VoloshynGallery presents a solo exhibition of the artist Yuri Solomko, a bright representative of Ukrainian contemporary art. The exhibition will show works in the artist’s traditional technique of painting and drawing on maps, as well as new objects that can be considered both as introductory elements to the paintings and individual exhibits.
The geopolitics theme has been a leitmotif in all Yuri Solomko’s works. Since the 90s, the artist has been working with maps. He has invented his own art language expressing the reflection on the geopolitical events talking place in the world and identifying its various implications. The works in this exhibition are covering the logic continuation of his art career. Solomko says that a geographical map is one of the most powerful symbols created by a civilization. In his art works, he adds even more meaning to the information already contained there.
Many paintings and some showpieces of SEX AND POLITICS project depict love and erotic scenes that are characteristic for Solomko’s style. The theme of the exhibition is utterly relevant, as sex and political power have always been topics of interest, at least as two underlying causes for human activity. In many cultures, people have never separated these concepts. For example, the ancient Chinese believed that sexual potency of the head of the Celestial Empire was the key to the prosperity of the population living there. The Emperor had to alternate righteous work on the management of the state with bedroom pleasures, therefore the state employed the whole staff of courtesans. Among the objects in the exhibition is shown a sculpture of a phallus "XXX". Yuri Solomko says that the phallus is exactly the same political symbol of power as the scepter and the orb. It is no accident that in the Neolithic period cave paintings, the tribal leader could always be identified by the longest phallus. It would mean he has a lot of women, many children, simply put, is the actual father of his tribe. Of course, this statement may be relative, but on the other hand if all the libido of the head of state goes into politics, you can surely expect trouble. All of the complexes, manias and phobias such a "father of the nation" such rulers will vent to their own people and neighboring states.
The characteristic feature of the exhibition SEX AND POLITICS is the author drawing two lines – a modern interpretation of our contemporary world with its current problems, and the second is the world of the past, whose events allegorically remind us of the tide of history. Sometimes these two lines intersect, sometimes they are coming apart. In other words, Yuri may represent a modern story on an ancient map or vice versa. To select the second theme in this project, the author for the first time ever refers to the use of antique maps, while some of the stories cited by the artist send us back to another era.
Yuri Solomko was born in 1962 in Crimea. In 1986 he graduated from Krasnodar Art College, and in 1992 the Kyiv State Art Institute (now National Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture). Yuri Solomko was one of the members of the famous art-association "Paris Commune" (1989-1994). In 1997 he was voted the Artist of the Year in the field of contemporary art at the International Art Festival in Kyiv, Ukraine. Apart from that, Yuri Solomko has been a multiple-winner of numerous grants and scholarships, a permanent participant of all major Ukrainian art events. Solomko’s works in different years were sold at such auctions as the Dorotheum (1999), Vienna, Austria; Sovkom (2008), Moscow, Russia; The Epoch (2009), The Golden Ratio (2011), Korners (2008, 2015), Kyiv, Ukraine; PhillipsdePury & company (2009, 2010, 2014, 2015) and in 2016 at Sotheby's, London, the UK. Currently Yury lives and works in Kyiv. Solomko’s works are in the collections of the National Art Museum, Kyiv, Ukraine; Russian State Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia; Duke University Museum, North Carolina, USA; Art center Henie, Onstad, Høvikodden, Oslo, Norway; Hradobank Art Collection, Kyiv, Ukraine as well as in Simon de Pury’s collection.