The twentieth century was marked by a multitude of social cataclysms, which, together with technological progress, completely transformed the way of life of a person, her daily routine and in many respects govern them to this day. Sport, which became the theme of Petrov’s new project, was no exception. It was in the twentieth century that sport became one of the main companions of propaganda and politics. If we recall the “Triumph of Will” by Leni Riefenstahl or the results of the Olympics during the Cold War when the leaders of the medal count were only the United States or the USSR, then we will understand why sport has become and remains one of the most invested social assets. Only now, again, due to technical progress, “triumphs” are more often owned by ordinary people who increasingly invest their time and money into unprofessional sport, converting them into photos in social networks, the appearance of belonging to something important, an attempt to make a dent in the universe. In short, this is the only way they express themselves.
Petrov, on the other hand, wants us to look at it differently, at people for whom sport is their immanent goal and not something turned into a “cult”.
Affordance of the works and technical performance perfectly convey this thought to the spectator. We see various narratives, in the literal sense, of those “frozen in sport.” Contemplation of emotions, poses and situations in which the heroes of the works found themselves, show us the other side of the sport with its still inherent competitiveness, where everyone wants to be the best, but only one will succeed. Perhaps that is why in each work we see so much empathy for the athletes who sacrifice their lives on the altar of primacy; we see the warmth with which the artist treats his heroes. After all, as a rule, in previous exhibitions we observed undisguised irony towards people, be they immigrants, children, vacationers or soldiers.
For the first time Petrov tells his stories in two dimensions simultaneously: on the plane and in volume. Reading these stories first in watercolors, and then, seeing how they transform into complex sculptures made of clay and metal, epoxy resin and wood, greatly exacerbates the effect of what was seen, and every story is really remembered.
Building on some preliminary work, Yevgen logically incorporates this project into the history of his exhibitions, so all his admirers will not only be imbued with the artist’s characteristic subtle sense of style and be in awe once again, but will also say: “Keep it up, Petrov!”