Arkady Petrov is one of the most famous artists of the “seventies” generation, in whose work both the unique personality and typical features of the art of this time were reflected. The main motive of Petrov’s art is the life and culture of the Soviet province of the mid-twentieth century. More broadly, the life of the “simple Soviet man” as a special case of the “little man”, one of the traditions that determine Russian culture. The artist reinterprets the stereotypes of Soviet society, looking at them through the prism of kitsch, and images of Russian mass culture - from painted postcards to portraits of Alla Pugacheva, a famous Russian singer. Petrov transformed the impersonal aesthetics of kitsch into a gallery of human types, naive and epic at the same time, depicting a unique slice of the era.
Arkady Petrov was born in 1940 in the village of Mine Komsomolets under Gorlovka in the Donbass (at that time Stalinist) area. After spending his childhood years in a distant mining province, in 1957 he moved to Moscow. He graduated from the Art Institute named after Surikov. In Soviet times his works were mostly banned. By the mid-1980s, a paradoxical situation had developed: Petrov was perceived as one of the key creators of the generation, despite the fact that his only personal exhibition in Soviet times was hardly allowed by the authorities. He became famous at the turn of the 1980s - 1990s: he creates large-format paintings, takes part in significant international exhibitions. Petrov’s personal retrospective exhibitions with the participation of pop/off/art gallery were held at the State Russian Museum and the Moscow Museum of Modern Art. His works are in the collections of the State Russian Museum, the MMOMA, the Ludwig Museum (Cologne, Germany) and the Foundation of Modern Art Ludwig (Aachen, Germany), the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art (Seoul, South Korea) as well as many other museums and private collections worldwide. He lives and works in Moscow.