Eugenia Gapchinska is perhaps today’s most popular Ukrainian artist and is a talented illustrator of children’s books. The original style of her work is immediately recognizable – chubby angels, angel-like children, princes and princesses painted in delicate pastel colors in a charming, naive manner – all her art-works are full of light and kindness. Eugenia Gapchinska was born in Kharkiv, Ukraine, in 1974. At the age of 13, she became a student of Kharkiv Art College. She pursued her internship at the Academy of Fine Arts in Nuremberg (Germany). In 2000, Eugenia moved with her husband to Kyiv where she was faced with poverty and discouragement, like so many struggling artists.
But in 2001, Eugenia began painting in the style which made her famous not only in Ukraine but throughout the world. Every year she organises a half dozen new exhibitions in Ukraine, Russia, France, Belgium, England, the Netherlands, and has her own galleries (known as Galleries of Happiness) in Ukraine and Russia. In 2012, the GAPCHINSKA brand was established and the images of her sweet, sincere characters now appear on calendars, tote bags, pillows, dishware, etc. Today a wide range of GAPCHINSKA products is sold in Ukraine, Russia, Finland, Chile and other countries. The stories with the cute characters can be seen as home decoration, stationery, chocolate, calendars, souvenirs, handbags, jewelry, and more recently – in clothes and shoes. In 2008, the Ukrainian postal service issued a series of 12 stamps picturing zodiac signs painted by Eugenia Gapchinska. She calls herself the Supplier of Happiness No. 1, and indeed, all her characters radiate goodness and bring out lots of positive emotions.
This article was published in the book Interesting Kyiv.
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© Sky Horse Publishing House (Kyiv) / Nahs Haus, 2019
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