Mexican painter in Irpin depicts 'true face' of Ukraine war

Roberto Marquez, a Mexican artist who has been painting various angles of Russia’s war from his makeshift set up under a bridge in Ukraine, aims to portray "the true face" of what he has witnessed in the country.

Marquez arrived in Ukraine in response to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's appeal for international support. The Mexican artist painted what he saw while visiting various cities in the war-torn country.

"Through my paintings, I want to show the world the true face of the war in Ukraine. My artworks demonstrate opposition to the war and protest the killings of people," he told Anadolu Agency.

As he continued to work on his painting under the bridge at the entrance of the Irpin city, which was damaged in a Russian attack, Marquez said: "People come up to me when I'm painting under the bridge that was hit and tell me about their experiences. In my paintings, I apply this expertise. I would not have had new knowledge if I had handled this subject in the painting studio. My artworks would be based on speculations."

'Brushes are weapons too'

Marquez, also known by his nickname "Robenz," has worked in the art world for years and moved to Ukraine after the war broke out on Feb. 24.

"When Zelenskyy said his country needed support, I decided to come here," he said, adding, "Brushes are weapons too, and I hope to raise awareness with the paintings I make."

He added: "When I draw, I have to be where things happen. This is where the action takes place."

Marquez said he gave away his latest painting to Zelenskyy. "Attacks by the Russian army, massacres in cities such as Bucha and Irpin, bombed houses, and people's fear and escape from attacks are depicted in my paintings."

He said one of his paintings depicted the Ukrainian president as a horse fighting evil.

The Mexican artist called Russia's attack on Ukraine "foolish," believing that Russia is "hundred percent" incorrect on this issue.

He added: "The events take place in 2022. People are dying. This is not right. Maybe it is little something I did. However, small support from many countries to Ukraine can have a big impact when combined."/aa