Glory to Jesus and AFU: Pixel Art by Viter Stepoviy
Freelance designer from Kharkiv
— I live in Kharkiv, and I was there up till March 23, so most of my artwork was made under heavy shelling. Now I’m in a safe place in Ukraine, drawing, helping the Army with my pictures. I let anyone make NFTs out of them and sell them, with proceedings being given to the AFU or refugees. Roughly 10 people have already done so. I often receive messages from the foreigners asking to use my works, e.g., to create merch out of my drawings.
All my life I’ve been drawing, ever since I was a kid. My first pixel art was dedicated to my girlfriend. I wanted to make her a digital present so that, over time, it wouldn’t be changed or lost.
I always found pixel art fascinating, because it’s fast, comfortable, and efficient. For my gift back then, I chose Photoshop, but, I guess, even Paint can be used. Now, one such picture takes me from 1 to 3 hours to make.
I’ve already been making topical works on politics back since the Crimea got annexed. Now I also can’t stay silent, because war is an important part of Ukrainian history, and it has to be reflected in art. Not long before the full-scale invasion, I was about to print some works as postcards, but after February 24 the project has expanded a lot.
My favourite series is the one depicting Jesus. Once, I heard a small kid saying that God didn’t leave Ukraine, but rather stayed somewhere among us. And therefore, he’s also among the military during the bitter fighting. A bright image of Jesus riding a helicopter as if he’s in an American action movie popped up in my mind. It is fair to say that in my pictures he’s also preaching, because he’s not afraid to call evil evil, and good – good.
Once, I heard a small kid saying that God didn’t leave Ukraine, but rather stayed somewhere among us. A bright image of Jesus riding a helicopter popped up in my mind right away.