Interview with the artist Daria Dmytrenko

A tangle of thoughts that takes on curved shapes and intense, almost mystical colors. It is the painting by the up-and-coming Ukrainian artist that tells us her story

Installation view, The Dream of Reason, Daria Dmytrenko, 2022, NOVO, Eduardo Secci Gallery, Florence, Photo: Stefano Maniero, Courtesy: the artist and Eduardo Secci

Daria Dmytrenko (Ukraine, 1993) is an emerging artist who came to Italy to study after studying painting at the National Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture in Kiev and graduated in painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice. In 2020 he takes part in the 103rd Collective of Young Artists of the Bevilacqua La Masa Foundation in Venice; In 2022, after a stay at the Palazzo Monti in Brescia, he works on various group exhibitions, including A long time ago in the gallery Eduardo Secci in Florence e Fluuuuid by Cassina Projects in Milan. In the same year he opened his first solo exhibition entitled The dream of reason, presented by Eduardo Secci. The artist works with the world of memories, shapes them and translates them into painting with great visual elegance.

Daria Dmitrenko
Daria Dmitrenko


Daria, what is your earliest memory as an artist?
I have no concrete first memory. When I was four years old, I went to a children’s art school. But when I started studying art school, I felt like an artist. That’s when I realized I wanted to take care of it.

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What do you think of the academic preparation in the artistic field?
I attended a very rigorous academic painting school in Ukraine, which gave me a solid knowledge of anatomy, drawing, composition and technique. Constant hand training eliminates the difficulty that many young artists have: giving shape to their ideas. But I don’t think that such training is compulsory for every artist. This method limits creativity, you get used to the concept of right and wrong.

What do you think about when you have the brush in your hand?
When I get to work I try not to think about anything, clear my head as much as possible and let the subconscious that guides my hand flow into the creative process.

Daria Dmitrenko, Tender Beast
Daria Dmitrenko, Tender Beast


Do your works arise from lived experiences or rather from states of mind?
I think everything is connected. On the one hand I’m trying to express something invisible and difficult to trace that lies in the deepest layers of my mind, on the other hand I’m convinced that each of my works inevitably bears the traces of my experiences.

What fascinates you? What catches your attention?
Undoubtedly nature, especially its organic side: I am very curious about the forms of living beings in their diversity and behavior. In particular, the inhabitants of the forest and the water creatures, who move in two mysterious, unknown environments, stimulate my imagination.

Is your creative process slow and thoughtful or fast?
Both: It’s fast at first, because it’s important for me to grasp the momentum. Then the most painstaking part of elaborating and refining the shapes begins.

Daria Dmitrenko, Untitled
Daria Dmitrenko, Untitled

do you have a studio
I won an artist residency for a year at the Bevilacqua La Masa Foundation in Venice, where I currently live. I’m in a Renaissance convent on the island of Giudecca, I have a lot of space that allows me to create large-scale works.

They work on the idea of ​​the subconscious and memory
My research consists of visually exploring my subconscious. I try to explore the darkest corners of my mind to obtain memories, sensations and emotions from which creatures, woolen bodies, figures and shapes and mystical environments take shape.

The colors you use are very intense: from cobalt blue tones to almost petroleum green tones. How to choose them?
It’s a component I’ve always attached great importance to. Finding the chromatic solution is an emotional process that is not always easy.


What do you think of today’s art market? Does it scare you?
Controversial. On the one hand it seems that thanks to the internet, art is becoming more accessible and closer to the public, but at the same time I see young artists being treated as a passing trend, commercialized and exploited as if it were a product. My painting is slow compared to many artists of my generation: I worry about the excessive speed and superficiality of certain works, a kind of Instagram art that fills the market.

Installation view, The Dream of Reason, Daria Dmytrenko, 2022, NOVO, Eduardo Secci Gallery, Florence, Photo: Stefano Maniero, Courtesy: the artist and Eduardo Secci
Installation view, The Dream of Reason, Daria Dmytrenko, 2022, NOVO, Eduardo Secci Gallery, Florence, Photo: Stefano Maniero, Courtesy: the artist and Eduardo Secci

What is your relationship with social media?
With a smart approach, social media can be powerful tools for an artist. This is a convenient and immediate way to learn about the work of others and showcase your own. Importantly, however, it remains a tool and not the ultimate goal of creating art, as is sadly often the case in today’s art scene.

Ritual question: Your secret dream…
For several years I have dreamed of organizing an artist residency in my hometown of Dnipro. At the moment, however, I only dream of peace for Ukraine.

Glory to Vergani

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