Елена Окунева
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Source: ilko.ua

Miroslav Vajda is a multi-disciplinary artist. It is impossible to describe his practice in two words. It is pointless to describe the topics the author works with in short phrases, and to list the techniques and subgenres of art in which Vajda creates, because this list will include everything that you can imagine.

Apparently, Miroslav Vajda does not think over his specific image, does not build a strategically verified mythology over his “I”, does not “develop a personal brand”. Instead of all this, the artist works honestly and hard, boldly experiments, tries new things and, without hesitation, is constantly looking for his place in the world.

As Miroslav Vajda himself, a native of Transcarpathia, recalls, his youth in the border Uzhgorod was filled with “colors, flowers and wine”. The artist explains that thanks to geography, Hungarians, Slovaks, Romanians, Czechs came to Uzhgorod, and this cultural exchange gave rise to a bright, free artistic environment, which was devoid of constriction, excessive academicism, and obsessive tradition. It is this liveliness and freshness that the artist lacks in Lviv and Kyiv, which differ in spirit.


The work of Miroslav Vajda at the collective exhibition of non-objective art VELYKE KOLO in the center M17, 2019


Miroslav Vajda sometimes tries to make up for this lack with his performances, for example, such as Running Wild in 2010. During this action, the artist for a long time, carefully and theatrically, applied a plentiful layer of lard to the red carpet unfolded on the marble steps.

Then the author briefly disappeared behind a closed door and appeared already in only a loincloth, a helmet and on skis, and to the exclamations of approval he merrily slid down the greasy steps, jumped out of his ski boots and ran into the bushes.

And although Vajda has a lot of bright performances in his practice, Running Wild can hardly be called a work characteristic of him. Rather, it is one of the many facets of his art. The artist himself says:

“Our life, our path are like puzzles that complement each other, which in the end add up to a full-fledged work of life’s polychromy. And as soon as some puzzle falls out, goes out or fades, this is the first sign, a signal that something is wrong with your life.”

Through his varied art, Miroslav Vajda fills in these missing puzzles, creating works that reflect those or other aspects of life to which the artist’s attention is riveted.


Exposition of Miroslav Vajda’s project Winter in Karas Gallery, 2014


Another quote by Miroslav Vajda only confirms this approach to the creation of art: “Art is a kind of contemplation, notes of a state, moment, angle, without silty garbage.” [2]

In other words, looking back at the artist’s work, we can say that he did not become a hostage to one or another of his abilities, or an adherent of this or that medium, but selects the means to express his idea every time anew, constantly checking with the surrounding reality and his subtle worldview.


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There are legends about this sharpened perception of artists. Often this is called a special intuition inherent in “real” creators. One can argue with the nature of this, but sometimes artists really predict events or non-obvious phenomena due to their attentiveness to the world.

Miroslav Vajda is no exception in this sense. In 2012, his exhibition opened in the Small Gallery of the Arsenal, and one of the presented objects was Forest – an installation of columns assembled from car tires. The tops of these pillars “were smoking”, enveloping the gallery in a damp mist.


Miroslav Vajda mounts the installation Forest, 2012


Even then, this installation was interpreted in different ways: both as the victory of urbanization and industrialization over nature, and as the eternal theme of sexual energy, and the author himself drew his own, understandable only to him, parallels with trees [1].

Already two years after the exhibition, a new poignant interpretation of this installation by Miroslav Vajda appeared. So the industrial “forest”, shrouded in mystery, turned into a protest forest, with a romantic and at the same time painful flavor of revolution.

The work of Miroslav Vajda with painting is also noteworthy. Despite the artist’s sensitive work with reality and his conviction that “contemporary art is a reflection of reality”, looking at Vajda’s paintings, it can be difficult to consider this reality there.

In terms of painting, Miroslav Vajda is an associate of Tiberius Silvashi and, like him, prefers to work on the canvas only with color, avoiding forms and objects, in fact, moving away from markers of a certain time, place or any other context of the physical world.

At the same time, the author himself is sure that “there is nothing more realistic than abstraction” [3]. That is, for Miroslav Vajda, there is a connection between painting and relevance, and it is on this reflection of reality reflected by the artist that his diverse art is based.



[1] From the artist’s interview with Yulia Ostrovskaya, 2012

[2] Recorded by Natalia Matsenko from the words of Miroslav Vajda for the book 25 Years of Presence. Contemporary Ukrainian Artists, 2016

[3] Miroslav Vajda, artist: Contemporary art is a reflection of reality. Conversation with Bozhena Gorodnitskaya, 2009

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