painting for Kiev Голубь мира над Киевом

My Ukraine contribution

Голубь мира над Киевом

Just a few days ago I came across a blog post and the blogger wrote that there was an initiative: Artists to paint on the subject of the Ukraine war. It is mainly sunflowers that stand as a symbol, she wrote.

Now, I think the idea is basically a good one, but I’m not the type “so and now let’s all paint a sunflower – or Snow White”. But artists should always take a stand against barbarism. When reflecting on the subject, all sorts of stereotypes naturally came to mind first, and the dove of peace is one of them. On the one hand too banal, but it still had a great appeal and that’s how this work came about. I’m quite happy with it myself, but maybe it’s too abstract or too disturbing for some. One has to take a closer look.

painting for Kiev Голубь мира над Киевом

The picture stands on its own and the title underscores the theme: ” Голубь мира над Киевом”. (Peace Dove over Kyiv). I still have to work on the text. It shouldn’t appear too striking, but should still be dominant. Better to take a break before I fix that.

And perhaps I should explain a few elements (the spherical parts) in more detail.

Side Notes:

In the late 1980s, I took on a project to be carried out for the Soviet news agency Tass. Don’t worry, nothing illegal or morally reprehensible. A few trips with highlights such as North Korea or Nicaragua were associated with it. One of these trips also took me to Afghanistan, which was then still at war with the Soviets. (The whole thing has been an incredibly exciting and thrilling action and if it’s in your interest, I’m happy to come up with a few purrs).
So when I looked out of the window in Kabul at night, it looked like New Year’s Eve with a sky full of bullets. But soon I relaxed: What was flying through the sky like fiery projectiles were harmless projectiles that planes fired at close range, intended to keep Stinger fire aimed at heat away from the planes.

PS: I added the story about Kabul HERE






21 responses to “My Ukraine contribution”

  1. babsje avatar

    Very impactful painting, lovely abstract dove. Thank you for creating and sharing it.

    1. Zettl Friedrich avatar

      Thank you very much for your kind words! Greaat to hear you recognize a dove. But no wonder, you are an expert on birds 🙂

      1. babsje avatar

        You’re welcome. The dove’s eye shown in your painting is so clear and focused and in striking contrast to the beautiful whirlwind of feathers. To me, there is something symbolic in your peace dove maintaining her focus throughout the chaos! (And thanks for your kind words.)

      2. Zettl Friedrich avatar

        Thanks again! Yes, the peace dove is symbolic, it also stands for our western thinking, dreams and maybe illusions.

  2. Martha Kennedy avatar

    I lost dear friends when the Soviets invaded Kabul.

    I don’t believe in any peace symbolism. For me it is negated by the complex reality of human nature.

    1. Zettl Friedrich avatar

      I read your story, yes, very sad. My story would be another one. Do I believe in peace symbols? Yes and no. This gig by Vladimir did not surprise me at all (what was surprising is the poor performance). BTW seeing my painting as mere symbol might not cover all it has to say.

  3. annieasksyou avatar

    I think it’s a lovely symbol. The pink coloring seems right—reminding me of the loss of children particularly.

    1. Zettl Friedrich avatar

      Thank you very much! Great you see it like this! Yes, children, so I made it a very young dove. Young as the freedom there and the children.

  4. swabby429 avatar

    The use of pastels is impactful in light of the current horror and tragedy.

  5. Zettl Friedrich avatar

    An unbelievable tragedy and a serious war crime… Let’s hope the worst is behind us and that we have learned something from it. Although I doubt it.

  6. Carolyn Kaiser Harmon avatar

    Friedrich: Your courage is immense to share “Голубь мира над Киевом,” risking offensive translations. Yet you picked up your brushes and performed your duty, giving your best to interpret the cause. For me I see the despair that even peace has succumbed to the violence – nothing is safe. Prayers to those living and fighting there. And prayers to you Fredrich, for the insight sometimes only a picture can bring ❤️.

    1. Zettl Friedrich avatar

      You are very kind Carolyn! And many thanks for your kind wishes! Just to think of all those innocent children….And the situation might be much worse than we can imagine today. In a globalized world such events affect all of us for along time. As you say – nothing is safe. And we should take nothing for granted.

  7. alicia | metasparks avatar

    Loving the colours and softness yet there’s a certain strength in the painting. Would love to hear your stories in North Korea and Afghanistan more. Please do post!

    1. Zettl Friedrich avatar

      Thank you Alicia for your kind words! And thank you for your interest in my stories. Please allow a couple of days to post. Terribly busy here…..I will just notify you then.

    2. Zettl Friedrich avatar

      I meanwhile added the article on Kabul:

      1. alicia | metasparks avatar

        This is absolutely insane, the trip the Kabul and how you incorporated a company 😂 love it!

      2. Zettl Friedrich avatar

        Thank you very much! There are a few aspects more I hesitated to tell. Crazy time but I really enjoyed it

  8. luisa zambrotta avatar

    Such a wonderful painting!!!

    1. Zettl Friedrich avatar

      Thank you so much! You are very kind!

      1. luisa zambrotta avatar

        My pleasure 🙏

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