Viktor Hukailo

Viktor Hukailo (born 1948) is a painter, illustrator, designer, graphic artist, and set designer. 

Viktor Hukailo was born in 1948 in Kyiv, where he has been living and working up to now. He studied at the graphic faculty of Ivan Fedorov Ukrainian Polygraphic Institute (1967–1973). Since 1973, he has participated in multiple art exhibitions. In 1982, Viktor Hukailo became a member of the Artists Union of Ukraine.

The artist cooperated with various publishing houses, such as Veselka (Rainbow), Dovira (Trust), Dnipro, Radianska Shkola (Soviet School) and Vyshcha Shkola (High School). He worked as a designer for the children’s magazines Maliatko (Baby) and Barvinok (Periwinkle). In 1993, Viktor Hukailo became the chief stage painter of Kyiv State Puppet Theatre. Nowadays, he productively cooperates with Dukh i Litera Publishing House. For example, he is an illustrator of the Ukrainian translation of the book Human Child by Janusz Korczak (2007), which includes selected works of the famous Polish writer, doctor, and pedagogue. 

Viktor Hukailo also was the chief decorator of the museum “Memory of the Jewish People and the Holocaust in Ukraine” and the museum of the Russian-Ukrainian war “Walks of Donbas” (both museums are in Dnipro City). 

The works of the artist are kept at the National Art Museum of Ukraine (Kyiv), State Tretyakov Gallery (Moscow), Berdyansk Art Museum (Zaporizhzhya region), Izmail Art Gallery (Odesa region), and in private collections. 

 In his works, Viktor Hukailo prefers unusual visual decisions. The painter uses figurative and abstract form making as well as the language of signs and symbols, which encourage the viewer to make multiple associations, especially those with the paintings of Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso. Hukailo’s main techniques are monotyping, pastel, watercolours, printing on fabric, and mixed ones.

The art collection of the Center contains Viktor Hukailo’s paintings and sketches, as well as exhibition posters of 1986–2019 (around 70 units of storage). 

One of the central themes in the artist’s creations is the topic of shtetl. He tries to recreate and deliver to the viewers a world that is long gone, yet the memory of which is still alive. A symbolic recreation of this world is present in the one-copy book Shtetl, the album Shtetl: Sketches during the “Roots” Expedition and three pictures from his Shtetl cycle (2002).

Art historians and all admirers of modern painting can be interested in the pictures from the cycles Arena (2000), Stage (2000), Ark (2001), sketches of the works for the museum “Memory of the Jewish People and the Holocaust in Ukraine” (Menorah Centre, Dnipro), and a series of works Artistic Improvisations about Stanisław Jerzy Lec’s Aphorisms (2006) as well as other works from the collection, some of which are unnamed.