by Javier Melian, Chrom-Art co-founder
Ukrainian-born artist and model Ana Kuni is no strange to success. She works for one of the best model agencies in the world, living between London and her sanctuary Cape Town. She has a huge fan base in social media and her art is in high demand, online and in galleries across the world. Her works has such vitality and strength that can easily change your mood and totally energise you. She is on a journey of constant improvement and self-discovery. She is the one to follow.
The artist Ana Kuni was born in USSR during the communist regime. In her early memories long queues for food feature strongly, but she has happy memories too: playing on the beach during hot summers, having the freedom to explore her immediate environment and the necessity of using one’s imagination as entertainment.
It was during childhood that the USSR collapsed and her country, Ukraine, became independent. The parents of Ana Kuni, both engineers by profession are humble sincere individuals and she was fortunate enough to be raised in a very loving environment, where a strong bond to nature was encouraged and vegetarianism was a way of life. It was only as an adult that she realised how remarkable and unique this lifestyle was and the sacrifices her parents must have made to maintain it, and for that she will always be truly grateful to them.
Ana Kuni always had a vivid imagination and her early paintings inspired her mother to send her to a local Art School aged six. She frequently travelled with her Father to St Petersburg and Moscow to walk along the stately hallways of Hermitage Museum and Tretyakov Gallery. It was from this seed that the passion and love for art grew, and with it a realisation that this could be an escape, from the functional ugliness of communism.
Ana's work depicts strong, energetic women. It is a study of female behaviour in a fast-changing world. Her fascination with human nature and our ability to adapt in any given situation is the inspiration behind her work. She works in a variety of media, watercolours, acrylics, painting female faces with strong eyes that emanate a powerful soul and a wonder and connection with the world outside. Her depictions of wild animals are a feast of colour and intensity that perfectly capture the liveliness of the natural world. She has donated most of these series to various Animal Protection Charities to raise awareness and funds towards protection of endangered species.
Isolated subjects on a flat background can convey so much, pouring into the essence of the portrayed whilst allowing the viewer to re-imagine their context. Fashion illustration becomes a personal recollection of experiences and connections with people, de-commercialised beauty transferred into paper that turns into tributes to friendships forged out of common passions. The joy of live, the forever curious, the wonders of the world in the brushes of a fascinating girl called Ana Kuni.
When did you realise you had a talent for arts?
My parents sent me to art school since i was 6 years old. Apparently i had wild imagination and was very hood and drawing animal looking girls.. Pretty much what i am painting right now only my
style developed a bit
Who has been your main encourager to follow this path?
My friends and family were always very supportive of my creative side and it was only natural to me to take this path. I do encourage myself regularly as the inspiration comes and goes, so i need
some inspirational Quotes i tell myself when in doubt!
You work with a variety of media. Which one do you like most? Which other media would you like to try?
I love watercolour, or the watercolour effect. Recently i discovered new type of very thin canvas, when you paint on it with acrylics or oil in thin layers it has that effect, very light and transparent! My recent work is done in this technique and it is my favourite by far!
I would love to try working with wood and metal. One day i see myself building my own furniture and different objects
You depict strong women that are beautiful and delicate. Their eyes are full of inner control and resolution, but also show calm and connection with the moment. Are these treats of your personality?
More like where i am aiming to be. I am constantly growing, learning, changing and challenging myself so the girls i am painting have direct connection with how i feel at the moment. I upload
those strong but delicate images, but there are plenty of different emotions that i capture while going through certain period of time.. They stay hidden in the closet;)
Is there a message in your art?
I like to think that there is a message- Find your true self and cherish it for what it is
What other artists do you admire?
I love Lionel Smit's portraits and feminine art of Lesya Nedzelskaya, and illustrative work of Gabriel Moreno
Who would be your dream collaboration?
Any of the above mentioned artists.
You travel around the world and live and work between London and Cape Town, which is the place that most inspire you?
Cape Town has the most powerful energy, i keep coming back here and am always in owe of the beauty of this place. I feel very inspired and alive here!
How do you come out with the topics and subjects of your works?
I place blank canvas or piece of paper in front of me and here starts the process. Its never planed and the ideas keep changing in my head until i decide that its finished. The topic is always
the same- animals and faces oh and flowers
What do you think of the new outlets to share art (online shops, social media, street art) compared to galleries and museums
I think its great! We, artists, have control over our work and can decide for ourselves if we want to manage our career or be represented. I personally love connecting to my clients through
online shops, social media, also because my art is very personal and i love to get to know the people who hang my art up on their walls! I feel that they are like my extended family, i stay in
touch and became friends with most of my clients
What are you working on at the moment?
I am working on the most personal project ever, its called the Wolfie Girl... Follow my instagram @ana_kuni for sneak peaks
What are your artistic plans for the future
I am planning to do exhibitions in London and Paris this year, but most importantly i wish for inspiration and artistic growth. I can't wait to see what i will paint in 10 years, as i know
it will be much better what you see now!