To see artworks

On April 13, 2023 at Test Gallery took part an exhibition of Oleksii Shcherbak, one of the most promising emergent artists of the Ukrainian art scene.

The exhibition mainly features new drawings and paintings by the author. "I present a kind of utopian episode from my universe, where my characters allow themselves to close their eyes at will, to go deep inside themselves in search of answers, for self-defense, so as not to see the surrounding horrors, those that negatively affect them or destroy completely. What sometimes I, as a person, cannot afford. In certain situations, our closed eyes are tantamount to a crime. But at least somewhere someone can afford it". Oleksii Shcherbak.

"The works that are on display are an investigation of the artist's personal emotions and its irritating, occasionally destructive factors, or an effort to draw them out of the unconscious through artistic representations. a symbolic, perhaps artificial, attempt at escapism.

Eyes closing can also be a response to an instinctive reflex, which is seen as the body's protective reaction to pain. As an illustration, in the event of a hit or severe discomfort, the brain can instruct the facial muscles to move away from the potential pain source, so preventing injury to the eyes. Hence, closing the eyes can be a conscious or unconscious reaction to pain, aiding in focusing on the sensation and safeguarding the eyes from potential harm. In the framework of artistic works, to safeguard one's mental health," says Test Gallery co-founder and curator Kateryna Pidhayna.

Contact:, Kateryna Pidhayna

About the artist:

Oleksii Shcherbak was born in 1997 in Chernigov, Ukraine. Last 9 years based and worked in Kyiv.

He was addicted to drawing since early childhood, inspired by cartoons,games and comics.

4 months after the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, the artist came to Paris where he entered the l’école des Beaux-Arts.

In his works, the artist often combines traditional oil painting with graphic elements reminiscent of a comic book and adds illustrative elements, using it as a tool to enhance the inner state of the hero. His works have a touch of nostalgia of the XIX century. They also often have a dark fairy-tale Victorian tint.

The author mostly reflects on the basic existential questions of man, love, and the relationship between people and the world around them.

The author embodies his inner feelings through enigmatic characters from another universe. He gives each one a name. And in each painting he writes short mysterious stories about them and perceives it as poetry.

He is inspired by Renaissance painting and many contemporary artists such as Odd Nerdrum, James Jean, Nicola Samori, Kim Jung Gi, Ruprecht Kaufman and others.

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