We’ve met with Eugenia in her gallery at Mikhailivska street in the center of Kyiv. It is our second contact. For the first time we’ve met here 4 years ago. And since that changes have taken place not only in Ukraine but also in Eugenia’s life philosophy.
Eugenia was born in 1974 in Kharkiv and was the fifth child in family. When she was a teenager she was in poor health. The family income was not high at all. But all these difficulties influenced the personality of a young lady. She graduated from Kharkiv Art University and took a course in Nurnberg Art Academy. She settled down in Kyiv in 2000 and in 2002 she started her artistic career. She is married and has a daughter.
Now Eugenia Gapchinskaya is called the Happiness Supplier #1. During our interview in 2012 she has said that love is the main meaning of happiness for her. What has changed in her ideology?
Eugenia, what events have influenced your life since 2012 and how?
I think that I’ve changed since 2012. The Revolution of Dignity and my personal life events influenced my life a lot. Now my husband is in the zone of anti-terrorist operation in the eastern part of the country. I experienced a lot. And now I have some wisdom and inner calmness. I became older also, now I am 40.
How does it influence your work?
Well, it is strange but my paintings still have their positive philosophy and it seems that they support me. They are my pleasure. May be they became a bit more introspective and more tender. And I’ve noticed that I work slower now enjoying the process a lot.
Your works are famous abroad. Where and when is it possible to see them?
Well, we exhibit the paintings abroad not so often now because we don’t want to take care of logistics. I’ve got an interesting offer recently and it is a result of the other deal. We sold the patent for Gapchinskaya prints for Anna K clothes collection (Anna Karenina is the famous Ukrainian designer). The collection will be presented at 2016 Paris Fashion Week. And the designer wants to make an exhibition of my paintings there also.
Are there followers of your paintings with whom you have special relationships?
Yes, there are some. Yury Nikitin (Ukrainian producer) became my friend and even mentor for some things. Also I have very special relationships with the lady from Germany who has 75 of my paintings. She gives me very good advices. And some other clients became my friends.
Do celebrities buy your paintings?
Well, Luciano Pavarotti and Juliette Binoche bought my works.
How do you feel about “creative person” concept?
Well, I don’t like it too much. In our country it means a lazy person who likes to sleep till noon, alcohol addicted and absolutely non-responsible one. So when I am late and someone tells me “ok, you are creative person, so you can do it”, I usually get very angry. If I am late I have very convincing reason for that. I am a person of high discipline and I work a lot and yes, I am a creative person in its best meaning.
Your life was very hard for a long time and you could not afford any superfluity. But now you are well-known artist and wealthy person. What kind of trifling do you like now?
Well, the most luxury thing for me is the possibility to be independent: to follow my thoughts and to do what I believe is right. Now I understand that this means freedom. No one can push me to do anything if I don’t really want it. This is the highest value of being free.
If we talk about some material things I do appreciate the possibility to have my own house and garden where I can enjoy my time. I like fresh flavors in the garden, I adore feeling the season changes and relaxing, listening to silence and sitting outside just in my pajamas.
Well, one more thing that I adore is good cheese. I am cheese addicted person :-)
It is also so nice to be able to buy a ticket to any country and to visit any art exhibition worldwide if I just want it. And of course, like every woman, I like dresses. I buy ones of Paul & Joe brand. They are really cute.
You are real workaholic but at the same time you are an attractive woman and good mother and wife. How do you succeed to combine this?
I never split my life into pieces. For me it is logical to combine my work and my family life. I want to have one more kid and if it happens, I will work and take care of my family with the same passion.
You are considered to be the Happiness Supplier #1 because your works glow very positive emotions. What happiness means to you?
Now it means kindness and humanity. I’ve understood that this is the most important thing for me and people around. It was time when I achieved fame but it influenced my relationships with the close people in a negative way. I was cold and ready to fight for anything if it went not my way. And I decided to change my personality. It took some time. Now I am wiser, older and I have other values in my life. And this makes me happy.
Interviewed by Anna Vishtak