Jun 16, 2022
Abstract forms tell stories in the creations of Ukrainian-American artist Maya Hayuk, a studio painter and public artist working predominantly in acrylic, Flashe and massive-scale murals. The daughter of two university professors, she spent her childhood traveling America, Europe and Africa — experiences that exposed her to a vast range of aesthetic perspectives.
Hayuk has exhibited her artwork at the Hammer Museum in L.A., painted the iconic Bowery Wall on Houston Street in Manhattan and worked with musicians and bands including Rye Rye/M.I.A, TV on the Radio and the Flaming Lips.
Hayuk believes her studio- and public-art practices inform each other. Accordingly, her artworks across disciplines speak to the prevalence of patterns and interconnectivity, combining traditional and contemporary elements into, per her website, “new harmonic, dissonant, optimistic, experimental compositions” that balance colorful chaos with complete symmetry for absolutely mesmerizing patterns. Imagine hypnosis that doesn’t make you sleepy, but feels like a double-shot espresso.
“Hayuk’s murals draw influence from the former Soviet Union with tight and intricate patterns inspired from Ukrainian Easter eggs,” the street-art encyclopedia StreetArtBio notes. “One can also find inspiration from Mexican woven blankets, mandalas, Rorschach tests and holograms in her work.”
Last summer, Hayuk answered a few questions for a research project about how street artists make travel choices in their practices. She remarked, “It’s an honor to be invited to new places where I feel like an ambassador for Americans, women, artists, freaks, etc. I know I am not the typical New Yorker, because there actually is no such thing. I like breaking down these myths and stereotypes and discovering how much we all have in common.”