells art pieces it showcases during the exhibitions and through its online catalog.

The current exhibition features a series of paintings with elements of embroidery by Olesia Trofymenko. Also a filmmaker, she uses the techniques that give her paintings a striking cinematographic character. One of the central pieces is “WTF,” a gloomy oil painting of a woman taking off her face mask, priced at 1,800 euros (Hr 59,000).

Artworks that are not currently displayed at The Naked Room are presented in its online catalog. But the gallery can also show them in person. The collection offers photographs, paintings, sculptures and more by 30 artists priced at 350–5,000 euros (Hr 11,500–165,000) each.

The Naked Room. 21 Reitarska St. +380500145282.

Kupava Auction House

Kupava Auction House is a biannual event that showcases rare works mostly by Ukrainian artists, some dating back to the 1930s.

Auction items including paintings and sculptures are selected by the organizer Ludmila Bereznitska, who is also an art critic and co-founder of Bereznitsky Art Foundation.

“Auction is the instrument for formulation and support of the art market in Ukraine,” Bereznitska told the Kyiv Post.

After a long pause amid the pandemic, the upcoming auction will be held on April 24, presenting around 50 artworks worth $500-$50,000 (Hr 13,800–1.4 million). The pre-auction viewings will be open to the public from April 10 for two weeks.


Items chosen for the auction include the works by Ukrainian geniuses like Sergei Grigoriev, Mykola Hlushchenko and Evgenii Vsevolodovich, alongside pieces by present-day artists like Illya Chichkan, Oleksandr Rojtburd, Arsen Savadov and Maksim Maksimov.

Paintings available for purchase from Bereznitska’s personal collection and unsold items from the previous auctions are available for bidding on the gallery’s website.

Bereznitsky Art Foundation. 22 Kozhumiatska St. Pre-auction exhibition will be open on April 10–24. Tue-Sat. 11 a. m. — 7 p. m. Registration form for the April 24 auction will be available next month at

Spilne Art

Spilne Art doesn’t have a permanent physical gallery, as it lacks the mobility of a digital platform and may not be suitable for all artists.

Launched in 2020 by founder Nataliia Tkachenko, the online gallery offers selected artworks not only based on artistic techniques like brush strokes, but also on their message and the impact they may bring.

“You will find a lot of Ukrainian talents whose works deserve to be seen and bought,” the platform’s art director Anastasia Yovanovskaya told the Kyiv Post.

There is a wide range of pieces at Spilne Art, but many are paintings of everyday items like a cup transformed into whimsical illustrations.

Natasha Steshenko’s “Open Season,” a brightly colored oil painting illustrating a common scene at picnics in Ukraine, is one of the pieces available for Hr 32,100 (around $1,160). Skewered meat known as shashlik sits on top of a plastic bag from a local Ukrainian grocery store, bringing instant summer nostalgia.


Spilne Art.


Ukrainian art dealer Evgen Karas’s work moved into a Facebook marketplace that he created in April 2020 with Russian colleague Marat Guelman to support Ukrainian artists during the toughest lockdown period.

Sil-Sol (“Sil” means salt in Ukrainian and “Sol” means salt in Russian) grew into something Ukraine has never seen before, an online platform for fine art with discussions, lectures and accessible prices.

Once artists are approved by Karas online, they can directly connect with buyers through a Facebook group. For every purchase, there is a 10% moderation fee paid in addition to the prices set by the artists.

All sorts of art forms like photography, drawings and sculptures are available on Sil-Sol. One of the recent additions, Sergey Polyakov’s “Our Metropolis” is a soft-colored realistic oil painting capturing a wide panoramic view of Kyiv’s busy city center, priced at Hr 8,300 (around $300).



“Art should be accessible to everyone” is the philosophy of, a cultural management agency and a web-based store selling paintings, drawings and sculptures. Taylor, the platform’s founder, is on a mission to “destroy the myth” that art is an object of luxury only affordable by the rich.

The website offers a wide range of prices, from $30 to $1,500, with plenty of budget-friendly options.

Ksenia Hnylytska’s “Bogdan Khmelnitsky street” is among the presented pieces for $400 (Hr 11,000). The watercolor painting draws the historical buildings that “are falling into decay” and are likely to be replaced by another shopping or business center.

Other works at the store include nude arts, etchings that exemplify buildings and sculptures of animal faces.


An online store for paintings, drawings and photography launched in 2016, Artelect also offers gift cards from Hr 500 (around $18), a convenient present for art fans.

Elena Glory’s “View,” an acrylic painting depicting small patterned circles in blue and gold interweaved together, is one of the pieces for sale, priced at Hr 12,000 (around $430). Many works at Artelect use rich colors to picture sceneries or objects, while some are abstract scenes of light patterns or the planet.


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