Mikhail CHEMIAKIN 1943 —
Михаїл ШЕМЯКІН • Михаил ШЕМЯКИН
Mikhail Chemiakin (also Michel Chemiakin) was born in Moscow in 1943. His professional education began at the Repin School of Art in Leningrad. For many years Chemiakin worked in the Hermitage Museum, a period that witnessed his aesthetic formation. His first exhibition of works was hosted at the Hermitage in 1964, only to be closed three days later by the Soviet Secret Police. Chemiakin draws his artistic inspiration from a group of early twentieth-century St. Petersburg artists, the World of Art (Mir iskusstva) movement, and the literary traditions of the Russian Silver Age. The myth of St. Petersburg figures heavily in his works, and the artist often evokes the magic of the city’s heritage. In the early 1960s Chemiakin participated in forming the St. Petersburg Group, which became one of the most prominent groups of the alternative art community in the Soviet Union. In 1971 Chemiakin emigrated to Paris. Since the early 1990s he has returned to Russia on several occasions to carry out artistic projects, such as the creation of a monument to Peter the Great at the Peter-Paul Fortress in St. Petersburg. Chemiakin is based in New York City.