Painting by Grigoryev “Goalkeeper”

Goalkeeper in football is a legendary figure. At a time when the Ukrainian artist SA Grigoryev painted the picture “Goalkeeper”, a movie with the same name was released, which was published before the war. It was the goalkeepers, not the attackers, who were the real heroes of football matches, standing on the gate was considered a great privilege.

S. Grigoriev also has other pictures dedicated to children. It seems to me that depicting children in his postwar paintings, the artist wanted to show the youth of our country, just beginning to depart from the consequences of a heavy war. Children – a symbol that shows that life is just beginning, and all the achievements are yet to come.

The hero of the picture is a boy of about twelve, lean, fair-haired, boar-cut. Despite his young age, he probably already knows what he is doing. His pose is like a real adult football player: his legs are slightly bent, his hands are resting on his knees, attention is focused

on what is happening on the field. He is also dressed like a real goalkeeper: shorts, a sweater, soccer boots, football boots, socks-leggings are lowered, leather gloves are on his hands. Is that the cap on the head is not enough. On one knee – a white bandage, which, most likely, closes the wound or abrasion.

The match itself takes place in the city wasteland. On the grass and bushes around the vacant lot you can see that it’s autumn. This is not a football field. There is no marking, no gate. Instead of the gate – school portfolios, which denote their borders. The wasteland itself is located on a hill, like the space on the right side of the city’s landscape, but on the left, in the background, are the houses below, closer to the wide river. Perhaps, it is happening in Kiev, a city that has become a native for SA Grigoriev.

The artist did not show us the rest of the match. But we see fans who follow the course of events with great attention. They perched on a pile of construction boards and feel no worse than on the bench of this stadium. These are local children of preschool and

primary school age. Dressed all in different ways. Someone in the summer, and someone already has coats and crocheted hats.

Among the children there is a very small child, brought here by an older brother – a boy in school uniform and a pioneer tie. He holds the toddler by the shoulders, and he himself closely follows the match. But the kid also does not get distracted, but looks at the field without taking his eyes off him. Among the spectators there is also a man in a hat, in a suit and a Ukrainian shirt without a collar. He is not less infatuated with the game. In his eyes – boyish mischief. In the shower, he is just as much a boy as the guys around him.

Behind the goalkeeper stands a red-cheeked boy in a red sports suit. Something in his pose indicates that he was not taken into the game.

And someone brought here a courtyard dog – a faithful mongrel, who patiently waits for the match to end. Her events on the field do not excite, she slumbers, her head on her paws.

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Painting by Grigoryev “Goalkeeper”