you are what you are look at

You are what you are look at #2, 2021, Savchenko Gallery, Gdańsk, Poland.

“This is a project that grows and lives with me. It is about the most important thing about the people who surround me. Many of you, my relatives, friends, sometimes just acquaintances, and sometimes unknown, thanks to this project, travel with me and remind yourself of the pictures that have fixed such a special lookup. The view that, according to my observations, seems to pause for a moment, audits and even illuminates, reflecting the ups. Thank you for allowing me to be there. And because I looked at you, you  made me a little yourself. . .” Serhiy Savchenko 

“Every encounter, every person-to-person contact, even if we don’t notice it right away, has a mutually penetrating effect. Nowadays, in the constant battle for our attention, in the aggressive flow of advertising and information, people often escape by directing their gaze to nature, nature, the water sky, upwards. To a place where that aggression is not so intense.In this way we find a kind of resistance point, an opportunity to fix ourselves and our personality in space. But what we don’t always realize is how much it has been embellished by the aggression of the human ego. Social media – access to constant copying of your own photos often leads people to focus solely on themselves.
My project is also about that. When we direct our gaze to nature or the sky, we often feel relief and a special kind of peace or comfort. We can get this kind of effect by focusing our gaze on someone other than ourselves. This project gave me the opportunity to look closely at everyone I thought of while working on the project. Especially those people whose portraits I painted. In a way, unexpectedly, even to myself, I noticed that the contact and attention we experienced during our meeting in the creation of these paintings only intensified and deepened. As a result, it became clear that I had now become a little bit of you, giving you a part of myself. ” Serhiy Savchenko
The project started in 2013 and was first shown in Avignon (France) under the title “Hope up” at the International Festival Parcour de l’art in Meson de Villard. At that time there were about a hundred photographs of Ukrainians and Frenchmen who were not only close friends or colleagues of the artist, but also complete strangers. Titled “You are what you gut”, it was first presented in 2019 during the Days of Ukraine in Savchenko Gallery in Gdansk.

Exposition in Savchenko Gallery 16.11.2021-04.11.2021

paintings from project:

You are what you are look at #1, 2019, Savchenko Gallery, Gdańsk, Poland.

“You turn into what you love the most”. This quote by the famous Ukrainian philosopher Hryhoriy Skovoroda has always fascinated me. In the modern world, where the visual experience is increasingly important, we all seem to be on a permanent battlefield, relentless struggle for our attention. Attention became currency. We pay with our energy, time, and at the end of the day, we pay with our lives. Once I have noticed that when people direct their gaze upwards, their faces suddenly light up with imperceptible clarity and joy. Preoccupation and agitation disappear. I have noticed that gazes directed sideways, down and around are almost always full of action and agitation. They seem to be overloaded with mundane necessities, struggles, and efforts.” -Serhiy Savchenko, Gdansk 2019

Savchenko Gallery is pleased to announce the new exhibition of photography, paintings and multimedia art by the Ukrainian contemporary artist Serhiy Savchenko. For the first time, the gallery space will be dedicated to the artist’s collection of photographic images of people looking up as well as video recordings of an artist taking photographic images. The exhibition’s focal point will be a 3.20 X 2.10 meters oil painting that has never been exhibited before.

In “You Are What You Look At” Savchenko continually returns to the theme of humanism and humanistic values in contemporary art. He reflects on the works of the famous French philosopher and art historian Georges Didi – Huberman as well as Ukrainian philosopher Hryhoriy Skovoroda who both have raised the question of the interrelation between the image, the viewer, the society and the society’s ability of self – reflection through images. The artists started the project in 2014 during the Parkours de l’art festival in Maison de Villard in Avignon, France, where he exhibited a hundred images of his French and Ukrainian friends looking up. The project has now been updated with the images of his Gdansk friends as well as paintings and multimedia.

text: Olena Grubb / Serhiy Savchenko

Exposition in Savchenko Gallery 05.11.2019

“Hope up”, 2014, Festival Parcour de l’art in Meson de Villard, Avignon, France.