About the “Ukrainian Paratrooper”, my time 1992 in Amsterdam, Abkhazia, Georgia and Rare Sats

Hans
3 min readMay 25, 2024
Painting “Ukraine Paratrooper” 200x150 cm, 1992 by Hans Heiner Buhr

In 1992 I was a student at the world-famous Gerrit-Rietveld-Academy in Amsterdam. At that time the name of the “painting department” was changed into “Autonomous”, so basically the students could make anything, as long they could well defend their position. It was the time of computer and video stuff, installations and all things “conceptual” and it often was communicated that painting is a kind of outdated.

Raised in East Germany in Berlin and Dresden I came from the more expressionist division and I had my difficulties with the general spirit at the Rietveld Academy at this time. On the other side I learned a lot of the conceptual approach and my art got better focused.

One lonely night in my studio in the Cornelis Drebbelstraat I painted in a few minutes this guy, the “Ukrainian Paratrooper” approximately 200x150cm on canvas.

In that time I was deeply worried about the war in Abkhazia, a beautiful narrow mountain patch at the Black Sea coast, that declared a disputed independence from Georgia. Georgia and most countries did not acknowledge it’s independence. A huge war started.

Dutch newspapers at the time covered the conflict wildly with gruesome stories and pictures. I couldn’t then fully grasp the suffering of the people and the causes and sense of this civil war.

Photo by Giorgi Tsagareli. Collection Hans Heiner Buhr

Young independent Ukraine then had UN-Peace-Corps soldiers- if I remember it correctly- and offered their best fighters to hotspot conflicts on our globe, that hot, that other countries wouldn’t send their own troops. But I think they were not involved in the Abkhazia conflict.

Why is the Ukraine paratrooper in yellow?

Yellow is the color of hope and the sun. Kind of I wished peace for the many resulting conflicts and riots after the break-up of the Soviet Union.

So first it was just “The UN-Paratrooper” and emerged into “The Ukrainian UN-Paratrooper”.

He’s a healthy a sturdy Village guy, bursting from the sky, full of youthful strength and optimistic energy into an unknown to him conflict maybe in Africa and will soon stand between the crossfires. But he will survive. He’s unstoppable.

Maybe art can indeed change reality and have an impact on our world?

A few years earlier I was myself a young, inexperienced soldier in the late GDR in East Germany. Taking photos was strongly forbidden, but still I managed to snatch a few. I couldn’t know the horrors of a real war, but I imagine it to this day often.

Hans as a young soldier in East Germany in 1985

The period of 1991–1993 at the Rietveld Academy was one of the best in retrospect in my work. It came directly from my heart and my soul.

Imagine, how my life turned, when I actually married my Georgian wife just 8 years later and live since then in Georgia with the still unsettled conflict.

To preserve my 1992 feelings and a picture of the painting for forever ;) I minted a small digital version of it as an

ordinal inscription on the Bitcoin blockchain

on an old Rare Satoshi mined by Satoshi Nakamoto himself on 8th of February 2009

Ordinal inscription of “Ukrain Paratrooper” artwork by HANS HEINER BUHR
Ordinal inscription

You can try this yourself and mint an important artwork or photo on Bitcoin here

https://ordinalsbot.com/

(You’ll need a Bitcoin Wallet like Xverse Wallet and some Bitcoin to do it)

If you want to know, what Rare Satoshis are, you can find the different categories here at Magisat.io

Any questions? Please comment.

Link to my website:

https://www.hansheinerbuhr.com/paintings/

Link to my Crypto Art:

https://www.curate.page/t/hans

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