ArtCult Gallery

Oleksandr Chekmenov

From the Concentration of the Will at M17Halyna Kovalska (From the series "Faces of war")50x70 cm, canvas, digital print, 2022Price on request

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    Halyna Kovalska, born in 1955, city of Irpin.
    Halyna refused to evacuate because of homeless animals. I was in Irpen all the time. There was a moment when there were seven people left in the high-rise building where she lives. They hid on the first floor between two load-bearing walls. A 37-year-old woman was killed while preparing food for her child at the entrance. Galina presses the pea coat left to her by a Ukrainian soldier to her body and tells that one day Russians came to her apartment, there were six of them, young people, 18 years old each. "They pointed machine guns at me. I told them: "Go to your mother and father," Halyna recalls. She says that she stuttered for two weeks after that.

From the Concentration of the Will at M17Serhiy Grenyuk (From the series "Faces of war")50x70 cm, canvas, digital print, 2022Price on request

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    Serhiy Grenyuk, born in 1982, a taxi driver, a resident of the village of Moschun, Kyiv region.
    On March 16, three Russian soldiers entered his yard, one of them killed his friend Serhii with two shots from a machine gun at close range. Serhii himself was wounded three times - in the shoulder blade, in the arm and in the leg, after which he collapsed on the threshold of his house. He lay on the floor for six days until he was picked up by the Ukrainian military. On the way, they accepted the battle, but were able to fight back. The military was told: "You have nine lives, like a cat."There is a freshly dug shallow pit five meters from the door of Serhiy's house. Here was the body of his friend, who had been reburied a few days ago at the local cemetery.

From the Concentration of the Will at M17Raisa Korzh (From the series "Faces of war")50x70 cm, canvas, digital print, 2022Price on request

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    Raisa Korzh, 65 years old. Polisky district, Lisove village.
    At the end of March, three armored personnel carriers with three dozen Buryats drove into Raisa's yard. They wanted to drag Raisa into an armored personnel carrier. She was on her knees begging to save her house. Before that, they robbed and burned many houses in the village. Three Buryats entered her house, one of them ate the cheesecakes she had just cooked, overturned and destroyed the furniture, and shot the TV with a machine gun. Raisa was standing in the corner of the kitchen and praying that she would not be killed, when suddenly she was hit from behind with something painful in the arm, it was a Buryat who pierced her through with a bayonet knife, and then methodically began to beat her on the head with a hammer until she began to lose consciousness. They beat her to give the keys to the ATV, which Raisa did not have.

From the Concentration of the Will at M17Oleg Valovy (From the series "Faces of war")50x70 cm, canvas, digital print, 2022Price on request

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    Petrovych, aka Oleg Valovy. A resident of the village of Gorenky near Kyiv.
    His weapon is a hunting rifle. His Teroborona at the beginning of the war consisted of 12 people, later - 24 thanks to men who evacuated their families and returned. There were days when Teroboronov fighters extinguished fires in five to seven houses, their tools were buckets and shovels. The Russians destroyed the local fire station in early March. Over time, the Teroboronov team of Gorenka converted the sanitation truck into a fire truck. Thanks to this, it was possible to save dozens of houses from fire.

Concentration of the Will at M17


Oleksandr Chekmenov's portraits

Throughout the war, Oleksandr Chekmenov has been capturing both people and destruction. Ruin of lives, external and internal worlds. He captures in his portraits the history of Ukrainians against the backdrop of the horrors brought by the "russian peace". 
"I highlight the main thing - a person, whoever they are: eyes, state, clothes. Hands are always in the frame, as they say as much as the face." ~ Oleksandr Chekmenov


About the artist

Oleksandr Chekmenov was born in Luhansk, the city located in Eastern Ukraine, Donbass. Alexander started his career as a photographer in a small photo studio in his home town. On the free of work time he photographed people on the streets and homes, who were effected the most by economical crisis after Soviet Union collapse. HIs work give an intimate and unique insider view on transition of coal mining region in 90-s in Eastern Ukraine. He moved to Kiev in 1997, where he works as photojournalist.His work has been published in New York Times Lens Blog, Time Magazine and Time Light Box, New Yorker Photo Booth, MSNBC, Quartz, The Guardian, Vice Magazine, Liberation.

