Born in Kiev (1962), USSR.
Lives and works in Kiev ( Ukraine) and New York (USA).
Donbass Chocolate, No. 10, 1997
C-print on aluminium
Commedia dell’arte in Crimea, 2012
3 C-prints on aluminium from a series of 20
Savadov first came to public attention in the mid-1990s when he published a series of fashion shoots of scantily clad models taken in cemeteries during funerals, with burials as the backdrop. The shocking and provocative juxtaposition of life and death, happiness and sorrow, power and weakness, transformed into an allegory of pretence and reality, has continued in his works until the present.
During the 1990s, at the time of the economic restructuring of newly formed Republic of Ukraine, he moved to work in disused industrial plants, initially in the coal fields of Donetsk. His Donbass-Chocolate (1997) series of large photographs made there show in close detail the semi-naked, coal-dust-caked bodies of former miners from obsolete coal fields, once the Stakhanovite hero-workers of the Soviet Union, now garbed, pathetically and vulnerably, by the wispy fronds of ballerinas’ tutus.
Savadov’s latest photo series Commedia dell’Arte in Crimea (2012), a reference to both the tradition of balagan and to Picasso’s ‘Blue Period’, sets the story of Pierrot, Harlequin and Columbine in the timeless spaces of the mansions, coasts, and forests of Crimea, brought up to date by reference to the current armed conflict with Russia.
In this absurd, melancholic allegory of fratricidal strife, these figures seem frozen, unable to act, without conviction or future.