Nastasya Kharytonova is a Ukrainian artist currently based in Brussels. Before choosing painting as her preferred media, she studied graphic design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kiev and experimented with scenography.
Nastasya’s visual universe is populated by elements that are tender and gory at the same time. The style, characterised by nervous pencil strokes and bright paint colour fields, is reminiscent of children’s drawings. From these Nastasya takes stylized elements (flowers, teddy bears, animals) and the impulsive and seemingly haphazard colour drafting. This childlike atmosphere is disrupted by smudges of colour reminiscent of blood, barred eyes, livid faces and hands, and blurred, shadowy backgrounds.
Nastasya got in contact with children’s drawings through creative workshops for and which children she runs in Brussels, but also being in contact with neurodivergent children when she was younger and her mom worked in a kindergarten for special needs kids.
Her paintings crystallise childhood memories, blooming gardens, ethereal creatures perturbed by feelings of fear and violence. Dreamlike atmospheres house images captured from everyday reality, as experienced by the artist herself, remembered and transformed by the process of their understanding and acceptance (or not).
Lately, Nastasya started exploring abstraction instead of figuration, as a reaction and as a way to deal with the beginning of the war in the country of origin.
The result is an uncanny body of works that plunges the viewers in a world where dreams, nightmares, memories and reality become one.