The Russian artist Sergei Trubin grew up in the small northern town of Kotlas in Arkhangelsk Oblast, and having shown an early aptitude for art studied at the Saratov Art College, graduating in 1987. Though his first speciality was painting, he quickly found that copperplate etching suited his style and imagination perfectly, using the complex tonal gradation of black and white which makes Trubin’s graphics a direct heir of the work of the masters of Russian engraving from the beginning of the twentieth century.

The deliberately stylish compositions of his compositions, with their sophisticated eroticism, are related to the mythopoetic subjects from the period a century earlier when stylisation became the creative method of many artists. Trubin’s work is brought into the modern era by a playfulness and irony, full of sensuality, fantasy kinks and whimsical delights.

In February 2020 an exhibition of more than two hundred of his works was held in his home city of Arkhangelsk. As a newspaper review of the exhibition said, ‘It is difficult not to bury yourself in his art, to extricate yourself of the intricacies of lines, to examine the stars of the universe through the monochrome lines of his etchings. Come to the exhibition, and you will feel that you are learning to enjoy your own ability to penetrate the essence of things and appreciate the play of the mind and the skill of the artist. You may be able to recognise his humour, irony and sarcasm, tracing the threads of epochs and cultures in centaurs and Greek gods, where big-eyed anime-style characters peep through the faces of the Holy Trinity.’

Sergei Trubin’s website is here, though it appears that has not been updated for many years.

We are very grateful to our Russian friend Yuri for introducing us to the work of this artist and for supplying most of the images.


Example illustration