Serhij Zakharov [ Ukraine ]
The artist Sergey Zakharov was born in the eastern Ukrainan industrial city of Donetsk in 1967, where he studied art at Donetsk polytechnic from 1983 to 1987, graduating in design. Between 1992 and 1995 he studied advertising at the Slavic Institute for Business and Law. He worked as a furniture designer and producer in 1987, and on various art projects. Zakharov also founded the artists’ collective »Murzilki«.
In the summer of 2014 he made a series of large-format caricatures of the leaders of the internationally unrecognized People’s Republic of Donetsk (DNR). »After certain events took place, I felt I needed to get out there and express my opinion. Street art was obviously suited for that; it’s the language of the street, accessible and understandable by all.« His works were installed in the city center during curfew hours. Zakharov was tracked down and taken captive, which lead to six in prison during which he was tortured. After his release, Zakharov decided to record those experiences in a series of drawings, and has been working on a graphic novel about his life in prison in the DNR since fall of 2015. During the military conflict in Donetsk, Zakharov produced the installation and performance »House of Cards«. It consists of 12 oversized playing cards with caricatures of the leaders of the People’s Republic of Lugansk and the People’s Republic of Donetsk. Russian president Vladimir Putin is depicted as the deck joker at its base. This work was displayed in various Ukrainian cities, and was also part of exhibitions presented by the independent cultural foundation »ISOLJAZIJA« in Paris, Prague, Košice, Augsburg and Berlin. ISOLJAZIJA was founded in Donetsk and seeks to encourage the social and cultural development of Ukraine while also preserving the country’s industrial legacy. In October and November 2015, Sergey Zakharov campaigned with the support of ISOLJAZIJA to become the mayor of the city of Mariupol.
He lives in Kiev.