Vsevolod Covtun
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Vsevolod Kovtun

Vsevolod Kovtun is a Ukrainian photographer, photo book author, publisher, collage artist, and poster designer. Before the full-scale invasion of Russia into Ukraine in 2022, he lived and worked in Kyiv, and now he practices his profession in the West. He is known in professional circles not only as a practicing photographer but also as a theorist of photographic art. He led the “Photo Critique” section for several years and was the editor of the department at a glossy specialized magazine. He conducts master classes and individual lessons, and he is the compiler of several art albums by other authors.

collage vsevolod kovtun somewhere warm
Collage by Vsevolod Kovtun “Somewhere warm”

Currently, Vsevolod has six photo books on various topics to his credit. The first Ukrainian performative book “Countdown” (“Vidlyk”) was released in 22 copies, and some of them ended up in museum collections. It is dedicated to the events of the Ukrainian Maidan in Kyiv in the winter of 2013-2014. Vsevolod used the zero kilometer sign, installed on the Maidan, as a reference symbol. The countdown from it was not only for geography but also for the new history of Ukraine. Another book by Vsevolod, “UKR.ITYA” is dedicated to signs of war, and bomb shelters that appeared in Ukrainian cities after 2014. It was recognized as one of the best photo books in Central and Eastern Europe in 2017-2018 within the framework of the European Month of Photography – 2018.

An important direction in Vsevolod Kovtun’s work is digital and analog collage. He co-founded the MetaCollaЖ magazine (closed in 2022 due to the war) and is a member of the Cutout Lovers creative association of collagists, whose members were scattered all over the world by the war.

collage vsevolod kovtun cooper pipes
Collage by Vsevolod Kovtun “Cooper pipes”

In previous years, Vsevolod worked in the technique of analog collage, for example, rethinking the legacy of world art (the “Chrestomathy” series and others). He mixed different styles and genres, and confronted reproductions of artists paintings in the most unexpected combinations, creating new meanings. For example, in the collage”Day One, Last Day” Vladimir Lenin stands with revolutionary sailors and soldiers of 1917 on the bloody-ashen background of Karl Bryullov’s “The Last Day of Pompeii.” And in 2023, it is already impossible to perceive this collage other than as the artist’s foreboding of the disaster.

Vsevolod’s collages created after the start of the full-scale invasion of Russia into Ukraine acquired a new sound. For example, he uses photographs that his 85-year- old mother tore from the family album in a hurry during evacuation. These photographs – fragile memories of past life – had to be simply wrapped in a plastic bag because refugees could only take essentials.

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