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Boris Atamanenko

North Slave
(867) 446-1611
6161 Finlayson Drive
Yellowknife, NT X1A 3L2

Artist Story

I have worked in screen-printing, graphic design and sign painting in the past, which lead me to the kind of work I do now – repurposing old road signs. The idea is to take those signs that have been cast aside and give them new life that is whimsical or may make a statement. They are still recognizable, but different.


For me, making art is just a way of wanting other people to be excited by the same kinds of concepts that emerges from what I see around me. I am really inspired by line and form, light and colour. You see that all around in the north. Water means a lot to me and I think the idea of flow and line comes from water and waves.


I like using reflective sheet tape in way that I can realize from a quick sketch. It is sort of instant gratification in a way. I think my art is unique because it is something familiar that has changed a little showing there is a world of opportunity and imagination in common things. I have done residential shows outside where people can drive by and see the signs with the reflections and colours so vivid they pop out. They are drawn to it and connect with something in it – which means a lot to me.

Artist Bio: 

Boris Atamanenko is a printmaker and graphic designer living in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. He is self-taught as a screen-printer and has been creating original images for t-shirts, posters, art prints and customized signs since 1977.

Graphic design is a part of your daily life. The influences of this work are all around us, when you think about it. From food packages to highway signs to the t-shirt you're wearing, graphic design informs, persuades, organizes, stimulates, locates, identifies, attracts attention and provides pleasure.

Boris’ current project involves working with old, damaged or abandoned traffic signs, re-purposing them with new images or messages. He hand-cuts stencils from industrial reflective tape to create new symbols or abstract shapes.

Last Updated: September 21, 2016

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