Sergey Bratkov. Teddy. 2009. Colour print 30×40 cm. Edition 1 + 1AP
Sergey Bratkov was born in 1960 in the industrial city of Kharkov in Ukraine, where he studied at the Repin Art College and the Polytechnical Academy. Since 2000 he has lived and worked in Moscow. For more than twenty years, Sergey Bratkov has documented post-Soviet life in the streets of Kyiv, Kharkiv and Moscow, using irony and a very subjective approach to emphasise the aesthetic and moral taboos of contemporary Eastern European society. Bratkov’s native city – which after the fall of the Soviet Union has been inhabited by orphans, prostitutes and homeless people – is his source of inspiration. With his shots he freezes pressing social themes relating to a world lost as a result of a sudden and traumatic change. His portraits immortalise lonely and isolated people: (anti)heroes who live in a defeated universe, and whose only possibility of rebirth lies in the commercialization of their own bodies. In 2000 and 2001 Bratkov dedicated himself to important series of portraits such as Kids or Soldiers, Fighters Without Rules, Secretaries and Army Girls. Sergey Bratkov is one of the founders of the art group Fast Reaction Group, along with Boris Mikhailov and Sergey Solonsky.