"There are no tyrannies that would not try to limit art, because they can see the power of art. Art can tell the world things that cannot be shared otherwise. It is art that conveys feelings."

 - Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the President of Ukraine 

Sergey Bratkov / Сергій Братков

Born in Kharkiv, UA
Lives in Berlin, DE

Sergey Bratkov (°1960) was born in Kharkiv, Ukraine, where he finished his studies at the Kharkiv State School of Art in 1978 and at the Polytechnic Academy in 1983. As a photographer, he became a member of the artists’ collective Litera A in the 1980s, and subsequently of the Rapid Response Group, which is known for creating provocative photo campaigns, as a reaction to political and social atrocities. Bratkov has been living and working in Moscow since 2000.

He creates series of photos, (video-)installations and performances. His works reflect the social reality of Russia and Ukraine, focussing on the life of the homeless, the poor and the impoverished middle-class. He shows social poverty in post-Soviet daily life and transforms it through very specific, at times absurd, choices in his imagery. His work is known for its brutal openness and biting irony, whereby provocation is a necessary evil for achieving the goal of gaining sharper insights. With his carefully staged visual language, Bratkov questions propaganda of a continent in transition: caught between a glorification of the Soviet system, on the one hand, and the illusion of a free market on the other hand, which has been idealised by mass media. These serially conceived photos of Bratkov are his artistic witnesses of social resistance. In 2002 Sergey Bratkov took part in the 25th  São Paulo Biennale and in 2007 he was represented in the Ukrainian pavilion at the 52nd Venice Biennale.