Ross Kolby

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Venus de Chernobyl

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Venus of Chernobyl Venus of Chernobyl
Oil on wood, 87 x 63 cm. 1999.


Venus is one of the most beloved icons in the history of art. As the goddess of beauty and harmony, Venus has been created over the last 3,000 years with different ideals of beauty and taste. The most famous version of the godess is the marble sculpture "Venus de Milo" made in Greece around year 130 b.C. and now displayed in the Louvre in Paris.  


In this study of a young woman, Kolby combines her timid appearence and physical beauty with her terrible physical deformation. He leads the spectator’s thoughts to the destinies of the people of Ukraine where the Chernobyl nuclear reactor melted down on the 26th April 1986 and created the worst nuclear cathastrophy since World War II. It forced 135.000 inhabitants to flee their home and left thousands of people to suffer great radioactive injuries. Kolby in this picture points at Man’s continuos experimenting with- and ruining of nature.



The Chernobyl reactor the day after the disaster. (Copyright: Wikipedia)




A piglet grotesquely malformed by the radioactive downfall. (Copyright: Wikipedia)




A nuclear warning sign in Pripyat. (Copyright: Wikipedia)


Painting this young woman in the posture of the classical Venus, Kolby grotesquely illustrates mankind's vulnerability to the revenging nature - and creates a Venus as never before seen in the history of art. 















Ross Kolby

«Painting, writing or acting are like colours on my palette. I mix them and make use of the crafts to create living, breathing, believable characters - people that I feel inside me»

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