Ricky Lee Gordon street art mural for Art United us, kiev, Ukraine 2016

Ricky Lee Gordon new mural for Art United us in kiev, Ukraine has been influenced by so many factors. Below is Ricky Lee Gordon’s wonderful words of why he painted this mural…


“The inspiration for the river as a metaphor comes from a story from Gautama Buddha: The story goes like this; if a stick falls into the river, the flow of the river will take the stick downstream and eventually the stick will be connected with the endless ocean, this is the law of nature, nature only goes one direction. If the stick can avoid sandbanks and being caught up in the reeds it will reach the endless ocean. When we go with and are aware of the flow of nature we can experience the interconnectedness of everything. Gautama Buddha says; ‘How can one prevent a drop of water from drying up? By throwing it into the ocean,'”

“This mural was the result of several conversations with local curators. Things just fell into place and the final result is a very simple artwork layered with symbolism. The water symbolizes the Dnipro River as a source of life that runs through Ukraine like a bloodline to the Black Sea.”

“I have used the famous statue of Bohdan Khmelnytsky only to remove him from the horse and change the direction of the horse from facing north (Russia) to now face away to the south. I have done this to edit and remix history to show that everything changes and is out of our control. We build statues to celebrate our history but our history along with our statues will only just fade away with time, with the cycle of nature.”

“The gold square in the mural even though the most striking and seemingly powerful will be the first of the colours to go when the mural begins to fade in a few years. I make use of squares because there is nothing geometric in nature; we create boxes to try compartmentalise everything giving us the illusion of control.”

“The mural is also homage to an iconic painting by Ukrainian artist Kazimir Malevich’s – The Black Square. The work is frequently invoked as the ‘zero point’ of painting referring to the painting’s historical significance.
Malevich says; ‘It is from zero that the true movement of being begins.Black Square is meant to evoke the experience of pure non-objectivity in the white emptiness of a liberated nothing.'”

“And finally the title of the work is homage to Ukrainian Poet Taras Shevchenko poem “A reflection”. Shevchenko says in the opening line ; ‘The river empties to the sea, But out it never flows.'”

Words and photos courtesy of Ricky Lee Gordon.

Curated by Art United Us, Geo Leros , Waone Interesni Kazki and Iryna Kanishcheva and the help of the Art ego gallery.



Calling all Street Art fans

If you are holding a street art festival please get in touch with us as Graffitistreet would love to cover your event and share it with our readers.

Street artists, please drop us a line to share your latest murals and the inspiration behind them; GraffitiStreet want to know about the thoughts and ideas that breathe life into your pieces!

Or, if you are a lover of all things street art and would like to write a guest Blog post for GraffitiStreet, get in contact too! We would love to hear from you and what you have got to say.

All words and photos used must be the author’s own or the author has gained permission from the source and clearly credits the source blog. Author takes full responsibility for copyright.

Share your comments