Art that saves lives. Surprisingly, this wording is literal, not metaphorical, when it comes to ArtArmor project.


ArtArmor is a truly unique project: it combines seemingly incompatible, sometimes even antagonistic phenomena: art and militarism. Or, more precisely, armor plates, protective equipment of the Ukrainian military, which, due to being hit by enemy bullets or fragments, is no longer suitable for use in combat conditions.


But even these broken and mutilated plates continue to defend life – already within the the ArtArmor project, which gives a second chance to fulfill the protective mission. They become the basis for art objects created by artists well-known in Ukraine and abroad. Now the former armor plates have a new rescue mission – thanks to the funds from the sale of these unsurpassed art objects by the best artists of Ukraine. Every Euro from the sale of works will go towards the purchase of the most necessary things for our soldiers at the front.


The countdown to the ninth month of Ukraine desperately fighting for its right to a free and peaceful life has begun. This test united not only Ukrainians, but also people from all over the world, for whom free will, the right to self-determination, and the right to freedom of speech, religion, and life are the most important values. Schoolchildren and IT workers, businessmen and housewives, pensioners and cooks, priests and dancers – everyone contributes to our victory over a vile and treacherous enemy. And artists do not remain aloof from this great humanitarian cause.


Since ancient times, art has had its own, unique way to hearts and minds. Using the means of artistic expression, addressing the existential questions, it serves as s a guide to ideas, to important human values, the most essential – which is life. Freedom, security, and independence are integral attributes of a dignified existence, which every conscious person in the world aspires to. History has taught us that they are priceless and that they are inviolable rights of any person, nation, and country. Unfortunately, Ukraine currently has to defend these rights in a fierce struggle with the aggressor.


The ArtArmor project is called to join this struggle, to take a personal part in achieving true independence for our country. Art is a universal visual language, saturated with meanings and allusions, it has a distinct aesthetic and carries a powerful emotional charge. That is why the language of art knows no borders – it is understandable to every person in any corner of the world. In the ArtArmor project, we use the language of art to highlight one simple truth against the background of today’s tragic events: the most important thing in this world is the value of human life. That is why we chose an extremely metaphorical medium to convey this idea – protective armor plates that were damaged while fulfilling their direct mission – to save the lives of soldiers.


Using these armor plates to create their artworks, artists breathe new meaning into the spent, burnt metal, and imbue a dead thing with a life-giving idea.


Many Ukrainian artists have joined and continue to join the ArtArmor project – recognized, talented ones whose works resonate with the hearts of many art lovers all over the world. They gladly responded to the offer to convey the idea of the priceless of life to the whole world through art.


Working on the project was difficult and… easy at the same time. It was easy because ArtArmor is meant to help and protect, and it adds strength even when it seems you lack it.


The difficult part was related to the heart full of pain when the used plates “told” the stories of the fighters they protected. Damages on metal surfaces seem to still carry the destructive energy of a shot, aggression, and violence. These armor plates are like guardian angels who accepted a blow to save human life. So that ordinary people, who were forced to leave their peaceful, calm lives and stand up for the defense of their native country, could once again dream, breathe, love, worry about loved ones, hope for the best, plan a happy future in a peaceful world…


The courage and dedication of our fighters, who are currently tirelessly protecting the peace, without exaggeration, of the whole world, inspire all the team members as well as the central idea fulfills artists with energy and creative drive.


Created by a different artist, each artwork is unique and tells its own story. But there is something common for all of them – the undeniable talent of their creators and the extremely powerful energy charge of these works. Each artist used his own metaphor, but it invariably leads us to an axiomatic conclusion: there is nothing more valuable in the world than human life.


This awareness will give the present civilization a future. A future without military conflicts, senseless deaths, and tragic consequences. A future in which conflicts will be resolved purely in the cultural field and by cultural means. May art be the only weapon of mankind in this future. A weapon of freedom, independence of the manifestation of human genius, and self-expression. May our world become a territory where there is a place for everyone despite of their race and nationality, religion, and views. Where each person is valued for his/hers uniqueness, and human life is a priceless and inviolable right of everyone. Actually, the ArtArmor project is about this.


Basically, the ArtArmor project is all about this.

Iryna Yuferova,
curator of the ArtArmor project