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The way to Denmark, or how to succeed in Europe. A meeting-lecture with Serhii Sviatchenko

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13 October 2017
Sample pic

On 12 October 2017, a well-known all over the world Danish artist of Ukrainian origin Serhii Sviatchenko communicated with participants and guests of the Open Student Contest in Painting "Silver Easel". A meeting-lecture was held in the conference hall of the ethnic and wellness hotel "Ungvarskyi" in Uzhhorod. To listen to the famous artist were a lot of people – students, artists, art critics and journalists. And, for good reason – an artist with such experience and achievements is not a frequent guest in Ukraine.

The meeting was held within the framework of the Open Student Contest in Painting "Silver Easel", which takes place these days in Uzhhorod. Serhhi Sviatchenko is a jury member, so he will take part in the evaluation of the contestants’ works.

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Serhii Sviatchenko is an artist, architect, working in genres of collage, video, installation, photography. He was born in Kharkiv in 1952. In 1975, he graduated from Kharkiv Architectural and Construction Institute. In 1986, he wrote a PhD. in architecture at the Kyiv Engineering and Construction Institute "Means of Visual Information In Architecture". In the 1980s, he headed the Centre for Contemporary Art in Kyiv. Since 1990, he has been living and working in Denmark. Since 1990, he has participated in numerous collective and personal exhibitions in Denmark, Germany, Italy, Austria, France, the UK, Canada, and the USA. Member of the Union of Danish Artists and Graphic Artists (BKF). Laureate of the International Award for the Yellow Pencil Award 2007 (London).

Serhii Sviatchenko is called a provocateur in the world of contemporary art. The artist constantly experiments, challenges and cancels the established rules. The artist has long moved to abstract painting and performed large-scale monumental works for international firms and institutions around the world, including the royal court and the parliament of Denmark. The art world of Sviatchenko has absorbed various trends in the sphere of culture over the past 35 years.

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During the meeting in Uzhhorod, Ukrainian-Danish artist told about his student days in Kharkiv and the way he headed the Centre for Contemporary Art in the early 1980s, about the first trips to Denmark. "I received a grant for 3 months to work in Denmark, in such a way I got to this country. And then, I was offered to stay working and live with my family," the artist said.

The artist showed photos with his works, told about the exhibitions, in which he took part and participated in their organization. Speaking of creativity, he tried his forces in different directions in various periods. Demonstrating one of the artworks, he noted: "I like Shyshkin, Savrasov, Levitan very much, I consider their painting to be a genius one – they have light, colour and just an extreme mood! I tried to take this as a basis and transfer it to abstract forms. Here, for example, a stroke of white paint on my picture – it's light as well, it is what gives us hope and it is present in many of my works."

By the way, the art lovers cannot see the works of the artist often, since they belong to private collectors and famous world galleries. Interestingly, numerous institutions in Denmark are decorated by the artist’s works – these are banks, offices, and even a football stadium.

Serhii Sviatchenko gave the students-participants of "Silver Easel" a few tips: to read a variety of literature more often, where they can find a creative impulse, to take interest in photo collage, because it develops an alternative thinking.

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Those who were present, especially the contestants of "Silver Easel," had a lot of questions. In particular, the secrets of the artist's art photographs, the technique of his painting and the way he overcomes the "art crisis". Finally, the famous artist advised the contestants to turn their attention to the West more often, not be afraid of Europe and try to achieve success there. "And, be ambitious and work, work, work," S. Sviatchenko added.

The well-known curator of art projects Igor Abramovych noted that the history of modern Ukrainian art was started with Serhii Sviatchenko.

© Art&Culture Foundation Brovdi Art

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The way to Denmark, or how to succeed in Europe. A meeting-lecture with Serhii Sviatchenko

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