  • List of the exhibitions

    Museums:2020 - 287 prints from various series were purchased by MOKSOP Museum, Kharkiv, Ukraine.2019 - 15 prints from the Passport series were purchased by the Ludwig Museum, Germany.2018 - 12 prints from the Passport series were purchased by the "Mystetskyi Arsenal" Museum, Kyiv, Ukraine.2018 - 2 prints from the Donbass series were purchased by the "Märkisches Museum Witten", Germany. Exhibitions:2022 - Personal exhibition "Citizens of Kyiv", Arles, France.2022 - Group exhibition "Focus Ukraine" Kunstsammlungen & Museen Augsburg, Germany. 2022 - Personal exhibition „Faces of War“, Hoogsteder Museum Foundation, Hague, Netherlands.2020 - Personal exhibition „Forgotten Land“, Klaipeda Culture Communication Centre, Lithuania.2019 - Group exhibition La Maison de l’Image, Grenoble, France, series "Deleted".2019 - Group exhibition “Transit”, State Litarature Museum, Odesa, Ukraine. 2019 - Group exhibition Suwon, South Corea, "Suwon Photo", series "Euromaidan".2018 - Group exhibition Kyiv, Ukraine, PinchukArtCentre, A Space of One's Own series "Winners".2018 - Museum "Märkisches Museum Witten", Germany, series "Donbass".2018 - Group exhibition, series "Passport", Ludwig Museum, Budapest, Hungary.2018 - Group exhibition Image Singulieres, Sete, France, series "Passport".2017 - Personal exhibition Folia Gallery, Paris, France. series "Passport".2017 - Group exhibition Kyiv, Ukraine, PinchukArtCentre, series "Passport".2016 - Personal exhibition Blue Sky Gallery, Portland, USA. series "Donbass", "Passport".2016 - Group exhibition Suwon, South Corea, "Suwon Photo", series "War in Donbass".2015 - Personal exhibition in gallery "Palffy Palace", Bratislava, Slovakia, series "Donbass".2014 - Group exhibition The Side Gallery Newcastle, UK "LEGACY Series Warriors 2014 - Group exhibition Vienna Künstlerhaus series Warriors 2014 - Group Exhibition Third Floor Gallery, Cardiff, UK. series Warriors.                     2014 - Personal exhibition gallery "Clara Maria Sels", Duesseldorf, Germany, series "Mad World".2014 - Grand Prix "Photographer of the Year of Ukraine 2013".2013 - Museum "Märkisches Museum Witten", Germany, series "Donbass".2012 - First Kyiv International Biennale of Contemporary Art "Arsenal 2012", series "Winners".2012 - Personal exhibition "Clara Maria Sels" gallery, Duesseldorf, Germany, series "Donbass".2010 - Group exhibition 3rd Festival of documentary photographs", Poznan, Warsaw, Poland,series "Donbass".2010 - Group exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Perm series "Donbass".2008 - Group exhibition "4on4. Ukrainian Contemporary Photography" House of Photography, Vilnius.2007 - Personal exhibition in gallery "Yagalereya", Kyiv, series "Black and White"2001 - Personal exhibition in gallery "Zamek", Poznan, Poland, series: "Passport", "Lilies", "Blind", "Easter", "Portraits", "Miners".2000 - Personal exhibition in gallery in Poprad, Slovakia, series: "Passport" and "Lilies".2000 - Winner of the European competition of documentary photography Vevey, Switzerland for the series "Ukrainian passport".1994 - 1st prize "Ukrpressphoto", Kyiv, Ukraine, category "New Names".