Ana Kuni a Ukrainian-born model-turned-artist working between London and Cape Town.
Her most recent work, vibrant portraits of powerful energetic women is a study of female behaviour in a fast changing world. They are colourful and wild, not hiding their scars either, just being how they are, in this moment. The fascination with human nature and ability to adapt in any given situation is the inspiration behind her work.
1. Which piece of art are you most proud of and why?
My most popular piece is “Black Panther.Silver Panther”. The image has resonated with so many people , I had to create limited edition prints to share it with more than just one person. The story about them evolved, as I heard more comments from clients how it made them feel. I see it as a human duality, constant struggle in accepting some part of us, naming it good or bad and not seeing it as a whole. The Panthers have been printer on aluminium, allowing the viewer to see the reflection of yourself in both artworks, softly suggesting there is no right or wrong, there is just one consciousness.
2. Describe your workspace / studio… help us visualise it.
I prefer to work from home, because once inspiration comes I need to be able to start creating straight away. I have a table full of pastels, watercolours, pencils and different styles of paper, then there are boxes of paint and canvases ready to be used. I work in so many different mediums and like to have all the materials in front of me. I make a lot of mess and drink a lot of tea when I paint. I can spend days in a kind of creative chaos where I just focus on my work, forgetting to eat or sleep. I wish I had a less intense way of working but the satisfaction I get from creating something beautiful is enormous and is worth all the struggle.
3. Where would you say your creativity comes from?
My mum is a very creative person. She always managed to put things together in such a way it looked like an art piece. Growing up in communist Ukraine, everything around us looked the same, people lived in the same houses with almost exactly the same furniture, but my mum always managed to make thing pretty by changing them, colouring, tailoring, fixing. I get it from her, I like to look at a blank canvas and visualise a masterpiece.
4. What would be your top tip to other artists wanting to be part of Artogi in relation to Art?
Be true to your art! If you make something you believe in, people will feel it and will want to be part of it! Never fear to make mistakes!
5. What’s your inspiration for your Artogi collection?
As art and yoga have always been big parts of my life I felt like it would be a perfect opportunity for me to explore what happens when you mix those two. I wanted to capture the feeling of serenity and the unknown, the deep look inside ourselves and the sense of beauty and peace. My aim is to make this yoga mat your sacred place, where you keep coming back to find your perfect balance and to recharge your life.
6. What have you been up to in the last 12 months?
I have been working on my solo show that I had in Cape Town at the beginning of the year. It is called RainbowGirlZ, it consists of dynamic portraits of powerful women and their spirit animals. I also have participated in many competitions for emerging artists here in London, in the Ukraine (where i am originally from) and in South Africa (where i currently live). I have a lot of commissioned work and many creative projects.