IT IS NOT THE DOCUMENTATION OF A DREAM PICTURE, BUT RATHER THE FILLING-OUT OF TIME WITH SMALL COLLAGIC IDEAS / Sergei Sviatchenko
SVIATCHENKO (b. 1952) is one of todays most influential collage artists. His oeuvre cuts through the boundaries of traditional and contemporary visuals, merging pop culture with politics, history, science and architecture.
Growing up in the Ukraine in 1960s, SVIATCHENKO witnessed first-hand the revolutionary shifts in global society and contemporary culture. From Khrushchev’s tomb to Gorbachev’s new openness and the fall of the Wall, and the revolutionary extension of the West, bringing with it a new flourish of pop culture and artistic expression. In SVIATCHENKO’s work we see the reflections of decades of artistic exploration. From the World War I, Dadaism, Surrealism, Soviet Avant-Garde, Constructivism and the 1960s American Expressionists and Pop music, and the films of director Andrei Tarkovsky.
A provocateur in the world of contemporary art, SVIATCHENKO’s collages and paintings have been exhibited in Denmark, Ukraine, Germany, Italy, France, England, Canada, and the USA and featured in celebrated magazines such as Dazed & Confused, AnOther, Kilimanjaro, Varoom, Elephant, This is a magazine, Rojo, Viewpoint and Blueprint.
He is also the founder and editor of online photography project “Close Up and Private”, which looks to capture the discourse between clothing, fashion and image. SVIATCHENKO has completed major commissions for companies in Denmark such as Jyske Bank, Silkeborg, Aalborg University in Copenhagen, Poul Due Jensen Academy, Grundfos, and Magasin du Nord, Copenhagen.
His work has been published in monographs including Sergei Sviatchenko: Collages by Rick Poynor (Schlebrügge, Vienna, 2014), Everything Goes Right and Left if You Want it. Art by Sergei Sviatchenko (Gestalten, Berlin, 2012), and Sergei Sviatchenko: I AM COLLAGE, (Lindhardt & Ringhof, Denmark 2018).
Curator and Editor, London
Since 1990 Sergei Sviatchenko has lived and worked in Viborg, Denmark, where he raised a family of three. Sviatchenko has a PhD from the Kiev School of Architecture and is a Modernist inside and out.
With one foot in his mother country Ukraine and the other in the Denmark, Sviatchenko combines the Eastern Constructivism and photomontage traditions with Bauhaus aesthetics as well as Western Pop Art, Abstract Expressionism and rock music.
Sviatchenko’s oeuvre spans the known and the unimaginable. It cuts through the boundaries of traditional and contemporary visuals to merge pop culture with politics, personal memory with collective histories, and architecture and science with dreams and visions.
Sviatchenko challenges the limits of visual representation by constantly seeking the ideal balance of deconstruction without loss of meaning. He works with space, shape and the disruption of both elements. He refers to the practice of disruption as ‘aesthetic surprises’, where elements from different contexts collide and merge. Important details are being cut out, and through the remaining fragments we are invited to shape our own images from what remains an ambiguous semifigurative abstraction.
In our world of visual overload, Sviatchenko stands out as an artist, who reduces instead of adds. In 2004 Sviatchenko introduced the artistic strategy of deconstruction called ‘Less’, where he by adding a maximum of three elements, would change the reading of a given image. Sviatchenko’s ‘Less’ strategy is one his most original contributions to international collage art.
Christian Kortegaard Madsen
Curator and Museum Director, Denmark