My name is Andrey Savchenko («Andy») and I was born in the USSR (Ukraine) in 1963. At that time the country was not ready for my paintings, so a long, hard way of resistance laid before me. I started painting in my childhood, just drawing for myself. But I always felt that the limited territory of my country was not enough for me, I needed to travel, to come out from behind the Iron Curtain. The turning point was in 1980, when all the experience I had accumulated through my 23 years of life splashed out in my first conscious painting. The trigger for this was the song by Pink Floyd, “The Wall”. It opened a portal through which I could travel and transfer my experiences to canvas. Through music I destroyed the walls of the totalitarian regime, flying at bullet speed to a parallel reality, to worlds I had never known but loved very much for the unlimited freedom they promised. All I saw and felt was transferred to the page. So, my paintings were born, filled with freedom, emotions, protest. For a long time I found this in the language of surrealism, but every new trip needed to be more dynamic, and so abstract paintings appeared. This truly livened up my works. Even upon completion they continued to change everyday. They started taking on their own lives. Since 1986 I started to paint series of 20-30 works each. My stalkers of that period were AC/DC, Accept and Manowar. I sold my paintings on the streets, gathering numerous spectators. It's from these streets that several of my series were taken abroad to private collections in Israel, the US and Russia. At that time, it was very difficult to find the materials I needed to create my art. The most available paints were watercolour, and when I ran out of these, I had to paint with anything that came to hand. There came the drawing I made using paints for Easter eggs. It was not easy to be different during communism, any non-conformity was punished. I didn't escape such a punishment either and I was forced to the "purgatory of the USSR" – psychiatric hospital. There was the only one aim – to reprogamme me to be an ordinary Soviet cliché citizen. So, I spent 365 days in a psychiatric hospital with the intelligentsia of that time. Alongside poets and writers, rock musicians and composers, philosophers and artists I was submitted to a ‘Soviet purification’. It was a very interesting time. After the dissolution of the USSR I stopped painting and took a break of 20 years to reconsider this new reality. The world became different, we became different, but eternity stays unchanged. It continues showing me its facets and my internal rebel is still very much alive, writing my own freedom, manifested in paint on canvas.
1986 - exhibitions on the streets of my hometown