Painting from the Photo that Was Taken on the Big Distance and then Cropped / Картина з фото, яке було знято з великої відстані, а потім обрізано

Lesia Khomenko / Леся Хоменко


Painting, 200 × 130 cm.
Materials: acrylic on canvas

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp / Collection Flemish Community (Inv. no. BK009516).

The work is based on a photo the artist took from the window of her studio, located opposite a military base in Kiev. In her painting Khomenko zooms in on the figure of a soldier who becomes an isolated silhouette on the blank canvas. The painting can be seen as a reflection on the relationship between the artistic gaze and the technological military gaze. Unlike the piercing optics of a sniper, Khomenko's gaze focuses on the surface of the body, making it almost an abstraction. Created before the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022, it was originally intended for the artist's solo exhibition at the National Art Museum of Ukraine in Kyiv, which never took place. Painting from the photo that was taken on the big distance and then cropped is part of Khomenko's ongoing interest in the historical tradition of depicting war and the role of digital images in wartime. The role of the latter has changed dramatically since the invasion, turning photos into a type of weapon. Khomenko's work not only reflects the way the soldiers are portrayed in the context of the cyberwar but also raises the issue of the inevitable dehumanisation that results from the widespread dehumanisation and pixelation of the images.

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