Yuri Gorbachev has received international recognition as an artist since 1972 with one-man shows throughout Europe, Asia and the United States. He is represented in more than twenty major museums around the world including the Louvre in Paris, Stockholm Art Museum in Sweden and the Kremlin Museum in Russia. His work is also in the private collections of Armand Hammer, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Senator Edward Kennedy, Mikhail Gorbachev and UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali.
Born in 1948 in Uglovka, Russia, Yuri Gorbachev began his career as a Russian ceramic artist. Gorbachev studied ceramics in St. Petersburg and later received extensive training in painting and graphics in Odessa. He was classically trained in Soviet art academies and also acquired advanced degrees in philosophy and communication.
In 1991, while visiting the United States, Yuri Gorbachev's cousin, Mikhail Gorbachev, was overthrown during the fall of the Soviet Union. Fearing he and his family faced danger due to his success and his last name, YURI and his three sons immigrated to the US. He arrived with little knowledge of the English language but with an abundance of talent and charisma. After twenty years of working with ceramics, Yuri dared to change his medium to oil on canvas.
Since 1994, Gorbachev has traveled extensively, and his artistic development has moved from his naïve style to his most recent intricate works. Today he uses a sophisticated technique with precious metals like gold and copper along with specially formulated lacquers over oil on canvas. Gorbachev's unique and complex technique, developed over almost a decade, uses ceramic techniques on canvas to create texture and rainbows of colors that glow amid lines of gold that is reminiscent of Russian Orthodox icons.
Yuri Gorbachev combines the history, mythology and cultural heritage of his homeland with references to Russian and Balinese Folk Art, African rock drawings and masks, while precisely defining every form, every kind of object, plant or human figure.
His paintings express mythological and theatrical themes with architectural elements, strong design and high emotion. Gorbachev's playful primitive images tell stories of rural life, preserving in clay, glazes and paintings, a strong sense of an entire civilization.
At the end of 1999, Yuri Gorbachev had a joint exhibition in Prague, Czechoslovakia with Marc Chagall. This highly successful exhibition of original paintings was enjoyed by thousands of viewers and collectors.
Recently, German publisher, Bertelsmann completed a major book about Yuri Gorbachev for worldwide distribution. The cover of this book features a Gorbachev commission, an original painting for the 2001 World Cup.
In an article in the New York Times, journalist Carey Goldberg said of Gorbachev:
"There is no better interview subject than a man that just wants to make people happy. A man so brimming with energy that he repeats and re-repeats words of emphasis, a man with a mission so simple and sweet that it works for Americans and Russians and Indonesians alike. And there is no better art, to my taste, than art that radiates the same kind of "joie de vivre" so that it acts as a tonic to all those who see it, uplifting not only with its beauty but with an exuberance as potent as the blooming of northern plants in summer."
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