Ukrainian painter and curator Anna Moskalets was born in 1992 in Romny, Sumy Oblast, and studied at the Kharkiv State Academy of Design and Arts. Moskalets slept in her studio the night war broke out, and woke up surrounded by her work and the sound of Russian missile strikes. For 63 days, Moskalets stayed in Kyiv, volunteering in aid for her fellow Ukrainians. Today, she lives and works in Berlin, waiting for the chance to return home.
Set apart from immediate reality, Moskalets’s workplaces vague, somewhat ominous cloaked forms over colorful, carefully
textured backgrounds that recall the canon of classical European portraiture. The subjects of her portraits wear headscarves, a defining element of life for Ukrainian women; wrapped in scarves at birth, they continue to wear shawls and scarves as they age. According to Moskalets, her scarves are powerful representations of Ukrainian identity and femininity. At times, her cloaked subjects stand suspended in front of their backgrounds, drawing the viewer in – at other times they don more elaborately patterned garb that blends in and flattens the image. Moskalets’s portraits are like scenes from a dream, somehow appearing at once alien and strangely familiar.
Moskaletz’s work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in Ukraine, Spain, Germany, Portugal, Poland, Georgia and Italy, where she was a participant in the 2019 Venice Biennale as part of Ukraine’s National Pavilion. Her works are in private collections throughout Europe, the UK, and the US.