Sergei Sviatchenko’s “For Light and Memory”

by: Bianca Ozeri

January 18, 2013

A horse has a tufted pillow for a muzzle. A gargantuan hand smokes a cigar with an astronaut. And many faceless humans. These are the imaginings of Sergei Sviatchenko, arguably the most influential collagist of our time.

The Ukraine-born, Denmark-based artist debuted “For Light and Memory” this week at Berlin’s Gestalten Space. The exhibition includes both Sviatchenko’s surreal collages as well as his paintings. The former are more notable. Pulling material from his own photographs, the Rock & Roll era, and avant-garde cinema, Sviatchenko creates worthy meaning out of seemingly meaningless fragment. His collages, though, are as humorous as they are pensive. Whether he likes it or not, silliness pervades conceptions of his work. Here at the WILD, we happily welcome the lightness!

Sviatchenko is also the creator of Close Up and Private, every prep’s favorite style blog! There are some lovely clean cut photos of pretty men, but the “Etiquette for the Modern Classicist” page, where Sviatchenko posts his aphoristic wisdom, is far more entertaining. In many of his declarations, you can hear his collages: “Serge Gainsbourg looked smart in a trench coat and so do you”; “The Beatles sir, listen to them – and do so regularly”; “Cherish a good relationship with your parents.”

We’re all ears, Sergei. Thanks for the advice, in all its forms.

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