Russian, 21st century, male.
Born 23 August 1977, in Leningrad (now St Petersburg).
Sculptor, installation artist. Public art.
Sergey Karev grew up in a family with ties to the metal industry in Russia, especially his father who was a skilled factory worker. Karev served in the Soviet army. From 2000 to 2006, he studied at the St Petersburg Stieglitz State Art and Design Academy. Inspired by the role of metal in his young life, Karev primarily works in non-traditional and industrial materials such as iron and steel. The artist examines sleek and shiny forms apropos of his industrial medium in various configurations of tubes and pipes to create a machine-like aesthetic. Yet, with this hard-edged medium, Karev is better known for sculptural installations inspired by forms found in the natural world. The subjects of these sculptures include ravens, birds, snakes, fruits, vegetables, maple keys, deer antlers, wings, beaks, and shells as well as parts of the human body such as a heart, a hand, and an infant.
Maple Key, for instance, is a large-scale public sculpture made for the 2015 International Sculpture Symposium in Assens, Denmark. Karev was inspired by the shape of the maple key which allows it to spin as the wind blows to spread its seeds across vast distances and take root in new places. Karev has also experimented with other media in his public installations. The Border, a site-specific installation also from 2015, combines organic materials such as a log of wood cut in half and apples scattered across a field in Võru, a region in Estonia, home to the Seto people, an ethnic minority. Part of the initiative titled Kilometer of Sculpture (Kms), which focused on public contemporary art in Estonia, The Border was a temporary sculpture that was susceptible to decay and change. Through its impermanence, Karev comments on the transition of Estonia from a former republic of the Soviet Union into an independent country. Karev has participated in numerous group exhibitions as well as the La Casa Del Artista Artist Residency Program, creating a site-specific sculptural work in the Nautilus Lanzarote hotel and resort in Spain.
2005, Faberg? 2005, International Biennial of Jewellery, Lahti
2006, The First Session of Young Art, State Museum of Urban Sculpture, St Petersburg
2006, Reflection Time, N. Nuzhin, Yaroslavl
2007, The Newest One, Atelier No. 2 Gallery, Contemporary Art Center WINZAVOD, Moscow
2008, Archaic, Zemlja-Vozduh Art Gallery, St Petersburg
2008, Drawing of Rapid Response, Zemlja-Vozduh Art Gallery, St Petersburg
2008, Memory of Fields, Loft Project ETAGI, St Petersburg
2009, Youth Subcultures, Marginal and Actual, Museum of Urban Sculpture, St Petersburg
2010, Crib, Erarta Museum of Contemporary Art, St Petersburg
2011, 5th Exhibition of Contemporary Ceramics of the Baltic States, Kaunas
2012, Social Networks, Erarta Museum of Contemporary Art, St Petersburg
2012, Stability, Erarta Museum of Contemporary Art, St Petersburg
2013, Dinner Is Served: The Russian Museum Culinary Companion, The Russian Museum, St Petersburg
2013, How Are You?!, Vostochnaya Gallery, Moscow
2013, International Competition, Urban Sculpture, Fundacion Murcia Futuro, Palace Almudi Art Center, Murcia
2013, Ricochet, Vostochnaya Gallery, Moscow
Museum and Gallery Holdings
Lanzarote (Nautilus Lanzarote)
Murcia (Gabarron Foundation)
St Petersburg (Erarta MCA)
St Petersburg (Loft Project ETAGI)
St Petersburg (The Russian Mus.)