Keys from the childhood
YAR showed a talent for crafts since childhood. Due to a lack of money, the boy could not afford to buy toys. But there was a great desire and materials at hand.
“Since childhood, I have loved to make crafts. It didn’t really matter to me what I had at hand… Branches, rocks, paper, bolts, and nuts or wet sand. I just took and made something out of something. I liked the very idea that I could do anything for myself. If no good makes me happy, I create this good by myself,”
When life-changing events comes suddenly
YAR faced rough trials during sea voyages in his young years — malaria and oncology came into the master’s life. But it strengthened his determination to pursue art. After fighting diseases, YAR began to study anatomy, becoming a teacher of yoga. Lessons helped him to immerse himself in the sculpture even more thoroughly.
“I like to create shapes. I like the feeling when people find something special in the image I created, something that I overlooked. And I understand all my works are independent. They can live on their own. Touching the cold material, I feel a piece of clay becoming soft and pliable, ready to follow me. I become one with him. I love these feelings. I love life”
The artistic style of the sculptor
Yaroslav has a unique approach to his profession. Specializing in realistic figures, he uses clay as the primary material for his creations. Each of his sculptures impresses with detail — from precise facial lines to delicate folds of clothing. These are not just statues. They are real works of art where you can capture emotions, feelings, and character. YAR studied anatomy, helping people to sculpt their bodies, and now this allows him to achieve incredible accuracy in his works. His sculptures are not just fascinating — they are alive, full of energy and spirit.
Having worked with human anatomy for years, YAR translated his knowledge into a solid figure, forming each part from a cold, flexible mass. One of the artist’s first significant works is a statue stretching its arms from the wall. Every muscle, every vein, is processed and sculpted as if it had never been touched by a human hand.
Yaroslav calls his profession a meditation because he abstracts himself and finds incredible images in the bowels of his consciousness while producing. His style is extraordinary: it comes from the soul, from hands that sculpt and tools that perfect masterpieces. The main thing for YAR is to give life to his stationary sculptures, which can do more than we think.
The new collection of works by the sculptor Yaroslav Zaitsev made together with UART.GALLERY is the MOTANKA CULT collection, which consists of five interior totems-motankas, brightly colored and dressed in folk classic Ukrainian clothing and modern shoes of cult brands.
A unique series of sculptures combines world trends with the depth of Ukrainian sacredness. In the Ukrainian tradition, Motanka symbolizes protection, well-being, and fertility. The only difference is the collection wants to deviate from the standards and add objects of modern culture to the traditional look of this symbol in the form of reinterpreted iconic shoes from famous manufacturers.
Each sculpture froze in its unique pose, telling us its own story. They play on the border between the ancient and the present, trying to reveal the connection between the past and the future. They show the viewer that traditional can also be contemporary.
The figures were not suddenly sculpted in such poses. With their stealthy movements, they tell what is hiding, who they really are, and what they are striving for.
Figures in totem style are a great addition to a modern interior and will tell their owners and guests many vital things.
This unique collection demonstrates the enormous executive talent of the sculptor Yaroslav Zaitsev and profoundly reflects the spirit of Ukrainian culture, connecting the past and the present. Motanka personifies and materializes the meaning of ancient Ukrainian names, which “revive” these wonderful statuettes.