Valera and Natasha Cherkashin are established Moscow artists who have been working together since the early 1990s. Since the 1960s and the first conceptual acts of Valera were documented in his native Ukraine, performance and photography have been the media of expression. The artists are recognized for their photography and video, performances and installations throughout Russia, the United States and Europe. Major museums and institutions worldwide collect their works.
Since 1999, the Cherkashins have been working with digital photography and video. In 2005 they began work on their present project, Global Underground, which takes its first images from the New York City subway. A virtual subway is created which makes stops around the world from Moscow, New York, Stockholm, Beijing, London, Paris, Berlin and Tokyo. Today’s unique digitally produced photographs and video projects document the similarities and differences found in underground rail transport systems around the world. The resultant images reflect the complexity and luminosity that draw the viewer into a virtual time and space. The combined evolution of the Cherkashin’s work and the technical advances in photography create a new order of transformation.
Valera was born in 1948 in Kharkhov, Ukraine and began living and working in Moscow in 1980. Natasha comes from a family of diplomats and was born in 1958 in Syria. The artists have participated in more than 80 individual exhibits and over 40 performances. Their work has been the subject of 30 television programs and over 250 publications.
First art happenings
Began making drawings and paintings.
First exhibition in Kharkov together with Boris Mikhailov and Vladimir Klim.
First exhibition in Moscow
Developed conceptual museum "The Cherkashin Metropolitan Museum".
Awarded grant from the Foundation of Social Innovations, USA, "New Leaders of Russia".
Began work on the theme of "Travel as Art".
Began work on the theme of "Mirages of Empires".
Began work on the theme of "Favorite Portraits of People in the World".
Received a four-month grant from Japan Foundation to live and work in Japan.
The Cherkashins begin to work with digital production with the assistance of MFA Photography and Related Media Department of the School of Visual Arts, located in New York City.
Received an award as from Creative Magazine and The Union of Journalists.
Began work on "Global Underground" project.
Monuments, Kultproekt Gallery, Moscow
Transportation Evolution, Dubai Experience, World Trade Center, Dubai
The End of the Epoch, Center of Photography behalf of the Luimer Brothers, Moscow
Project Global Underground, Bernstein Gallery, Princeton University
Valera & Natasha Cherkashin, Barbarian Art Gallery, Zurich
Global Underground, Galerie Blue Square, Paris
Metro in Art & Art in Metro, Project Global Underground, Moscow Museum of Modern Art (Zurab Gallery)
Global Underground, Kennan Institute, Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington, DC
The Night with a Pioneer Worker, Glaz Gallery, Moscow House of Photography, Moscow
XV International Festival "Month of Photography in Bratislava", Slovakia
Futurism & Nostalgia,Great Neck Arts Center, New York; Gallery of Martha Schneider, Chicago, Illinois
Real and Unreal New York, Union of Photo Artists, Moscow
Sport in Arts. Aphrodites of Russia, Municipal Art Center, Athens, Greece (Stella Art Gallery).
