KhRMA continues the project “Cheers!” dedicated to the artists who will be celebrating their anniversaries in 2024. Despite the bloody war and all the extremely difficult challenges that have fallen to our fate, Ukraine is fighting for our Independence, for Freedom, for Identity. For the right to live freely on our land. Our museum is also fighting, popularizing the national art that identifies us as Ukrainians.
“The artistic practice of Volodymyr and Tetiana Bakhtov’s is unique in Ukraine. Revealing the relevance of ideas from the historical past of the Northern Black Sea region for modern Ukraine is an important step towards self-identification and self-respect of the nation, and leads to the sacralization of space, which encourages a more responsible attitude towards one’s life and environment. After all, moral and ethical ideas are formed, among other things, by artistic methods,” art historian O. Filonenko.
In the context of the current global challenges facing society, the works of Volodymyr Bakhtov acquire a special meaning. The artist seemed to feel, or perhaps was aware of, the relevance of the importance of identification and knowledge of one’s own historical past, because it is no coincidence that he made ambiguous references to it in his deeply philosophical works back in the second half of the 1980s. In general, his works are a kind of symbiosis of modern and archaic art. He recreates the lives of people, perhaps ancient, and perhaps contemporaries. Using the etching technique, the artist conveys both the warmth of the sun and the coldness of darkness.
Olbia (IV century BC) for the artist is the theme of his life and a place of strength and inspiration. Olbia means “Happy” in ancient Greek. For thousands of years, the city was defended until it was exhausted by constant wars and changes of power and disappeared (IV century BC) after the attack of the Huns. And now this protected area with a long history is under fire from the invaders. Before fleeing Kherson in early November 2022, the occupiers stole an etching by the artist from the museum, among other works of art.
After February 24, 2022, Volodymyr Bakhtov was forced to leave his blessed land and go to Germany. However, even away from his homeland, the artist continues to work, promoting contemporary Ukrainian art abroad and implementing projects designed to help compatriots who were forced to leave their homes.
Viacheslav Snisarenko once decided that he would not touch upon political issues in his works because they change frequently and, accordingly, works of this kind lose their relevance. And although “the events of today are also politics. But this is a bloody war for our existence, and therefore it will forever remain with us, in our memory,” the artist is sure. That’s why he is now reflecting on military themes. When the large-scale invasion began, Mr. Viacheslav thought that it was not the time for art, but life goes on, and the artist simply cannot help but create. He says that over time he got used to the constant anxiety. By the way, the artist’s studio is located on the 12th floor near the government quarter. So, the danger is absolutely real. He is inspired by the fact that Ukrainians are confident that everything will be fine. And we will enjoy the warm Azov and Black Seas, and we will collect amazing shells and enjoy the fruits of southern Ukraine, which Viacheslav Snisarenko has so skillfully and gracefully reproduced in his etchings, not without the influence of Ukrainian baroque prints.
Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Bakhtov is an artist and photographer, a master of graphics, etching, historical reconstruction, and the inventor of heliography. Honored Artist of Ukraine. Member of the International Association of Graphic Artists. Husband of the artist Tetiana Bakhtova. Born in 1954 in Zolote, Luhansk region.
1975 – Graduated from the Faculty of Art and Graphic Arts of the Odesa State Pedagogical Institute named after K. Ushynskyi (now – South Ukrainian National Pedagogical University named after K. D. Ushynskyi). Since then he came to work in Mykolaiv.
Since 1989, he has lived and worked in the village of Paturyne, Ochakiv district, Mykolaiv region, not far from the famous Olbia. There he founded the creative association “House of Bakhtovs” (2004). In 1986-1988, he took part in a voyage to the Mediterranean and Black Seas as part of the Black Sea expedition. Participant of land art symposiums in Ukraine. In Paris, at the famous Salon du Grand Palais, he organized the first vernissage of Ukrainian artists, where he was awarded a silver medal.
V. Bakhtov is also known as a book graphic artist. In 2001, his etchings were used in the book of poems and symphonies by Dmytro Kremen “Elegy of Trojan Wine” (Possibilities of Cimmeria Publishing House, 2001), in 2020 – in Lina Kostenko’s “Scythian Odyssey” (Lybid Publishing House).
V. Bakhtov was nominated for the Taras Shevchenko National Prize of Ukraine with the exhibition project “Ancient Codes of Ukraine. Sacred Reconstructions” in the graphic arts nomination (2019).
Viacheslav Mykolaiovych Snisarenko is a Ukrainian artist and graphic artist; Honored Artist of Ukraine. He was born in 1964 in Zaporizhzhia.
In 1979-1982, he studied at the Taras Shevchenko Republican Art School.
In 1992, he graduated from the National Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture (easel graphics workshop, professors Chebykiv A. and Kampanets M.). He taught at the National Transport University, Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute at the Faculty of Printing. He is a member of the Ukrainian Union of Artists.
Participant of many art exhibitions in Ukraine, Czech Republic, Spain, Japan, Belarus.
His works are in private collections in Ukraine and abroad.
He is the winner of many awards, including the 1st degree diploma in the nomination “Print” of the VIII All-Ukrainian Exhibition-Contest named after H. Yakutovych (2012 and 2018), the Fourth Prize at the International Triennial of Graphics in Kochi (Japan, 1993); many others. To help the Armed Forces of Ukraine, he offers his works at international auctions.
He lives and works in Kyiv.
Olena Skoruk, a researcher at the KhRMA.