pictures by Andrey Chaika
This art environment in a flat in a suburb of Kiev, Ukraine, early november this year (2016) first gained publicity when it was seen by a medical doctor who payed a home visit and informed the press about what he had seen.
Life and works
Vladimir Chaika (born around 1951), who made this creation, worked as a foreman at Kiev's subway, eventually at the depot in the city's Obolons'kyi district, where he was involved in the maintenance of the buildings and other structures.
Chaika was very interested in architecture and visual art and when he met a colleague who taught him how to work with molds in order to make plaster models, this inspired him to undertake such activities himself.
Especially after in 1997 he had an accident and recovered from being clinically dead, he wanted to realise his lifelong dream: to do something that others don't do.
So in 2001 he began an art project that indeed only is undertaken by very few non-professionals: decorating the stairwell of the flat where he lives in a classical style ¹.
"My own style", he says. The mostly in green or blue tones painted walls feature moldings, rosettes and pilasters. The stucco plaster is mostly golden painted. Oval frames contain mirrors or (photocopied) portraits of personalities from former centuries. Chaika added images of landscapes and there is a Mona Lisa. The ceilings display angels and the sun.
The garbage chute, a standard device in this flat (pictured below), has been transformed into a gilded column.
Chaika's neighbours in the flat in general reacted very positively to his activities. And Chaika himself, he is quite happy with what he calls his hobby: "When I'm doing this, I forget everything, including all problems. It's a delight"
Occasionaly helped by his son Andrey, Chaika currently (2016) has completed three floors of the stairwell of the nine-story building. Now at age 65 and retired, he intends to continue the project untill all floors are decorated, provided that as a pensioner he can continu to bear the cost of the materials.
* Article in local newspaper Kiev-Segodnya (november 8, 2016)
* Video by Awakening Morality (1'12", Youtube, uploaded november 12, 2016)
¹ This blog already documents just a few non-professionals who decorated their house in a classical style, i.e. Robert Burns and Dennis Nelems. Gary Bevans decorated the roof of the local church with a replica of the Sistine Chapel. All three are from the United Kingdom
Raiduzhna Street 11-a
no public visits