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Exhibition of drawings from Vysotsky’s poetry held in Vitebsk

Exhibition of drawings from Vysotsky’s poetry held in Vitebsk

The Two Fates exhibition will stay open until August 31st at Vitebsk Music Hall. It is prepared by the Russian-American artist Mikhail Shemyakin, who met the legendary bard in 1974 in Paris: Shemyakin lived in the French capital, and Vysotsky often came there to visit his latest muse and wife Marina Vladi.

The poet and the artist quickly made friends, as harmonious as salt and pepper. Vysotsky devoted songs to his friend. After the death of the poet, inspired by his verse, Shemyakin created a series of 42 illustrations over a period of six years: one for each year of the poet’s life. The Illustrations cover such themes as ‘The Great Patriotic War’, ‘The Civil War’, ‘Russia’, ‘Destiny’, ‘Alcohol’, ‘Hunting for Wolves’, ‘Mental Hospital’ and ‘Flowers of Evil’.

The artist considers his works on the theme of war to be the most dramatic, even though they are grotesque and comedic in manner. To treat art ironically is Shemyakin’s creed. He says that Vysotsky also looked on life with a good sense of humour.

According to Shemyakin, the exhibition is a double portrait: a memorial to Vysotsky and his creative work, and to the artist’s story of himself and the age in which he has lived.

By Yevgenia Litvinko
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