|Art gallery news||Nikolai Shmatko|
"Awful!" - that was the first reaction of the people who visited the presentation when they saw "The Ukrainian Potential"
The sculptor stressed that he was inspired to create this work by his recent travelling around Ukraine. "I was shocked of what I saw: ruins, poverty, a total decay. However on TV the politicians tell us that everything is fine and will be even better. But Ukraine is different. Now you will see the way it looks."
"Yes, this is what it is – the Ukrainian potential – a woman who has grown old but still cannot give birth to a child, cannot produce anything new. I didn't say that I would represent anything beautiful. I am trying to show life as it is. It is our bitch of a life. That is why there lies a dog near the woman and chews on a bone."
N. Shmatko deliberately exhibited his new work in the company of his earlier sculptures at which the politicians of the past and the present are depicted. The sculptor stated: "This is Ukraine and those who brought it to such a condition." Speaking about V. Yanukovich, the artist emphasized that in his opinion the current president had not realized totally his potential yet. "He has to go to people and listen to them but not cut himself off by "a flock" of guards, this will not lead us to anything positive."
N. Shmatko also represented an installation made of materials at hand which is a seven-meters composition being, by the words of the sculptor, his reaction to the statement of one of the ministers that he recently heard: "The minister stated that with giving subsidies the control will be toughened not only for the incomes but also for the expenses of people and they will be deprived of the help of the state if they buy expensive things for themselves. It means that the state offers us help on one condition only: we have to lead a dog's life. In other words, what do we receive from the state? A phallus, this is what we receive. So I decided to depict it. It is stylized, of course. I didn't want to make is close to a real one, or they would call me a pervert."
Gallery "Shmatko & Sons", 12.09.2010 (photos of Rafael Shmatko)