21st Century Icon Awards, Supported by ELITE, London Stock Exchange Group - https://www.21stcenturyiconawards.com/
It is truly a great honor for me to be here. My Heart is filled with gratitude to have been nominated for the prestigious 21st Century Icon Award. To be recognized by one's contemporaries is something that has often eluded even the greatest artists. I prefer to be alive when I am honored. But serious ... painting, as you all know, is a solitary profession. And so it means the world to me to be embraced by like-minded, creative people, such as all of you. To be understood, to be accepted, to be welcomed into a community such as this, is a priceless gift.
I love my life as a painter because Art, whether it's in the form of a drawing, a symphony, a dance, a poem, or any other art form, is what connects all of us as human beings. Artistic expression communicates emotions and thoughts in the most basic and direct way. It is a shared experience that brings us closer to each other, regardless of race, nationality, religious beliefs, or gender. It inspires us, moves us, and makes us feel deeply. This is why I create.
When we celebrate the success of each new generation of artists, we acknowledge that art is a living thing, a vibrant thing, and as it needs to be nurtured if it is to thrive from generation to generation. When we invest in new artists, we build their self-confidence and self-assurance. And with that self-confidence and self-assurance, they will be motivated and encouraged to create more and greater art. That is exactly what is happening right here and right now, and again, I express my most sincere thanks to you for this. New artists offer fresh and original perspectives. These perspectives are windows into realities. We may never have known existed. Great art does not reflect the world. It transforms it. This is what inspires me to lift a paintbrush every day and touch it to canvas. This is my mission in life. This is my passion.
I am very grateful to you and to all of you who have supported me. I thank you for making it possible for me and other artists to continue to do the work. Now, more than ever, the world needs great art, because great art. I am Yuliya Zelinskaya. Please keep your dreams alive, as well.