This book is dedicated to my Father, Vladimir Iwasiuk. He was born December 31, 1905, in Czernowitz, Austro-Hungary, what is now Ukraine. He grew up in what would become Romania after World War I. Vladimir’s father was a portrait painter who migrated from Moldavia through Romania, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He met my Grandmother in Czernowitz. I assume the artistic genes are from him. He eventually moved on and made his living painting portraits in Jerusalem, where he died. Vladimir was educated in Bukarest, Romania and Graz, Austria. He became a physician working in Bucharest, Romania, Steyr, Austria, Hinterstoder, Austria, Peoria, Illinois, and Los Angeles, California. He was formally trained in the Belle Arts by several Romanian and Austrian portrait and landscape painters and produced works of art all his life.
Both my father and I have this drive. He has the greater talent in the two dimensions, while I have the need to express myself in all three dimensions. However, we both can do both. In this book, I want to record a smattering of what inspired us, what we created, and why. This book has a collection of some of our works spanning nearly a century. Some works are esthetic, some are thought-provoking, while some record a historical event or person.
I was born in 1943 in the middle of a World War, in what was then Germany, but now is Austria. After the war, Europe was in shambles, and Vladimir lost his job as a doctor. We were going to leave Europe for a place with more opportunities, but for various political reasons, the US was not an option for us. We were headed to the Gold Coast, Africa, now Ghana. We were actually packed and had our travel papers ready when President Eisenhower changed the rules and let people who had been persecuted by Stalin into the US. We changed our plane reservation and flew to La Guardia airport in New York instead. I eventually also became a physician, and I picked up my artistic knowledge watching my father and any other way I could.
All artists need the inspiration to create. Allegorically we call them “the Muses.” The Greeks had nine of them to inspire poets, artists, musicians, and all those who create. Vladimir always painted or drew sketches. Occasionally he would sculpt. He encouraged me to exercise my inherited talents. He did help me, but my interest developed after I stopped my medical career, which was ten years as a general practitioner and 44 years as a surgeon—the last seven years as a professor of surgery. Although I did a few things here and there, which you shall see throughout the book, I did not start producing until I retired from surgery in 2018. So my output is relatively small compared to Vladimir, yet I tried to balance this book to give equal time to him and me. A complete collection of his works are in my book, Vladimir’s Visions.
As you shall see, we are both representational artists trying to mimic nature to the best of our ability. These are not in chronological order, but I will put them in some historical context as to when they were created. With each work, there is a write-up of the work’s intended meaning.