'Christ Is Not An Aryan' on top of the Axel Spinger Building in Berlin, 2007
Graduating in science in 1989 (Alla holds BSc in Mechanical Engineering and MSc in Technical Science), Alla enjoyed an exciting career in art exploring the notions of human identity, art and technology, and social role of the arts. Among her critical acclaim are three front page appearances in the leading national newspapers The Times (UK) and Bild (Germany) and articles in The Guardian, Independent, Jackdaw Art Review, Art Industry, Hello, Der Spiegel, Die Welt, Dancing Times, Evening Standard, ITV and BSN and other international press and media. Alla exhibited in the UK, Germany, South Korea and other countries. Her work is included in art collections such as the Royal College of Music and BBC Public Ownership Collection. She is a recipient of the Leverhulme Artist-in-Residence Award, UK Millennium Award, and Gold Medal of the Lead Awards. Alla is a RSA Fellow.
Prince Charles Portrait Series, 2000-02
This series of drawings and paintings was created following Alla’s sitting with Prince Charles at Highgrove. The portraits 'Black Prince', 'Prince of Cool' and ‘The Quotropic’ had featured on the front pages of the newspapers The Times (UK) and Bild (Germany), as well as on ITV, BSN, Der Spiegel, Hello, Jackdaw Art Review, and other press and media. ‘Black Prince’ as the cover of the literary magazine Der Freund (Germany) won the Lead Award's Gold Medal ‘The Best Magazine Cover of the Year in 2005'. The series were exhibited at Alla’s solo exhibition at Ebury Galleries (John Adams Fine Art) in London's Belgravia in 2002.
The 20th Century Dictators Series, 2002-07
This series of paintings, floor adhesive prints, posters, wallpaper design, a billboard and animation that explores the images of Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, Mao Zedong and Stalin in contemporary context going beyond the historical or documentary analysis. One of the series’ work 'Christ is Not an Aryan' animation was screened on Europe’s largest digital screen on top of the Axel Springer Building in Berlin and was dabbed as “one of three things to see in Berlin” by Bild newspaper (Germany) and BZ Magazine (Germany) at the time of the screening in 2007. The 'Siamese Twins' painting featured as ‘The Image of the Week' in The Times' Art Review. The ‘Naked Dictators’ were published in the literary magazine Der Freund (Germany) in December 2005. For the series the artist was named the 'Critic's Choice' by Saatchi Online in 2007. The works were exhibited at Alla’ solo exhibition at Crone Gallery in Berlin in 2007.
National Portrait Gallery Portraiture Seminars, 2002-06
Alla curated her own seminar series on modern portraiture ‘The Changing Face of Portraiture’ at the National Portrait Gallery in London debating how portraiture can escape the shackles of convention with leading artists and critics such as Maggi Hambling and Tim Marlow. The Times (UK) was the series’ Media Partner and wrote: “Alla Tkachuk believes that radical new concepts are needed in portraiture today. She would like to encourage 3D digital and installation portraiture, has invited [to the seminars] a cosmetic surgeon to discuss his work ‘sculpt faces’, commissioned a ‘sound portrait’ that uses computer software which translates image into music, and offered herself as a living portrait to grace the walls of the NPG. Tkachuk intends the choice of venue to be provocative. The NPG was established by the Victorians as a gallery about history and status of the sitter rather than the quality of the portrait as art.” (The Times, 13 June 2006).
5D Instigative Heads, 2004-08
The ‘Heads’ is an experimental work that explores the transformation of production and consumption of representational art through modern digital technologies. The ‘Heads’ are 3D scans of life facial expressions that were rendered in oil paints as ‘texture maps’ and digitally 3D modelled - merged, moulded and deformed - in space and time. These images were then integrated with electro-acoustic landscapes and augmented reality, printed in 3D and projected. The ‘Heads’ were shown at the National Portrait Gallery as part of Alla’s 'The Changing Face of Portraiture’ seminars in 2006. In 20017, they were exhibited at the Shunt, London, were viewers can interact with them though the motion sensing technology. In 2010, they were on show at renowned Balaklava Odyssey Media Art Festival in Crimea.
Social Art, 2007-onloing
Art not only can express issues, art can deal with the issues directly enabling people to work together towards a common goal. This art is called Social Art. While travelling in Kenya in 2006, Alla discovered that art education was limited in Kenyan schools and to fill the gap founded MASK (Mobile Art School in Kenya, www.mobileartschoolinkenya.org) dedicated to strengthening creativity and innovation of young people in Africa. MASK runs creativity clubs in schools and a creativity platform MASK Prize that now reaches young people and schools in eleven countries in Africa. MASK presented its work at UNESCO, Saatchi Gallery, Turner Contemporary, ROSL, and SOAS (UK), Nairobi National Museum and RaMOMA (Kenya), Library of Congress, Woodrow Wilson Center, and the White House in Washington DC which was acknowledged by the personal letter from Barack and Michelle Obama in 2013.
Opera Portraits series and other portraits, 1997 - ongoing
Alla painted the world-renowned opera singers live at in the Royal Opera productions, portraying them as stage characters. Sir John Tomlinson - as Boris Godunov, Boris Ismailov, Méphistophélès, Hagen, Hunding, and Asterious. Dmitri Hvorostovsky - as Onegin. Sir Bryn Terfel - as Wotan. Dame Felicity Lott - as the Marschallin. Angela Gheorghiu - as Magda. Sir Willard White - as Coppélius. Sir Thomas Allen - as Alfonzo. Jose Cura - as Samson. Marcelo Alvarez - as Werther. The paintings were exhibited at the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, Royal Opera House Shop, and the Russian Culture House in London. Among Alla’s private and public portrait commissions are portraits of Dame Ninette de Valois commissioned by the Royal Ballet, the Vice Chancellor David Dilks commissioned by the University of Hull, George Steiner commissioned by Queen Mary University of London, Academician U. Osipov commissioned by the Russian Academy of Science, Sir John Nott, Lord Bird, and other public personalities. Alla’ s portrait of Dame Darcey Bussell, was published on the front page of The Times in 1998.
From 2014, Alla writes a column on art and creativity for the Kenyan national newspaper The Star, and contributes to the RSA (UK) and the Results for Development Institute (USA) blogs, as well as magazines AD (UK), Childhood Education (USA), Private Sector (Kenya) and other publications, http://mobileartschoolinkenya.org/publications.html
Alla Tkachuk lives and works in London.