The gallery hosted a symposium celebrating creativity of Mykola Babak and Evgene Matveev, with participation of the duo and Prof. Donald Kuspit, one of America's most respected art historians and art critics. It is rare that two accomplished artists, who previously had received all possible national honors and international recognition as individuals, decide to join forces combining their ideas and artistic expressions. What are the roots of BM Babak-Matveev? One must look to Gorbachev’s Perestroika and the transformation of the Soviet Union in the second half of the 1980s which culminated in Ukrainian independence in 1991. The resulting new social and political order unleashed a variety of philosophies and individual freedoms, some of which showed up in artists’ paintings and other art forms. Fast forward to the tumultuous events of 2013 - 2014 in Kyiv: The Ukrainian revolution, known as Euromaidan spurred the creation of Babak-Matveev. The artists unite around the belief that only through Ukrainian identity, through modern transformation and the modernization of Ukrainian artistic thought and through the integration of the national philosophy into an international process can a path be paved for their country’s future. The creativity of Babak-Matveev stretches across multiple disciplines and involves work in different media, book design, literature, poetry and philosophical conceptualizations. As Donald Kuspit wrote in Whitehot magazine, “Babak-Matveev ‘Family Album’ (‘Transgression of a Double Reflection’) is dialectically absurd digital masterpiece.”

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