Hall №3
(NOT)Instead of weapon
Posters of Mykola Honcharov
27 April 2023 - 28 May 2023

“(NOT)Instead of weapon” exhibition is the artistic response to the events of the “Revolution of Dignity” and the war that takes part on Ukrainian lands since 2014. And this form is a poster. Ukrainian artist Mykola Honcharov aiming and ruthlessly hitting the key messages of the russian propaganda using images instead of hundreds of words. Posters that are included in this exhibition are only the small part of all the “ammo” that author has in his “arsenal”.

         The name of this project tells us about the importance of the informational resistance that is not less considerable than the armed resistance. Poster allows us to perceive the form and content momentarily, express author’s thoughts easily. Through the visualization of contents when one image is able to replace a long textual explanation, a good poster is may be perceived as an analog of the heavy weapon. The weapon that Ukraine so desperately needs to protect its independence and national identity.

Posters of Mykola Honcharov are not filled with unnecessary details. They are laconic and sophisticated; images are clear and eloquent. Posters declares not only the basic social values but also reveals the inner world of the author, his personal thoughts and attitude to events.

Mykola Honcharov: “There are thousands of them now and I’m happy. It’s much better then look through photos. It’s like notes that occurs in your mind but with the higher quality than photos can provide. It’s the reflection of war, environment and events… I’ve read Erich Maria Remarque. He had this idea, that the true masterpiece shouldn’t be understandable at the first moment. There are movies that should be seen few times to be understanded. But my posters are clear after 3-4 seconds since you have seen them. Poster works as the weapon, but not as a real one.”


Mykola Honcharov was born in 1972, in Kyiv. He studied in the National Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture, was a student of Vasyl Chabanyk. Ukrainian graphic and poster artist. Representative of the Prakhovs artists dynasty. His great-grandfather, famous art historian Adrian Prakhov, was a head of the group of artists who have been decorating St. Volodymyr Cathedral in Kyiv. His great-grandmother Emilia was a model for the Virgin Mary image painted by Myhailo Vrubel in Kyrylivska church. Impressionistic portrait of woman by Anna Kriuher-Prakhova is stored in the collection of our museum. His mother, Oleksandra Prakhova is an artist of the Ukrainian New Wave.

Honcharov workes as an illustrator, designer and book designer on freelance.

As an artist and designer, he worked with the National Center of Folk Culture “Ivan Honchar Museum”, National Museum of the Revolution of Dignity, Kyiv academical theatre of young spectator, National Art Museum of Ukraine etc. Artworks that Mykola created since 2014 are related to the war events. He organized and took part in numerous charity exhibitions and auctions. All the money he earned on these events he donated to Ukrainian Army.

         Unfortunately, at that moment Mykola Honcharov requires for help himself. On Summer 2022 he had two strokes and now he has to go through the long-term and expansive rehabilitation to restore his health.



         The most relevant way to communicate today is the language of the visual graphic. In case of the current exhibition, we are talking about posters. Poster is the replicable artwork that among all the other functions provide political and social, attracting attention to specific social issues. To achieve this goal various techniques are used: experiments with colors, shapes and formats; provocative slogans and pictures. Another task of the poster is a quick transfer of message: in a moment when spectators eyes accidentally see the poster itself, it should provide the right idea. In the process of the poster creation, the psychological approach is often used to influence the human consciousness.

         Means of plastic expressiveness of the poster: planar image, comprehensible symbols, pictorial metaphors, spectacular correlation of the colors, scales, angles, measure of convention, satirical images etc. Artistical method that the author use in his works is strongly depended from the aesthetical development of the target audience. Therefore, increasing the cultural level of the audience leads to a change in the appearance of the poster. High-quality art posters can have the positive aesthetic influence.

         In associate with the National Museum of the Revolution of Dignity

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