Taras Polataiko

About the Artist

Taras Polataiko was born in 1966 in Chernivtsi, Ukraine (see below for a picture of the Chernivtsi city centre) and immigrated to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in 1990. He has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Stroganov Museum of Fine and Industrial Arts in Moscow, Russia (major: painting, drawing), and a Master of Fine Arts (painting, performance, critical theory) from the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Life in Ukraine had different parameters for Polataiko than life in Canada. In Ukraine he was unwillingly conscripted to work as a military artist for two years and he successfully eluded a tour of duty in Afghanistan by cleverly disappearing each time the candidates were selected. As a military artist, he was required to paint realistic  propaganda imagesImagery or other forms of information, of a biased or even deceptive nature as used to influence political thought.  and the accompanying text on posters and murals. They were designed to strongly connect with the viewer and influence thought. Polataiko developed the ability to paint the required images but he subtlety implied different meanings. He adapts this  conceptAn idea, thought, or notion conceived through mental activity. The words concept and conception are applied to mental formulations on a broad scale. (Artlex.com)  in the work “You” and the Artist (which is presented here on the ARTSask website).

In the relatively few years since his arrival in Canada, Polataiko has established his reputation as an important artist. He has exhibited in many prestigious galleries and his works are in many collections in North America. His work is also represented in the  collectionTo collect is to accumulate objects. A collection is an accumulation of objects. A collector is a person who makes a collection. (Artlex.com)  of Bill Gates, President of Microsoft.  Besides his renown in  paintingWorks of art made with paint on a surface. Often the surface, also called a support, is either a tightly stretched piece of canvas or a panel. How the ground (on which paint is applied) is prepared on the support depends greatly on the type of paint to be used. Paintings are usually intended to be placed in frames, and exhibited on walls, but there have been plenty of exceptions. Also, the act of painting, which may involve a wide range of techniques and materials, along with the artist's other concerns which effect the content of a work. (Artlex.com)  Polataiko, is known to use a variety of art forms such as  installationAn art work specially designed to fit in or to make use of a specific type of space. It usually consists of more than one element and relates to the space in which it is displayed.  and  performanceAn art form in which the actions of a person or group in a particular place at a particular time constitute the artwork; all works of performance art therefore incorporate time, space, the performer’s body, and the relationship between performer and viewer.  art to communicate his strong and often political messages. He is an artist who has received international recognition for his challenging and sometimes controversial works.

Chernivtsi City Center

Canadian Heritage University of Regina Mackenzie Art Gallery Mendel Art Gallery Sask Learning