Together, 2006, acrylic on canvas, 120 x 250 cm, courtesy of the artist and Rosenfeld Gallery, Tel Aviv, private collection, Israel, photo: Ran Erde
Almost all of Cherkassky's works feature distinct grotesque elements, combined with a generous helping of black humor - from the exaggerated figures to extreme satirical narrative scenes. The exaggeration, irony and humor wish to wake the viewers up from their apathy, gain their attention and gently break through their defensive barriers. The artist's criticism is mainly directed at establishments of all kinds while her searing satire is a function of her subversive joy at breaking rules, crossing boundaries and desecrating any kind of hallowed institution.
Together (2006) shows a scene that takes place in a German immigration office. The uncanny feeling which characterizes her work as a whole is manifest here in the mask-clad figures and the exaggerated face of the clerk who decides peoples' fates, calling out the roster. German obedience and lawfulness are ironically combined with the supposedly respectable monstrosity of the immigrants themselves. Cherkassky's variegated inspiration sources - from early 20th Century Russian art to Medieval Jewish illuminated
manuscripts - are buttressed further here by images alluding to Western Modernism's desire for the "primitive," shining a cynical light on contemporary neo-Colonial trends. Self-irony, alienation and misleadingly naïve expressions all act to highlight the absurdity, the abjectness and the surrealism of both the corridors of power and the soul itself.
Born in Kiev, Ukraine, 1976; lives and works in Tel Aviv and Berlin