On Saturday, February 21st, Miami’s hottest art collectors and cultural enthusiasts gathered at the newly-opened “Art Bastion” in Miami’s Wynwood for a first-ever glimpse into Russian artist Boris Chetkov’s largest collection of work, currently being held by The Hoffman Art Institute. While the champagne flowed, Peter Hoffman, Jr. – a lifelong art collector, founder of The Hoffman Art Institute, and Chetkov’s biggest fan for almost a decade – joined world-renowned art curator and Russian art historian, Rosie Rockel, to give VIP guests an inside look at Chetkov’s vibrant use of color, expressive and meaningful undertones and whimsical motifs.
Living and working in the Soviet Union in the 20th century, when painting was illegal unless you were registered as an official artist with the government, Boris Chetkov was both a rebel and a visionary. Serving as Chief Glass Artist at a glass factory near Novgorod by day, his paintings of complex and distorted figures, made from thick layers of unusual paint color combinations, symbolize the innovative and determined focus with which he approached his hidden passion. Today, this collection – appropriately titled Boris Chetkov: Portraits – brings together 20 critical works from throughout the artist’s extensive art career, each representing a different point in Chetkov’s private, and often relatable, personal life.
Complimenting Chetkov’s interesting talent and history during Saturday night’s event was the setting in which they were presented. The brainchild of 27 year-old Sebastiano Varoli – an international art dealer, broker, and to many, an innovator in the gallery world – Art Bastion opened to the public in the fall of 2014. Since then, this South Florida-based interactive gallery has served as an unconventional space for art appreciators from across the globe to come experience out-of-the-box artists, much like Boris Chetkov, in an upscale environment that is uniquely freeing, welcoming, and unlike most galleries of its caliber, completely unassuming. Even before coming to Miami, Art Bastion consistently built a worldwide network dedicated to opening lines of communication between artists, collectors and industry enthusiasts; all by bridging the gap between artists, buyers and sellers, managing collections and organizing “pop up” art exhibitions across the globe.
Boris Chetkov: Portraits has been co-curated by Rosie Rockel and The Hoffman Art Institute, and is currently presented by Sebastiano Varoli, Director and Founder of Art Bastion. This collection is on generous loan from The Hoffman Art Institute.