David Burliuk was an artist, book illustrator, publicist, and author born in 1882 in Lebedyn District, Sumy Oblast in Ukraine.
He was a central figure in the history of the Russian avant-garde movement as an accomplished poet, art critic, and exhibition organizer. "He was one of the world's first hippies, and painted the words 'I Burliuk' on his forehead and stood on street corners reciting poetry."
From 1898 to 1904 he studied at the art schools in Kazan and in Odessa, as well as at the Royal Academy in Munich. His exuberant, extroverted character was recognized by Anton Azhbe, his professor at the Munich Academy, who called Burliuk a “wonderful wild steppe horse.” After that, he went to Paris to study at the Ecole des Beaux Arts.
His early works were fauve-like, "violent in color and heavy with paint" and were exhibited with the Blue Riders in Munich.
In 1908 an exhibition with the group Zveno ("The Link") in Kiev was organized by David Burliuk together with Wladimir Baranoff-Rossine,Alexander Bogomazov, his brother Volodymyr (Wladimir) Burliuk and Aleksandra Ekster. In 1909 Burliuk painted a portrait of his future wife, Marussia, on a background of flowers and rocks on the Crimean coast. Many times thereafter he would set the image of his wife to canvas.
In Russia, as a breaker of artistic tradition, he was expelled in 1911 from the Moscow Institute. With other futurists, he undertook a public campaign with lectures, journals and films--all focused on the craziness of modern, industrial life.
He moved to America with his wife in 1922. From 1937 to 1966 they published Color & Rhyme, a periodical primarily concerned with charting Burliuk's activities. In 1945 an exhibit was mounted at Irving Place Theater in New York City.
In 1962 he and his wife traveled to Australia where he held an exhibition at Moreton Galleries, Brisbane. It was his only Australian exhibition. During his stay there David Burliuk painted some sketches and works with Australian views.
and settled on Long Island where he continued to paint until his death there in 1967.
"Ukrainians" by David Burliuk