Born in 1958 on the southern steppes of Donbass, an ancient trade route between Kiev and Crimea, Michael Shapovalenko readily admits that it is his enchantment with his native country’s saturated romantic history that most influences his work.
Each summer the artist returns to the Crimea which he describes as his “spiritual Mecca.” Most of his work involves the ocean. It provides an ideal element to explore the blurred boundaries of realism and folklore. The artist describes his technique as similar to analytical chemistry. Small parts are deconstructed prior to analysis of the whole, and then reunited. He believes this method allows him to better understand a united reality, a “tender realism,” as he calls it.
Shapovalenko’s artistic studies extended past his daily lessons while he was involved in extracurricular instruction in Impressionism during the Soviet Era. He later attended the Kiev Academy of the Arts where he refined his craft, earning respect from his peers and received critical acclaim. He is acknowledged by other artists as a painter with high skills. Shapovalenko has had a number of exhibitions, attracting worldwide collectors from Canada, England, Czech Republic and the United States.
Faithfully devoted to the arts, Shapovalenko is a member of the All Artist Union of the Ukraine. His foremost passion is teaching, where he may extend his knowledge and skills to younger generations. In a private studio, he prepares students for art academy by instructing them on style, technique and the foundations of oil painting.