Valentyn Babiiets was born in the capital of Ukraine, one of many post-soviet countries that still experience a rift in language between their official language and Russian. The post-soviet setting of his hometown provide an endless source of inspiration –its architecture, the local art, the design of the subway, and the winding streets of the city center all make up excellent raw material. Babiiets was born with a hearing impairment but did not receive proper treatment until he turned 12, when he started to wear hearing aids. Until then, he would just ignore the muffled voices around him and draw quietly in his sketchbooks. He still often returns to these drawings as a source of inspiration. School soon bored Babiiets, and he developed the ambition to pursue an education in art. He graduated early and applied to the Kyiv National University of Technologies and Design to do a degree in graphic design, as he had already developed an affinity for textual design and a real passion for language. However, within only a year’s time the artist became deeply disillusioned with the Ukrainian art world and realized that he was more likely to achieve his artistic goals at a foreign institution. By 2013, he relocated to Canada to study at Sheridan College. There, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in illustration in 2018. After college, he taught art and continued to build his portfolio. The artist furthermore found an unexpected passion in the construction industry; to this day he cuts and lays concrete at work and then comes home to explore it conceptually through his artworks.
“I see my life as a continuous art experiment. I create and then destroy. I recreate and improve what I already made. I repeat myself and refine my previous artworks. I turn things upside down and inside out. I explore the unknown and scare myself with the results.”