Recap Art Lovers #3: Conversation with Photographers Van der Kooy & Chekachkov

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At the third edition of the Art Lover series, art enthusiasts had the opportunity to engage in conversations with photographers Christian van der Kooy (NL) and Igor Chekachkov (UA), focusing on the theme of creativity in times of war.

Van der Kooy (1983) is a photographer who aims to reveal the interaction between people and their environment and landscape in his art. He delves into deeper layers of history, culture, and politics in the places and people he photographs, primarily in Eastern Europe, including Ukraine, where he met his wife through his art. During the discussion, he shared insights about his book “Anastasiia, She Folds Her Memories Like a Parachute,” a love declaration from Anastasia, a student from Kiev, to her homeland Ukraine.

The conversation continued with Igor Chekachkov (1989), a young Ukrainian photographer, who shared the stories behind his art series. He created the series “Daily Lives,” showcasing the private lives of Ukrainian students, often photographed from above to display the genuine beauty of everyday life.

”It’s their way to express themselves” – Igor Chekachkov

Moreover, both photographers candidly shared their experiences amid Ukraine’s tumultuous times following Russia’s invasion. Igor’s project “100 Days of War” poignantly captures the evolving reality and personal reflections during this period.. In the early months of the war, he documented his life and thoughts in “100 Days of War,” reflecting the dramatically changing life in Ukraine.

”It made sense what I was doing” – Igor Chekachkov 

Art enthusiasts engaged with Van der Kooy and Chekachkov, posing insightful questions and exploring their photographic works. This edition highlighted the profound impact of art in interpreting and documenting complex societal landscapes, especially during times of conflict.

The series continues with upcoming artist Esther Kokmeijer discussing her climate-related art projects in the next edition of Art Lovers.
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Art Lovers is a program by The Lighthouse.