michael murphenko [artist's text]

An artwork is a knife that cuts.
There is no sense in creating a work that only illustrates an idea.  It must be a work that changes life.

Art is discovering oneself.  Like in a Johari window: the part a person sees, the part a person does not see that others see, the part everyone sees and the part no one sees.  To swim in these ‘sees’, to feel and taste them, - is an integral part of my creating.

Art is spiritual healing.
I seek sharp and strange energies.  Energies create heat.  Paintings bring up an internal heat, a fever, - which is the body’s way of healing sickness.
This is the measure I use for my work – there is no difference if it is abstract, or representational or realistic.

Art is fearless. 
Many people are afraid to create - to fail, to be embarrassed of what one does.
I am aware of this every time I work.  I must cast away fear - stay true to my thoughts and feelings, to my love, in spite of others.


Hilism is not just the opposite of nihilism.  Derived from the Latin "little thing" or "trifle", it stands for "something".  In anatomy, the term hilus represents "a small notch or opening, as where vessels and nerves enter the organ".  In botany, the term hilum means "scar on the seed, where it was attached to the seed stalk".

Hilism is the philosophy of the heart of the matter, the nucleus - no matter how small or difficult to see, it is the only thing that makes sense.

Michael Murphenko, Kyiv, March 2007