Glorious Bastards: A Terrorist Country in Volodymyr Prokhorenko’s Drawings

In his series “Terrors of war” Volodymyr Prokhorenko illustrates Ukraine’s enemies as ugly naked creatures holding bombs in their hands. The artist tells Bird in Flight about his practice of transforming anger into art.
Volodymyr Prokhorenko

A freelance artist. Studied at the Ukraine Typography Academy. Lives and works in Lviv.

— After finishing my studies, I worked as a graphic designer and created animation, which was a kind of a way to find my true self.

During the first two weeks of the full-scale invasion, I watched the news just like everyone else and got adjusted to constant stress. When I started drawing again, I wanted to show things that matter. Other than that, my life hasn’t changed — here, in Lviv, it wasn’t as bad as in the eastern parts of Ukraine or even in Kyiv.

Long before these events, I wanted to draw Lenin, however weird it sounds. It seemed incomprehensible to me, how such a small, bald, inarticulate man could have encompassed such a destructive force and left such a long bloody trail through generations and territories. My imagination painted a giant swollen bastard who blatantly moved forward, taking lives away and ruining all around. The same goes for Putin and Lukashenko. I decided to draw them naked to show their outright monstrous nature which they were trying to hide.

I decided to draw them naked to show their outright monstrous nature which they were trying to hide.

I used to live in Russia for some time, I had friends and family in this country. They are so deeply immersed in virtual reality, that even a homeless person feels like a chosen one. Propaganda has been drummed into Russians’ heads for generations. Now it’s all mixed up, boiling, and coming to life: Stalin, tsar Nikolai II, Hitler’s cap, Orthodox Christianity and many more. That’s how I came up with a toilet illustration. This society is so used to shitty propaganda, that it simply can’t live without it — it’s the coprophilia of a multimillion country.

The west has created a monster which now terrorizes it
Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill blessing for military crimes
Ukraine surrounded by brotherly nations
For kidZ
For Mariupol
The majority of Russians approve of what their military does in Ukraine. Now you know why
Russian ideology includes an insane mix of communism, church, criminal culture, militarism, and antisemitism

Depending on how angry I am, creating an illustration can take a different amount of time. It took me about two days to draw one of the most popular images of a baby Lukashenko. But sometimes my emotions wear out and I can’t finish the work. I start by collecting references for their faces and then sculpt them with a ZBrush tool. Then I move those sculpted bastards to another program, to work on lightening and rendering. The final stage is my favorite: that’s when I draw in Photoshop, add hair, color and other things to make the creatures look more alive and ugly.

This is my art therapy and anger channeling. I think it works the same for people who are attracted to these illustrations. This is not a commercial project, at least for now. People can find these works in small art rooms in several countries.

This is my art therapy and anger channeling.

How it feels under shelling
The horror of 21st century
Nuclear threat of 21st century
About 360 Ukrainian children were killed during the war
EU dependency on terrorists’ gas and oil
Where does Russian army come from
Russia pollutes Ukrainian land

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