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Exhibitions

Sergey Zarva
The crypt of Prince Tauride

11 September — 20 October 2019
22 OVCHARENKO Gallery

Sergey Zarva
The crypt of Prince Tauride

16+
OVCHARENKO Gallery presents a personal exhibition of the Crimean artist Sergey Zarva. 

In the new project he is not only the author of the works, but also the architect: the space of the gallery is the artist turns Prince of Tauride's crypt into a "Tomb of the Tauride." Works and art objects are presented as relics from the family crypt. Its prototype is the burial mounds and ancient tombs of Scythian kings, which have been preserved to this day in the Crimean peninsula. Among the "artifacts" are paintings in the style of salon-standard photographs of the 70-80s, objects imitating the Soviet interior, cardboard sarcophagi, covered with clippings from the magazine "Ogonek".

The main line of the artist's creative work is "family and human realism", within the framework of which Sergei Zarva began to destroy the "Soviet myth" in the 1990s. Unlike the images of official propaganda with ideal citizens and embellished plots, Zarva's paintings are based on real photographs of the Soviet era, and the images of people are frighteningly distorted. Faces-masks with a muscular skeleton appearing are one of the recognizable motives of his painting. 

For creation of works of a series "Crypt of Prince Tauride", the artist again addresses to photos from family archive, and objects carries out from the vintage things found at home and at friends'. Sergey Zarva combines the typical irony of his work with the ancient bas-reliefs and the household colour of "grandmother's apartments". The artist is convinced that nostalgia for the Soviet past, along with legends about Scythian gold, is part of the Crimean worldview. 

"The inhabitants of Tavrida, who live their meager life in the "black" steppes among the royal mounds, are very fond of remembering the former splendor of the rich life of the Greek kingdom. There was no Krymchak who did not dream of finding the Golden Horse hidden in the dungeon of Mount Mithridates. The mysterious splendor of the treasure remained "shimmering" and unattainable dream of lazy and stupid people. Only small and stupid desires came true: imperceptibly grabbed a jar of dark green paint, a gift bucket of hamsa, a hundred pieces of rotten brooms in the barn, and a fake dull shine in the frame of portraits of talentless parents. (Sergey Zarva)

About the artist

Sergey Zarva was born in 1973 in Krivoy Rog, Ukraine. Graduated from the Odessa Art College named after M.V. Lomonosov. Grekov. Participant of many exhibitions in Ukraine and Russia. In Moscow, his solo and group exhibitions were repeatedly held in the OVCHARENKO Gallery (until 2018 - RIGINA Gallery). In 2011, the works from the "Ogonok" series were presented at the exhibition "Ostalgia" in New Museum in New York, and in 2013. Massimiliano Joni included them in the main curatorial project of the 55th Venice Biennale. Sergei Zarva's works are in the personal collection of the artist Cindy Sherman, as well as in many collections in Russia and abroad.

 Exhibition opening hours: September 11 - October 20, 10:00 - 19:00