As a refugee that emigrated from Ukraine to Belgium at the age of 25 after having been arrested numerous times for being a punker, the cultural input that Babenko Belgium has experienced can be said to be very diverse at the least. Already in the eighties he was looking for artistic freedom in times of a communist regime by fleeing from Ukraine as a 14-year old punker to an underground rock club in Saint Petersburg, Russia.


What is regarded as high art in Eastern Europe, however, is often not even considered worth looking at in the West and vice versa. Also, the chaotic, multi-layered conspiracy thinking of Eastern Europe seems to be opposed to the linear and structured way of thinking in the West. This observation has led Babenko Belgium to question what purpose art exactly serves, if any. What should an artwork have as an effect? What is the task of the artist?


By combining different things in a very impulsive and anarchistic manner Babenko Belgium achieves in his experiments the creation of all kinds of bizarre performances and spatial collages. His chaotic collages resemble virtuoso soviet rockets that come about in an intuitive way, while his chaotic performances are inspired by communist propaganda. His works typically feature a very strong plasticity, with an expressivity and colour palette that bear witness of the different cultural influences he has undergone during his life.


Art works are not limited to one specific type. Paintings – mostly made with mixed media and having a strong craft’s component, such as the use of hand-cut stencils – have been displayed by several art galleries. The paintings are often part of a larger body of related activities, among which live action painting and performances. The artist is of the opinion that artistic expression should not be confined to one specific sphere (the ‘experimental’, the ‘intellectual’, the ‘commercial’, the ‘alternative’, …) and does therefore not shy away from moving in all these spheres at the same time, witness to which are for example his collaboration with a university professor on the (political) topic of the war conflict in Ukraine on the one hand, and his on-demand commercial creations, such as silk screened images on textile.


Over the past years, Babenko Belgium has studied human suffering and struggles in its various forms, expressions and at various levels (individual vs. societal), drawing from his personal experience from living in completely different countries and cultures, but also from following and analysing current relevant affairs. The works presented in this application are grouped in a number of projects.


‘Between Dream and Reality’

Andrej Babenko, born in Ukrain, emigrated to Belgium at the age of 25. In Antwerp, he obtained his degrees in graphic design and fine arts. For several years he worked as a graphic designer and illustrator for Flanders Opera, where he was known for his innovative posters and composer portraits.

Today Babenko is an independent artist focusing on fine arts. His works typically feature a very strong plasticity, with an expressivity and colour palette that bear witness of the different cultural influences he has undergone during his life – the eastern European and western European. Babenko often makes use of hand-cut stencils, giving his works a more lively and dynamic feel to it.

The majority of the works are inspired by the colours, nature and culture experienced during Babenko’s travels through eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, Australia and South America. It is through these images that Babenko sees the world; it is his expression of what he needs, of the sun, love, peace, happiness, … Other works refer to Babenko’s childhood experiences.


Babenko BelgBabenko Belgium Mauro Pawlowski

Een expo van 6 grote doeken van Babenko Belgium bij Campo&Campo vanaf 7/04 tot en met 30/4.

Deze exotische expo is geïnspireerd door de kleuren van de natuur en cultuur tijdens Babenko’s reizen door Oost-Europa, Zuidoost-Azië, Australië en Zuid-Amerika. ‘Ik schilder over wat ik nodig heb’, zegt Andrej Babenko, ‘en ik kijk door deze beelden naar de wereld. Dit is mijn expressie van de zon, liefde, vrede, het geluk…’
Het gebruik van zelf gesneden stencils verwijst naar de kinderlijke droom van Andrej om een coole rock muzikant te worden, wat niet gelukt is. Wat wel lukte, was om voor de Vlaamse Opera zowel grunge posters als klassieke portretten te schilderen.
Babenko schildert tussen droom en realiteit vaak met harde muziek in zijn atelier. Zo ontstond de droom om zijn werk samen met hedendaagse muziek te tonen. Enkele jaren geleden zag hij Mauro Pawlowski performen op een kunstevenement aan de Universiteit Antwerpen. Na verschillende pogingen om af te spreken, zijn de twee eindelijk samen te zien!
Pawlowski zelf is een fan van Babenko’s portretten en heeft een bestelling geplaatst bij de kunstenaar. Het is een verrassing wie geportretteerd zal worden, en voorlopig blijft het ook nog in mysterie gehuld of het portret al dan niet onthuld zal worden tijdens de opening.

Campo&Campo, Grote Steenweg 21, 2600 Antwerpen
De tentoonstelling loopt van 7/04 tot en met 21/05
21/04 – 21/05: open ma – vr van 10u – 18u
Between Dream and Reality 2015 Between Dream and Reality 20152 Between Dream and Reality 20153 Between Dream and Reality 20154 Between Dream and Reality 20155 Between Dream and Reality 20156 Between Dream and Reality 20157


Babenko Pawlowski

Babenko Pawlowski


Catalog Modern Art auction april 2015 & Babenko

Catalog Modern Art auction april 2015 & Babenko


Heel bijzonder is nog de tentoonstelling tot 19 april en de Performance op 16 april om 19u van Babenko Belgium en Mauro Pawlowski
Werken van Babenko en Performance van Mauro Pawlowski bij Campo & Campo
19/04/2015 om 08:59 door Marin Baetens
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