Many of us remember the San Francisco news of 2013 - SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) 2013/11/15 ―" A young leukemia patient realized his dream to become Batman for a day as an army of volunteers transformed part of San Francisco into 'Gotham City' Friday.
5-year-old Miles Scott from Siskiyou County traversed the city Friday, maneuvering through huge throngs of admirers as a superhero named "Batkid," fighting crime with the help of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Volunteers, businesses, the San Francisco Giants and even the city's mayor and police department all pitched in to make the adventure as realistic as possible."
I felt then, that the people who had participated so enthusiastically in playing Batman for the child did so as much for themselves, as they did for the cause, if not more so. The idea germinated in the collective psyche fertilized by the urgent need for a hero who will save us. Somehow Batman occupied so many spaces in our minds, filling the void of an altruistic saviour in our real lives. Batman fights everything BAD, and represents everything GOOD. As long as politics, economics and "spiritual" life remain so complicated, and disoriented we find ourselves lacking not only simple answers, but any answers at all - only questions exist. The Batman, it seems, is the recognizable hero that anyone can relate to because he is human. Batman triumphs over greed, aggression, fraud, and corruption. However his humanity makes him generous to his enemies. He represents justice, not revenge. Batman is our HERO. That is why I paint Batman.
My Batman is extremely personal. He appears in scenes which come directly from my head. He enters my studio and stands beside the flowers in a still-life . Sometimes he watches me paint, through the front window. At the same time his universality, allows me to bring my feelings and ideas intimately close to the spectator using this Aesopian , metaphoric Batman.
So why does Batman have no legs?
Being from Ukraine, everything that was happening in my country of origin since the fall of 2013 weighed heavily on me. I became preoccupied and felt that any painting was meaningless in the wake of such horror. "When guns roar - muses are silent". Then I started to paint what was in my mind. I painted injured Batman, Batman in despair. Batmen in military hospital... If I had painted just an injured soldier I would have needed a two page explanation of who, why, and where. However, Batman in distress speaks to everybody. There is no need to associate Batman's involvement in saving the world with what is happening now in Ukraine. People make their own connections based on their individual life experiences. It is more important for me that the viewer's pity for Batman engages them at a deeper level. If even our SUPERHERO can be injured and in danger then our enemy is strong. We need to come together to fight such powerful injustice. It is Batman's vulnerability that spurs us to feel and act. So Batman has no legs.