The War of the Mushrooms
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The War of the Mushrooms is a fairy tale, inspired by prominent Ukrainian graphic designer Heorhii Narbut. Drawing inspiration from the eponymous folk tale, a popular classic in Slavic cultures and the subject of a 1909 publication, Kurkov&Kravtsov's contemporary interpretation reimagines the tale with paintings of scenes from Russia's current war on Ukraine.
The creative pictures drawn by Kravtsov in pencil and painted in vivid colors should not be misunderstood as simple cartoons and illustrations one finds in comic books. The subject matter is serious and representative of the massive assault by Russia on Ukraine and Ukrainian culture. Kravtsov reacts to the unwarranted war and the destruction levied on his homeland in his own inimitable style.
Nikita Kravtsov is a Ukrainian artist born in Crimea. He graduated from the National Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture in Kyiv (formerly Ukrainian State Academy of Arts), the institution in which Heorhii Narbut (1886–1920) held a key role as one of its early rectors, and was instrumental in its early development as an art institution. Nikita currently lives and works in Paris but he has not lost touch with his native Ukraine. In his artistic practice, Kravtsov focuses primarily on graphics, but lately he has been experimenting with textiles together with his wife Camille Sanye-Kravtsova. He often participates in exhibitions and works as an illustrator.
The text of the fairy tale was translated by the famous writer, screenwriter and president of the Ukrainian PEN Club Andriy Kurkov. He is probably the most famous Ukrainian author abroad, whose works have been translated into thirty-six languages. A voice of this magnitude in a book with serious international ambitions has not only literary but also political weight. The first small edition of the book was published in RODOVOD in French at the end of 2021. The publication was born literally in parallel with the escalation of the conflict - from the hypothetical threat of war, when Kravtsov only conceived a project and began to draw, to an international crisis of unprecedented level, which unfolded while preparing to print Ukrainian and English versions of fairy tales.
The book exists in three versions for sale – PDF of the French version and paper editions of the Ukrainian and English versions