Stepan Ryabchenko
Born 1987 in Odessa, Ukraine
© Photo by Alexander Kozachenko

Stepan Ryabchenko is a Ukrainian artist, architect, one of the prominent representatives of digital and new media art. His work spans conceptual architecture, sculpture and light installations. The focus of his attention is the boundary between the real and virtual world and the research of the new nature of art. In his artwork, the artist creates his own digital universe with its heroes and mythology. Well-known for his monumental prints and video-art installations of non-existent characters, including Computer viruses, Electronic winds, Virtual flowers, etc.

“The time has come to think about what we are doing and why, the time to look deep into ourselves and return the light to art and, consequently, to our life."

Stepan Ryabchenko
Odessa, Ukraine. April 29, 2020

The Hunter (2020)

digital print

On March 22, 2020, putting things in order in my digital archive, I came across the work “Pink Fox”, which I created in 2018.  At some point, I decided to open a working file and began to modify it.  The color of the digital Paradise suddenly changed, the plastic image of the main character has gained different shape, most of the present characters has left the space.  There was an alarm.  A hunter appeared.

 

Stepan Ryabchenko, artist

The Ark (2016)

digital print

The Ark is an image of the salvation of mankind in the digital age.

 

Stepan Ryabchenko, artist

Cumulus. From the Computer Viruses series (2014-2018)

Full HD video, computer animation

Power Pump. From the Computer Viruses series (2011-2018)

Full HD video, computer animation

The project is working with relevant issues for the 21st century, the ratio of the real and the virtual, exploring the specificity of their perception by the human mind. In today’s world a computer virus is virtually a social unit, each of them has its own history and peculiar interaction with the system. Based on these facts, Stepan Ryabchenko renders the virtual nature of the virus, giving it a shape and an image. Thus, the limit between the figurative and the abstract is overcome, the viewer’s attention is transferred to the external image, the focus shifts from the sense of threat in the direction of aesthetic perception.

 

Natalia Matsenko, art critic

Chernobyl. From the Computer Viruses series (2011)

digital print

Due to the date of activation on April 26 and its destructive properties, this computer virus, which caused the “epidemic” in 1999 in a number of countries, was called “Chernobyl”. In the name of a terrible catastrophe that has taken many lives, with long-term consequences for the entire world, and has become a symbol of how fatal human carelessness, irresponsibility, and concealment of the truth can be. This work, created in 2011, is gaining new reading in today’s situation, where the world is gripped by a previously unknown virus that has been the first such a global test for humanity since the Chernobyl disaster.

 

Natalia Matsenko, art critic

The Temptation of St. Anthony (2010)

290 x 387 cm, digital print on aluminum

‘The Temptation of St. Anthony’ by Stepan Ryabchenko is part of the large-scale project “Heroes” that was short-listed for PinchukArtPrize and chosen for the Ukrainian art landmark project at the National Art Museum “Myth. Ukrainian Baroque” along with well-known representatives of the “New Wave”. In his search for new forms of expressiveness within the framework of this plot, Stepan continues the tradition of its development by many artists, including Bosch and Dali. The plot, which in every era was presented as a phantasmagoric kaleidoscope of mythological characters, Biblical heroes, hints, and metaphors, our contemporary converts it into the new visual research using computer graphics tools. One of Ryabchenko’s formal goals is to unify abstract and figurative, which creates a possibility to implement one of the key desires of the (post)postmodern — to bring back the lost reality and to construct the new worlds. This work is the point of borderline collision with the past and a visual appeal to the future that defines present. It brings up to date the problem of testing with temptation that is an embodiment of a profound search of one’s Self.

 

Irina Iatsyk, art critic

Lemon Chickens will escape… (2009)

290 x 681 cm, digital print on aluminum