Keepin' it weird with Borys Tarsenko of Milkhorse

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Artist Borys Tarasenko makes his return to the Royal Bison for both weekends! You may remember him from the Spring 2016 tote bag design, and generally blowing our minds with his take on religious iconography. The son of a parish priest, Borys is not a typical believer. He grew up surrounded by Ukrainian iconography, but slowly departed from Catholicism as he grew up. Now he doesn't believe in any higher power. But religion is still a big part of his life, and he faithfully attends St. George Ukrainian Catholic Church in Edmonton at least once a week. That continued connection to church and art keep his art brain going - read more in the Edmonton Journal.

This season he's bringing some pyrography with him as well as some work featuring a new style of abstract linework. We couldn't be more stoked, Borys makes Edmonton wonderfully weird! Follow him on instagram

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Q: What does it mean to be an Edmonton maker/designer/artist?
BT: It means you’re part of a small community of excited weirdos, and that you have a real
opportunity to help shape the cultural identity of this beautiful, blue-collar city. It feels like
Edmonton is largely still figuring itself out, and we get to not only see that happen but be a part of its crystallization process. Also, we may be able to afford a house someday, unlike some
other Canadian cities.

Q: What are your top 3 influences (artists, things, etc)?
BT: Yeah I’m a thief... Always been into the work of Brad Neely. His one-panel comics, “animations”,basically any of his content. Read a lot of Doug TenNapel comics early on, Tomi Ungerer’s posters... and more recently my linework feeds off the drawings of Louise Bourgeois. I come from a Ukrainian Catholic family and I still go to church a lot. The byzantine iconography pushes its way into my brain, and I get time to think at church which can be important. Sorry that’s more than three. I’m always eating content.

Q: Favourite Bison item you’ve picked up at a previous fair?
BT: Nigel Hood made this beautiful print of logos he designed for all the ghost towns in Alberta. It has a quote from Rudyard Kipling which lead us to discover that Kipling has a weird connection to this province. Also soap.