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Country of the sun. Artist Yevgeny Tkachenko

Yevgeny Tkachenko is one of the artists of the socialist realism era who experienced the social and aesthetic upsurge of the sixties, with such vivid power that captured the atmosphere of the thaw … But in his painting the tactile tangibility of being and sun worship were combined with the simplicity of almost banal, unassuming street subjects. This is the very nakedness of life, the warmth of the moment, the veracity of artistic imprinting.
His paintings are a moment of life. Here, passers-by somewhere are hurrying along the streets of its Odessa, here is the beach filled with bronze bodies of bathers, here are the colorful facades of buildings, here are the old and new quarters of the city with contrasting play of light and shadow, colorful still lifes, emotional portraits …
This is what we now call so habitually – “the painting of the old school”.
A selection of his works can be called “the land of the sun”, an ingot of natural, good energy. This is the dialogue of the artist with the luminous element. The painting of Tkachenko was clearly ahead of the time of the 50-60s, and only today it shows its true meanings.

This painting brings to mind the French Impressionists, almost forgotten at that time, or the subtle lyrics of the landscapes Konstantin Korovin, and the Odessa teacher of painting at the school, the founder of the whole school, Kiriak Konstantinovich Kostandi in particular … art.

The works of Tkachenko do not fit into the official expositions of the 70s, because there are no odious characters, “heroic” events of socialism, ideological adjusted plots. He, a machine gunner-front-line soldier, not without reason, avoided any pretense, untruth, pretentious heroics. Simplicity was his style. Yes, in his paintings the painting of the era of social realism, but without this custom social realism itself, with internal deceit, deliberate fiction of events and strained moral collisions. Without exalted milkmaids, spiritualized builders of the socialist world, and wise, like forefathers, general secretaries. Tkachenko is a sincere artist, one who always and in everything sees and speaks the truth … And that means that he was alien to, unacceptable in all this cynical attitude towards painting as a way of obtaining comfort, prestige, career and wealth. Such a person has no reason to lie. After all, he was also a poet, and even published a book of his poems, filled with light and picturesque color.

In the sky, the black star Altair
Crumbled with all the colors
As if he wants to express in words
How furiously colorful the world is.

How beautiful the fabulous world is
Pinkish, green and blue …
Holiday colorful spots and lines
In the sky, the black star Altair.

And how much romanticism and optimism of the 1960s are in its lines! How much is the spirit of that glorious era in it …

His paintings are simple and, moreover, difficult. And here the simplest scenes of life are playing with coloristic luxury, something that is so customary to see every day, going out to the street, to work … These are the true joys of everyday life. This coloristic gift of seeing a very high standard and makes it a great truthful painter, noticeable among other contemporaries. Tkachenko is an artist – an epoch that expressed his time, his spirit.
Romantic, in love with the beauty of the earth and the pristine purity of color, the artist managed to combine in the canvases both.
And how often he portrayed the sun point-blank, putting his red-hot disk directly into his picture, sketch! Only Van Gogh was able to do this in his ascetic, revolutionary for the art of impressionism, the “Arles period”. This sun was no longer a temporary state of the day, an indispensable source of the appearance of the world, but a direct portrait of the sun. And with what a perfect instinct, Tkachenko takes accurate, real coloristic relationships, not falling into blackness or disunity, but being always simple and not too tricky, being the ideal realist in such a difficult task for an open-air painting.

The drawing of his paintings often looks somewhat rough, hastily-rough, even awkward in the movement of the bristle brush. The desire to please, flatter the model and the nature is not exactly there, because this is not the point of personal pictorial aesthetics for him. Tkachenko does not allow any glamorous chic, pseudo virtuosity, cheap decorativeism, shading, but gives only true tonal relationships, which they really are. This is true realism, as in his great teachers, impressionists. But what a relaxed, lively nerve, lyrical feeling! This is the philosophy of the author’s vision. So many living, non-trivial feelings can be produced only by a cinematograph in tune with the artist – Hutsiyeva and Fellini … And the very behavior of his paint – when she was transferred to a canvas in pure form and there she became not only the color, but the living, quivering flesh of the world … Yes, there is no paint, but there is a painting.

This persistent interest in the luminary that warms the earth, this need to depict the sun and allows you to talk about the cosmic vision of this artist, his special, warmed by a sense of harmony – the earthly world order.

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