ALEXANDER BARKOVSKY

Alexander Barkovsky

1979 – Born in Tashkent

Education 1994 – 1998 – P Benkov Art College, Tashkent

2008 – Medialab, Moscow

2010 – Film Directors Course, Goethe Institut, Tashkent Exhibitions

2005 – Click Art, Central House of Photography, Tashkent

2006 – Constellation Post Scriptum, NBU Gallery, Uzbekistan

2007 – Video Art Festivals, Film Museum, Tashkent

2007 – 4th Tashkent Biennale

2008 – Youth Biennale, Stop! Who goes there?, Moscow

2008 – Blank, Urban Festival of Video Art, Moscow

2008 – Short Films Festival, Moscow

2009 – Field of Mars, Center for Contemporary Art, Moscow

2009 – My Love, My Friends, Museum Contemporary Art, Moscow

2009 – Stills Video Festival, Kazakhstan

2009 – Invideo Video Festival, Milan, Italy

2009 – 5th Tashkent Biennale

2009 – Climate and Art, Goethe Institut, Tashkent

2010 – 2nd Youth Biennale Halt! Who goes there?, Moscow

2010 – 1st International Youth Exhibition of Contemporary Art On-Off, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

2011 – Crossroads, Art and Fact gallery, Tashkent

2012 – Signs of the time, Tashkent

2012 – Faces of Time, Azerbaijan Biennale, Baku

2012 – Artdokfest, Grand Prix, Moscow

2013 – At the Crossroads, Sotheby's, London

2014 – Marker Project, Art Dubai, UAE

2014 – At the Crossroads 2, Sotheby's, London

2014 – VII International Tashkent Photo Biennale, Tashkent

2014 – Gypsy Madonnas, solo show, Andakulova Gallery (previously Alif Art Gallery), Dubai

2014 – Art Fair Dubai, Andakulova Gallery (previously Alif Art Gallery), The Address Hotel, Dubai

2015 – Rembrandt. A Different Perspective, group show, Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art

2015 – Topografica, group show, Bishkek Design Festival, American University of Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan

2016 – World Art Dubai, Andakulova Gallery (previously Alif Art Gallery), DWTC, Dubai Awards

2007 – 1st place You Artist! Contest, Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow

2008 – 2nd place Environment and Human Development Contest, State Arts Museum of Uzbekistan

2009 – Winner Black and White Portraits, Video Art Festival, Museum of Modern Art, Moscow

2009 – Award, Europe and Asia: A Dialogue of Cultures, Museum of Photography, Ekaterinburg

2012 – Bronze medal, Central Asian Independent Film Festival, Tashkent

2012 – Gold medal, Photography Biennale, Tashkent

2012 – Bronze medal, Reformat Festival, Museum of Contemporary Art, Goethe Institut, Kazakhstan 

My Work

Alexander Barkovsky started to develop his unique style and ideas from the completion of his training as book illustrator in the Art College in Tashkent (1994 - 1998). He attended lectures at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art, took park in a project called Media - Laboratory and completed a directing course at the Goethe Institute in Tashkent. He began boldly experimenting with mediums such as computer graphics, photography, photo collage and video, combining them with painting in search of his own visual style. 

Over time, the young artist has learnt to parody and present a skillful pastiche of modernity and its implications. This can be demonstrated in his series "Coca - Cola in Uzbekistan" and "Uzbekistan, the City of Peace and Friendship".
"Gypsy Madonnas" is an important milestone in Barkovsky's practice. The work is about gypsies roaming in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. These ancient people with mysterious culture and language who have lived off begging for centuries are known as Luli, or Jughi, or Mugat (Muslims). The local Police often scatter them away and the townsfolk try to avoid or ignore these vagrants. The Luli usually have no identification documents and are not counted by census, meaning that formally they do not exist.
The artist explores this taboo zone beyond the boundary dividing "decent" people and the gypsies. These photographs of gypsy women carrying babies whom the artist encountered in market - places, cemeteries, railway stations, by the mosques, and along motorways, are presented in the classical Renaissance iconography of the Madonna, thus blurring the definitions of status and class. The irony is in the denial of Uzbekistan's or indeed Central Asia's rich history composed of overlapping cultures and religious syncretism, bringing into question the modern constructs of national identity.
Barkovsky has elaborately framed these portraits in carved wood with expensive inlay to contextually and visually signify the lives of these gypsies, their history, their value and their place in an increasingly unequal society. This series is also accompanied by film inspired by Raphael’s “The Sistine Madonna” that depicts images of gypsies.
The Artist treats these images through an unusual technique. The photographs are printed as lithographs and the artist then colors the prints by hand using watercolors and tempera. Mechanically produced photographs then receive a warm immediacy of the artist's hand - drawn finishing touches thereby transforming their message and meaning.

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