SAINT PETERSBURG.- Anatoly Cherkasov was born in 1935 in the village of Denezhnikovo in Lugansk region. He went to school in Donbass, served the army in the Leningrad Military District. After the army he worked as a miner. In 1963 Cherkasov graduated from the Timiryazev Moscow Agricultural Academy and was sent to work in the Moscow region. He has a Ph.D.in Economics and has been granted title of Honored Worker of Agriculture of Russia.
Cherkasov made his first photographs in early 1950s. His works were then published in the local newspaper Novye Rubezhi and in the corporative newspaper. After retiring, he dedicated himself fully to his hobby: attended exhibitions, studied the history and theory of photography. This eventually brought him to a faschination with platinum printing process.
"In one way or another, our perception of the world is influenced by multiple factors that not necessarily need to be defined. Domination of sensuous impressions corrected by meditation, or, at other times, thought dictating the emotions and moods. Art easily brings together both and probably serves to synthesize them. Photography has its own responsibilities: starting at general organization of sensor mechanics (to look) it intends to help see (through lens and viewfinder) exactly what shall become art, is to be art and is in some sense programmed to be art initially, so to speak, by God.
The dawn of the new century brings us to question whether it is the documented couleur local alone that thrills the soul of viewer at recognizing images of the native shore. Lets not think of the Western artists: their tasks are different. Our aim is to define the metaphysics of the Russian space in its mysterious infinity. A Russian can only vaguely imagine the limits of his existence but reaches the heart of it perfectly well.
It is in the search of the heart of existence that the Russian turns to each meaningful motif, a road disappearing in the rye field, a sunlit birch grove, river flowing between the banks. The soul seeks to find its way into the seen and the selected. Into what reminds us of the 19 century Russian Realism painting, Isaak Levitan, Ivan Shishkin, Ilya Ostroukhov, Arkhip Kuindzhi, Mikhail Nesterov. And it is anything but pastiche. Painters were the first to discover symbolic meaning of the images they found. Photography neglected them, strange as it may seem. It brought about the abundance of perspective, pictorial possibilities, combined printing et c. An artist now, equipped with all that contemporary technology can offer, examines the volumes of the earths surface, character of the flow of one space into another, the balance of hills and groves, the solemnity of skyline. With epicism and vigilance of Old Dutch masters, he searches for ever more proofs. And it seems that, with the faith of the old masters, our artist photographer starts anew..."
Professor, Doctor of Art History, Art historian