Sergey Bratkov (b.1960, Ukraine)

Sergey Bratkov was born in Kharkiv, Ukraine in 1960. From 1969 through 1978 he attended the Repin Art College in Kharkiv. In 1983, he graduated from the department of Industrial Electronics at the Polytechnic Academy in Kharkiv to complete the typical Soviet education. In 1987, Bratkov’s had his first solo shows in Kharkiv, Cheb, and Tel Aviv. In the following years, he enjoyed international recognition from his solo exhibitions at the Forum Stadtpark Graz, in Berlin, Nuremberg, Wisconsin, and Triest. He also took part in smaller and larger post-Soviet group exhibitions in Finland and New York, international art fairs, the Sao Paulo Biennale 2002, the Moscow Photobiennale, and recently at the Venice Biennale 2003.

Bratkov’s work is heavily influenced by his Kharkiv origin. For many years he worked with Boris Mikhailov, a mature artist who developed his radical realist style with the underground Vremia group. During this time, Mikhailov learned to confront social taboos without trepidation. In Kharkiv, a large industrial town, misery and poverty are omnipresent: homeless children, prostitutes, frozen corpses, and drunks depress the already devastated landscape. In this setting, social realism is essential and the portrait, in its transcendent and stereotypical form, of special value. Whether portraying party members, workers, peasants, space travelers, scholars, or soldiers, every individual is presented as a hero. This crude standardization also characterizes National Socialist art.  

Bratkov, Sergey b.1960

artworks in collection

related artists / Ukraine / Eastern Europe