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Nuclear Art

Everyone knows of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. The Chernobyl disaster was a unique event and the only accident in the history of commercial nuclear power where radiation-related fatalities occurred. Nowadays Chernobyl is a timeless source of adventures, exploration, and inspiration. It inspires artists, filmmakers and all other creative and adventurous souls alike.


The catastrophic perception of the world is one of the markers of the Baroque consciousness, whose imagery continues to bloom in the visual era since Baroque Mazepa. Chernobyl becomes a powerful and negative representation of the presence of Ukraine as a part of the USSR.


The first creative reflections of the Chernobyl catastrophe were the most illustrative. Yuri Kosin and Victor Maruschenko devoted many photo cycles to landscapes and people of the exclusion zone, having been there when it was dangerous for life.


Chernobyl, April 1986. Photo made by Yuri Kosin (Source: www.yurikosin.com).

“This never-seen-before photographic collection tells the incredible stories of liquidators, soldiers, scientists, and residents throughout Belarus, Ukraine, Russia, Latvia, Germany, Sweden, and France that have been socially, politically, and medically impacted by the catastrophe, creating a global perspective of the tragedy” – said Mr. Kosin about his work.

In 1994, Yuri Nikitin, consistently adopting the tradition of Ukrainian Baroque to modern times, creates a desperate "Chernobyl Mother of God".


“Chernobyl Mother of God” by Yuri Nikitin, 1994. Oil on canvas. (Author of photo Courtesy).

After Chernobyl Ukrainian art with it's head gone into mysticism, passion for "deformations" and fear for the future. For artists, the global technological catastrophe has become a sole harbinger of rebirth, not collapse and death.


“Milkmaid of Bordeaux” Alexander Roitburd, 2012. Photo used from www.wikiart.org.

Another side of "inspired Chernobyl art" is street art. Some of the pieces are large and obvious, but many are small and finding them became a bit of a quest. A few years ago, the Portuguese artist decided to leave his mark in Pripyat too.


Street art in Chernobyl by Pantonio, 2016. Photo by Maxim Dondyuk from www.facebook.com/pg/pantonioo.

He also painted a smaller artwork in Chernobyl showing rabbits and an egg. The artist has depicted the birth of a new life after a great disaster. Rabbits symbolize the return of the animals, and the rebirth of all living creatures in the territory, which was considered not compatible with life. Despite the tense situation on the eastern board of Ukraine thousands of photographers, tourists and urban decay enthusiasts are still visiting this beautiful place every year.


Many people think Chernobyl is a scary place. I disagree. Nuclear art, which was a product of terrifying disaster, full field by sadness, loneliness and endless imagination. All of these aspects we could see through the masterpieces.

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© 2014 Podorvanov Art Gallery 

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