Fountain of Friendship, Indian Cultural Center, Moscow
Moscow, Putin's Era, Columbia University, New York
Favorite Portraits of People in the World, Fleet Bank, Empire State Building, New York
From USSR to Russia, Dickinson College, Pennsylvania
Supremacist Meditation, Intersection, Kara Kurum, Mongolia
Mirages of Empires, State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg (catalog)
Empires. Details, Municipal Art Gallery Phoenix, Moscow
Mirages of Empires, Russian American Cultural Center, New York
From USSR to Russia, International Center of Photography, Shadai Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
"Empires": Russia Past and Present, Together with Bill Wright and Steve Yates, Irving Arts Center, Dallas, Texas
Mirages of Empires, PhotoEspana 2000, Caja Madrid, Madrid, Spain (catalog)
Goodbye Favorite European Portraits: Hello Euro, World Bank Headquarters Atrium Pool, Washington, DC
Presentation, International House of Japan, Tokyo
Goodbye Favorite Portraits of European People, Municipal Art Gallery Phoenix, Moscow
The End of the Epoch. Installation, The World Bank, Washington DC
Russia/America: Mirages of Empires, Chevy Chase Art Center, Washington DC
Favorite Portraits of People in the World, Citibank, Washington DC
Mirages of Empires, Dickinson College, Pennsylvania
USSR Atlantis, Swimming pool, University of Maryland
The End of the Epoch, Kunstverein Rosenheim, Germany (catalog)
Moscow Washington, Carnegie Moscow Center, Moscow
The Mystery Play of Berlin, The Goethe Institute, Moscow
Moscow, the End of the Epoch, The Ford Foundation, Moscow
Press and Art, the German Embassy, Moscow
Mirages of Empire, The Russian House, Berlin
Memorial to Memorial, Russian Cultural Center, Budapest
German Atlantis, Underwater exhibition, Olympia Stadium, Berlin
Russians and Americans Brothers Forever, Together with Steve Yates, Municipal A 3 Gallery, Moscow (catalog)
Travel as Art. Under and Above, Municipal Art Center "Rama Art", Moscow
Moscow's Red Square in Santa Fe, Museum of Fine Arts, Santa Fe, New Mexico (catalog)
The Silver Century, Central House of Writers, Moscow
Under Cover, IBM Office, Moscow
The Cherkashin Metropolitan Museum and Collection of Sotsrealism, Kremlin, Palace of Congresses
Presentation of The Cherkashin Metropolitan Museum, A-3 Gallery, Moscow (catalog)
Excavations and Reconstruction of the Ancient World, Middle of the Twentieth Century, Museum of Paleontology, Moscow
The End of the Epoch, the 90s, Library of Foreign Literature, Moscow
Funeral of the Epoch, On the grounds of the Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
Branch of the Academy of Science in Noginsk, Chernogolovka.
The Maltese Embassy, Moscow
The Museum of Architecture, Moscow
"Pravda" Publishing House, Moscow
Lithographic Studio of the Moscow Union of Artists, Moscow
Perestroika, Fotofest Huston, Texas
Recent Acquisitions: Prints and Photographs, New York Public Library, New York
Portrait of 19 Million, Moscow Museum of Modern Art
About Transparency. In the direction of Eternal Ice, Kashirka, Moscow
PIP, International Photo Festival in Pingyao, China
New York, Then and Now, Moscow Museum of Modern Art
The Icons of the 1990's, Center of Photography behalf of the Luimer Brothers, Moscow (Catalog)
Art Palm Beach Fair, Florida
Art Miami, Miami
Contemporary Istanbul Art Fair, Istanbul, Turkey
Barry Friedman Gallery, New York
Festival Photovisa, Krasnodar Art Museum, Russia (Catalog)
London Biennale 2010
Art Dubai, Barbarian Art Gallery
Darvin Museum, Moscow
Mythology of Fractal, Gallery "Vector-A", Moscow
Psychodelic, Gallery "Vector-A", Moscow
Art about Art, the Russian State Museum, St. Petersburgh (Catalog)
Bridge Art Fair, Barbarian-Art Gallery, New York
Behind the Wall- Eastern Europe before and beyond 1989, Nooderliht Photo Festival, the Netherlands (Catalog)
Underground, Municipal Art Gallery at Solyanka, Moscow (Catalog)
Sots art, Political art in Russia, Maison Rouge Gallery, Paris
Dots, Museum of Modern Art, Rostov on Don, Russia (Catalog)
New Angelarium, the Moscow Museum of Modern Art (Catalog)
From Analog to digital Photography. 7 years of Photographer.ru., Yakut Gallery, Moscow
Art Moscow 2006, Partner Gallery
ARCO Madrid, Stella Art Gallery
Vienna's Fair, Stella Art Gallery, Vienna, Austria
Photo Biennale 2006, Central House of Artists, Moscow
Alternative Art of 60-90's, Central House of Artists, Moscow
IDEA Photographic: After Modernism, Museum of New Mexico, Museum of Fine Arts, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Moscow Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow, Museum of Russian Art, Ramad-gan, Israel (catalog)
Red Square in Photographs, State Historical Museum, Moscow
