"Let everything happen to you:
Beauty and terror.
Just keep going.
No feeling is final".
                                                                                                             Rainer Maria Rilke
    My story begins on February 22, 1984 in the city of Kherson, in a poor family of former ship's cooks. My childhood and my youth were spent on the ruins of colonial communism, with all the resulting consequences for my future psyche. Ignorant of my true self and what I really wanted from life, I followed the beaten path to the Maritime College, making my mother's dream come true. A career at sea came quite easily to me, I quickly gained financial and personal independence, but some part of me always remained unsatisfied. In search of answers to unknown questions, I began to engage in photography. At first it was nothing more than a hobby, until I saw realistic digital photo collages. The ability to synthesize my own images, instead of capturing the surrounding reality, quickly captured my full attention. I got the opportunity to recreate my own inner world and change it. My interest in conventional photographic practice was finally lost. I began to discover new facets of my own consciousness and this pushed me to dive into spiritual world. I became interested in Eastern philosophies and religions and practiced meditation. My first steps here were clumsy and quite often wrong, but realized teachers materialized on my path. What I was looking for for so long was revealed to me not through well-known practices of  consciousness, but through their synthesis with progressive directions of Western medicine: through applied kinesiology, osteopathic practices, etc. So, long before the start of the war in Ukraine, I decided that I no longer wanted to live the way I lived before. I wanted to be happy and fully realize myself. One step to becoming a Captain, I gave up the career I had been building for over 20 years, sold my apartment in the downtown and intended to live a spiritual life, creating art that could awaken people. I wanted to be a real person, a good husband for my wife and a famous artist, without understanding what that really meant. For example, that being famous under certain circumstances is very dangerous, and spirituality does not lead to a monastery, but to a war. That real life begins when you step outside the fence behind which you have been hiding from your fears and painful experiences. On February 24, 2022, life began to ask me questions. I woke up in my native city, which soon was occupied by Russian forces and had a chance to test the power of my faith and my values. I decided to stay and struggle for freedom until the end.  Answering the questions I realized that for many years I had chosen to run away, betray and build fences in everyday decisions. First of all, from myself. That under any circumstances it is possible to remain happy, even on war. That it is actually the choice of each person and the key to it lies in where we direct our attention (If I want to be happy, nothing will stop me, if unhappy, everything will help me). That Heaven is not a place, but a state of consciousness. In order to pass all the tests, I had to free my inner Kherson from the invaders who occupied it so long ago that no one even remembers. Which hid in it imperceptibly for the residents, penetrating into all authorities and influencing all their decisions. Because the struggle for freedom is primarily a struggle against our own fear, the invisible ally of all dictators and nuclear warlords. (During occupation of Kherson I was giving interviews to British, Russian, Ukraininan, US and Taiwanese mass media about my art and situation in the city, my artworks participated in 9 group art exhibitions in Europe, USA & Asia, in solo shows in Ukraine’s capital and Rotterdam Photo fair). 
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