Sergio Daniel Chetkoff- The healing power of art
Sergio Daniel chetkoff, born in Cordoba, Argentina 1962. An aware person that knows the limitation of a life, and making the best of it. Has a beautiful family of four children (29-5) Now expecting the fifth, I started creating art 29 years ago when sitar my oldest son was born. I’m a self taught artist, I spent 4 years in the army veteran with some degree of shell shock, it became a ‘modus Vivendi’.
I am a free person, freedom of religion, doctrines. I can say that the experience of life, the history of my family, has a very strong influence on my art, the subject matter, the point of view.
I am from an immigrant family. Ukraine, Argentina, Israel… My father had a lot of adventure stories about the countryside in Argentina, where he grew up in the warrani Indians territory. Guns & knives… add to that his story as a pharmaceutical traveling agent and hunting officer, away from home for weeks in the most remote places of Argentina, where you have to hunt your next meal…
My father had a large collection of rifles and guns. One night, my father caught an intruder at home and shot him. Then we had no choice but to leave Argentina. We came to Israel in 1969. As much as I tried to blend in (Israel), in language&culture Wise serving the army (especially there), I found myself with great conflicts with my expectations. A month after i started the service, my platoon was involved in an incident in the occupied territories. (1980).
My platoon was interviewed in the media, the reporter wanted to know if it was true, the beating and mistreating of the Palestinians, Women, children and elders… The next day I was sentenced to a week in the base Gail. In the penitentiary I had the time to think about the rest of my service. Then and there I decided to become a separate unit, an individual.
Two years later, at the night before Lebanon war started, I wasn’t in the platoon. The regiment officer didn’t want to take me in, as much as I pleaded. So when they left to the war field, I stole the weapon and got myself into the war. Later, as a veteran when my oldest son was born, I started to paint, obsessively, and it has cured me. So I am a self taught artist. In 1989 I immigrated to California with my family.
The Latino street art and culture in California, looked so familiar, that I could blend in. Got a job as a billboard painter, and had 4 years of intense learning from the artists working next to me, and earning good money. Did some shows in L.A galleries. The last was in the LACMA museum. A month before, The earthquake was an intense experience for us. We left California back to Israel at the end of 1994. Looked like there is an optimistic future for this region.
As we got to Israel, I found a studio in Florentin quarter south of Tel Aviv, and started doing shows and installations of my work. Got a lot of reviews of important art critics. The studio became a place where artists of all art forms meet, and change ideas. At the beginning of 2006, I left the quarters to a different site in Tel Aviv metropolitan. Did this did that…
Now in these days, I have a studio in the Bat Yam City, given to me as a teacher in the Bat Yam Art Institute, And I also share a studio with my wife, working on a special project together.
What’s your background in art?
I am a completely self taught artist. I worked as a billboard painter, In large formats, Usually I work With oil and airbrush. I have a background also in creating movies and theatre sets. Sculpting and installations. I made solo and Group projects. That’s the outdoor work. I spend most of my time and work in my studio. Preparing the exhibitions in the galleries.
Your Art is very realistic, your technique is very high level, Can you tell us how did you get to this Technique Quality and how long it took you to get to this level?
I believe that in order to do realism you need a strong observation ability Of the subject matter, free of misconceptions, looking at the overall reality regardless of ego and religion. Just like a scientific observation… And a good feel and understanding of the materials and tools used for the making of art. The choosing of a composition, the point of view, with consideration of the potential viewer, enhance the subject to its real meaning and appearances. Starts with the ‘chiaro scuro’ limited palette search of the subject to appear on the canvas… Looking for patterns that make the texture the substance. And juxtapose the dark and lights…
Why do you focus specifically on still life?
The still life I do represent the feeling I have at the time. I do another genre on larger formats, sea/land/cityscapes, people, mixed media, Installations and murals. The still life is a reflection of the outside world, a reactor in the inner world to the reality outdoor.
Did you participate in exhibitions in the last years? Yes, from time to time I do participate in exhibitions that I feel right about. In my career, I did a lot. Mostly in my own studio (shows and installations), since I didn’t want to be attached to any of the established institution. Working on an exhibition all times, and when the time and place is right, it happens.
How much time you invest in a painting until its finish?
The last painting I did, took 29 years to do. So the rest I have done this year. If the model is alive, I am limited to the time. Sometimes the work stays for weeks on the easel, because I have other projects to do, so it might happen that I have 4 -5 canvases on the easel waiting to be done.