Elena Diadenko-Hunter

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"Maternity IV"

“Everybody has a mother, and my mother is the most beautiful person in the world to me. From her, I learned about love, kindness, sadness, and right and wrong.”

"Single Mother"

"Mothers"

"Maternity"

About Elena

I love art so much that it is like breathing to me. I do it because I cannot live without it; I see the whole world through the eyes of an artist. My art speaks for my soul. Sometimes, it is happy and pleasing. Other times, it is sad and controversial. Always, it is colorful, unique, and imaginative. My art reflects my love of humanity, the power and beauty of women, and the confusion life brings to us.

I believe art should be very powerful and complex. Somebody once said that art imitates life. Life is complex, so why shouldn’t art be? Art should encompass our emotions, experiences and beliefs. It should tell stories, protest injustices, inspire the imagination, nourish spiritually, make people think, please, amuse, inflict pain, confuse, enlighten, and sometimes anger. Everybody feels these feelings, but artists transform these feelings into paintings, sculptures, poems, movies, songs, and plays. My passion is painting. I use color, line and a variety of art methods to express myself.

I was born in Ukraine, and I started painting at the age of 2. I knew then that I wanted to become an artist. I became serious at the age of 10. Between the ages of 11 and 22, I attended 3 specialized art schools, which were very rigorous, but they made an artist out of me. What I learned primarily from my education in the former Soviet Union is that there are 3 aspects to becoming a great artist: great technique, creativity, and years of hard work. I later completed 2 Master’s Degrees in Art from Columbia College, Chicago, where I learned about contemporary art trends. I combined these two worlds of art to become the artist I am today.

I have been developing my own style of painting for many years, something unique. My style incorporates multiple styles. Love and war, for example, are best expressed through different art styles, media, and techniques. Often the theme of the piece will lead you to the best way of expressing it. I believe an artist who limits herself to one style is like an actor who always plays the same role in every movie. There is no growth where there is complacency. That’s why I experiment with many different styles and techniques, much like a chef might combine different ingredients on a whim to see what happens. Each art work really needs its own unique combination of various methods, media and techniques; otherwise, it cannot completely capture the emotions and themes the artist intended.

I am a big believer that everybody should learn about great artists from the past. Lifelong art education is vital. I love Picasso’s experimental drive, Modigliani’s and Gaugain’s stylization and sense of color, Botticelli’s and Chagall’s tenderness and sentiments, Michelangelo’s and DaVinci’s perfection of technique, Bosch’s and Dali’s imaginary world, and Schiele’s and Kahlo’s true emotions. There are many great artists, I cannot name them all, and my goal is to become one of them someday.

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