This April, Kyiv will witness a live embodiment of the famous song ‘Paint It Black’ by The Rolling Stones. The Sergey Makhno Gallery hosts “The Black Black Sea” exhibition, where each object from ceramics to paintings is made in black color. Destinations met with the founder of the gallery and one of the project’s participants, the renowned Ukrainian architect and founder of the first Ukrainian gallery of object design Sergey Makhno, to talk art, Ukrainian culture and black color.
What served as the main inspiration for this exhibition?
The idea was born way back in 2017 when we decided to make a project dedicated to the 15th anniversary of Makhno gallery. It's a good milestone, that's why my PR director Tatiana and I wanted to make something special, not just a commercial project but art, something you have to crack to understand. We have pondered the idea for a while and then decided to make a collaboration with Roman Mykhailov [a contemporary Ukrainian artist, famous for performances with fire]. Together we began working on the project called "The Black Black Sea", which, by the way, doesn't have anything to do with the Black Sea (smiles).
Oh! That's very peculiar. To talk colors, Yohji Yamamoto said that black is a color that means 'I don't bother you - don't bother me'. In the case of your art, what is the meaning behind the choice of color?
Black is my favorite color. As for the quote, he just copied from me (laughs).
Does it mean that you agree with that?
Absolutely, we complement each other.
"The Black Black Sea" exhibition
What was the most challenging project during the fifteen years of your design studio's existence?
You know, I don't think there have been challenges like this exhibition before. I don't really sleep at night, but I consider it a mild climate change (laughs).
If you were to embody the image of Ukraine in one of your creations, what would it be?
Vase from "The Black Black Sea" exhibition
You can find Ukraine in every art object of mine. If you look closer, you can see it in the details: the threads that join together my projects are one way or another connected to Ukraine. It's ceramics, tree, stones — it's history. These features manifest in my Gallery's works ever since 2003, when I first won the best interpretation of Ukrainian design and the modern chair contests.
Can you share a sneak peek of the upcoming projects or exhibitions?
We actually have many projects planned for this year. One of them is a project where exhibits are made from unburnt clay. It's a unique project, so far one and only in the world, which inspires me a lot.
“The Black Black Sea” exhibition will last from April 13 to 28 in Sergey Makhno Gallery. Entrance is free.
Authentic Ukrainian culture is an inexhaustible source of inspiration for many local and even foreign artists: objects from Trypillian culture to contemporary art installations have enchanted many and continue to influence the creative minds to this day. We are captivated by the beauty of art as well and are looking forward to the new intriguing projects.
Interviewed by Kate Pryliuk.
Photos provided by Sergey Makhno Gallery.