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Born in Leningrad in 1980, Chizhov began drawing when he was just 8 years old. Encouraged to visit artist studios and develop his talent, he exhibited widely in children’s exhibitions until he was 15. Upon entering university in 1997 to study fine art, Chizhov found himself distracted from his artistic pursuits, and chose instead to focus his studies on the humanities and psychology and was granted a Bachelor Degree in 2001.
In 2004 Chizhov returned to study at the St. Petersburg Academy of Fine Arts, a most conservative art institution where drawing, figure drawing and anatomical study as well as perspective, and the laws of composition are held to rigid academic standards. Chizhov came to mix these classic tenants of artistic education with what he saw as the forces of 20th century art — surrealism, the Italian avant-garde, and social realism. His passion for psychoanalysis combines with his interest in history and art history to create a unique visual language, one that requires a certain amount of image archaeology in order to unravel the web of meaning and signification. Using both a free pastiche of classical painting with its rich narrative, allegory andfiguration, and a personal selection of archetypal images of mass culture characters, Chizhov reconstructs visual clichés and rewrites narratives with bold strokes of irony, throwing emphasis on Kant’s categories of the sublime and the profane.