Mikhail GUBIN
Since 2009
Works in Kew Gardens

I was born in the spring of 1953.
That spring was a special one - Joseph Stalin died.
This event didn't affect me. I was doing all those things that every child does in that tender age: I was eating, sleeping and, pardon me, dirtying myself. And yet, I was gaining the weight.
One day when I was laying on my back, I suddenly opened my eyes and discovered a very beautiful red tablecloth. It was made of the thin Chinese silk and covered with the multitude of wonderful drawings. All these little people in the cone like hats, trees, mountains, birds and houses were my first childhood impressions that shocked me.
I was laying and examining that tablecloth in the anticipation of the moment when I can take a pencil and a paper in my hands.
Apparently, my first scrawls made some impression. I started receiving brushes and paint as presents. Tablecloth disappeared.
From that moment on our house was filled with the piles of paper and pencil stubs. Paint footprints and dirty spills could be seen everywhere.
At school I used to draw not only in the drawing class. All my notebooks were speckled with drawing. My teachers were not happy. My parents even less. In addition all cartoon portraits of our teachers were ascribed to me. I suffered unjustly.
That increased my feelings of justice.
I continued my self-education. I took private lessons in drawing and painting, attended museums, and socialized with artists.
Official art of the Soviet Union at that time was dominated by the Socialist Realism. Any attempt to show something new was suppressed by the authorities. It contributed to the growth of underground so called apartment shows. Those who were looking for their original artistic ways participated there. I was among them…
Perestroyka gave me opportunity first time to exhibit my work legally. That was a group show of young artists in Kharkov Art Museum. We, the youth, already inhaled a breath of a fresh air and we wanted more. The decision was made to emigrate. I was refused to do so by the authorities. Months of struggle, demonstrations, hunger strikes, arrests…
And, eventually, in 1989 we left our country.
The route to US went through Vienna and Rome.
I live in New York. I continue working, actively participating in shows and artistic life.