Photography Saves the World, Museum of Decorative Art, Moscow
Moscow in the period 1920-2000, Moscow's Museum of Contemporary arts (catalog)
Soviet & Post Soviet Sots Art & American Pop Art, Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis Minnesota (catalog)
The XX Century reflected in Covers, Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow
Russian Constructivist Roots: Present Concerns, University of Maryland, University of New Hampshire; Dickinson College, The World Bank Headquarters, Washington DC (catalog)
From Rodchenko to our days, Museum of Photographic Collections, Moscow
New Russian Art, Works on Paper from Kolodzei collection, Georgetown University, Washington DC
Die Grosse Zurcher Ausstellung, Kunsthaus Oerlikon, Zurich
Contemporary Russian Art, Collection of Lis Junstrup and Jens Gregersen, State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
New Acquisitions, Museum of Fine Arts, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Collection of Olga Hirshhorn, Corcoran Gallery, Washington DC
New Photoart from Russia, Karlsruhe; Frankfurt; Hanover; Dusseldorf; Herten, Germany
4+4 Late Modern, Museum of Fine Arts, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Art of Contemporary Photography, Central House of Artists, Moscow
Underground Paradise, World Financial Center, New York
Europe-America 500, Kolodzei Art Foundation, Seattle
Malevich Center, Museum of Paleontology, Moscow
To Malevich, Karenina Gallery, Vienna (catalog)
Gala-Portrait, Municipal A-3 Gallery, Moscow
Modern Russian Art, London
Artists developing the style of Malevich, Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
Moscow in Cambridge, Cambridge, Great Britain
Traditions of Russian Paintings, Museum of Reconstruction, Moscow
Exhibition of Soviet Erotic Art, Kashirka Exhibition Hall, Moscow
Photo '89. 150 Years of Photography, Manezh, Moscow
One Hundred Artists from the Collection of T. and N. Kolodzei, Central Museum, Tashkent
First All Union Photo Festival, Manezh, Moscow
The House of Cinematography, Moscow
Exhibition of Paintings "Spring-87", Soiuzvneshtrans, Moscow
Stankovaya Graphica on Malaya Gruzinskaya, Moscow
Photo Objective and Life, Manezh, Moscow
Third All-Russian exhibition, Manezh, St. Petersburg
Exhibition of Moscow Art, The Central House of Artists, Moscow
Sterligov's Group, Sterligov's Studio, St. Petersburg
Student's Club of KAI, Together with Boris Mikhailov Vladimir Klim, Kharkov, Ukraine
Art Institute of Chicago
Boston Museum of Fine Arts
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Houston Museum of Fine Arts
Santa Fe Museum of Fine Art
Zimmerli Museum at Rutgers University, Dodge Collection of Nonconformist Art from the Soviet Union, New Jersey
Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, University of Minnesota
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
Newseum, Washington, DC
The Library of Congress
New York Public Library
World Bank, Washington DC
State Russian Museum, St Petersburg
Checkpoint Charlie Museum, Berlin
International Center of Photography, Tokyo
"Their earlier work was crowded, rough and handmade, infused with the gestural quality of a Robert Rauschenberg silkscreen. Today they work primarily with digital imagery and computers to manipulate and combine their images. Smudgy photos, paste, paint and ink on photo paper and newsprint, have given way to sensuous and fluid three dimensional spaces - still packed densely with imagery - printed digitally on shiny smooth metallic paper.".
Casper, Jim, Ballet and Sport photocollages by Natasha and Valera Cherkashin, 2006 Lens Culture and individual contributors, from the World Wide Web: http://www.lensculture.com/cherkashin.html
"While the Cherkashins do not rely on photomontage or any other single art form, they do combine the heroic subjects and values from the Soviet history, including its art. They excavate others ideas, symbols and styles from the history of the Russian avant-garde.".
Yates, Steve, Curator of Photography Museum of Fine Arts, Museum of New Mexico, Santa Fe., "Ideological Deconstruction/Cultural Reconstruction: The Anti-Modern Photographic installations of Valery and Natasha Cherkashin", Mirages of Empires, The State Russian Museum, 2002.
"For the Cherkashins, the city is a stage upon which a range of performances are enacted. Architecture and inhabitants are assimilated into each other; but the city as theater is not static.".
Earl, Edward W., International Center of Photography New York, "Shining Cities: The Work of Valera and Natasha Cherkashin", Futurism & Nostalgia, Great Neck Arts Center, Cherkashin Metropolitan Museum, 2005.
"Life was Tough, but Happy" (1.73 MB)