Tatyana Ostapenko is a contemporary painter born and raised in Soviet Ukraine. She’s been living and working in Portland, Oregon, USA since many years now.
Tatyana holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Practice from Portland State University. Discovering the craft of painting at a mature age, Tatyana realised that this is the only way she can truly express herself and her artistic vision. Through her studio works, as well as large scale mural paintings, Tatyana attempts to heal trans-generational trauma and questions tradition.
During our Kitchen Conversations, we spoke about her love for painting and her ongoing fascination with the figure of a mature, overworked old woman – the colloquial babushka. Her pictorial depictions of women dressed in characteristic, for the Eastern European countryside, female garments and many other symbols of the often forgotten and “unsexy” East, record the reality of those who usually don’t make it into official historical records.
The images that inspire her paintings are moments and memories from her native Ukraine. The textiles, colours, patterns, and moods give her a way to connect with her childhood and process the complex question of identity. Despite being so sight specific, Tatyana’s work speaks about universal human experience. What’s more, it is full of empathy and celebrates resilience in the face of adversity.