Michael Cheval is the world’s leading contemporary artist, specializing in Absurdist paintings, drawings and portraits.
In his definition, “absurdity” is an inverted side or reality, a reverse side of logic.
It does not emerge from the dreams of surrealists, or the work of subconsciousness.
It is a game of imagination, where all ties are carefully chosen to construct a literary plot. Any one of Cheval’s paintings is a map of his journey into illusion.
His work is often metaphorical and requires a sharp eye to decipher the often hidden allusions.
Michael Cheval was born in 1966 in Kotelnikovo, a small town in southern Russia. Growing up in an artistic family, his love of drawing was encouraged from early childhood by his father, Mikhail Khokhlachev, a self-taught artist and by his grandfather, Yuri Lipov, a professional artist and sculptor.
His ability developed quickly and by three years old, he could already draw complex compositions.
Anna by Michael Cheval
Circle of Time by Michael Cheval
Comparative Analogy by Michael Cheval
Flippant Benevolence by Michael Cheval
Lady of Hurricane by Michael Cheval
Magica Lesson by Michael Cheval
When Cheval’s family moved to Germany in 1980, the new environment made a great and indelible impression on the young artist.
During that period he also pursued other artistic pursuits, composing songs, playing in a rock’ n’ roll band and writing poetry.
In 1986, he moved to Balkanabat, Turkmenistan and graduated from Ashgabad school of Fine Art in 1992.
Absorbing Eastern philosophy and the character of Central Asia, he began working as an independent professional artist, shaping his style and direction. He also collaborated with several theaters and publishing houses in the Ashgabad and Balkanabat, creating stage sets, costumes and illustrating books.
Nostalgia by Michael Cheval
Porcelain Waltz by Michael Cheval
Practice of the Big Boom by Michael Cheval
Proserpina by Michael Cheval
In 1990 Cheval held his first personal exhibition in Turkmenistan’s State Museum of Fine Art, a significant event that showed high appreciation from the region’s artist community.
In 1993, he moved to Moscow, Russia, and worked as an independent artist and illustrator for various publishing houses, including the famous book-publishing house “Planeta”.
With his immigration to New York City, USA in 1997, a new epoch began for the artist. He returned to the Western culture that inspired him in his youth, but now brought along his own experience, philosophy and vision.
Acclaim for his art grew quickly and in 1998 he became a member of the prestigious New York’s National Arts Club
Since 2009 Cheval has collaborated with the writer, philosopher and poet Boris Glikman, who has written short stories, fables and poems to accompany Cheval’s paintings. In 2011 their collaboration “Local Call/The mePhone” was published in U Magazine. Cheval and Glikman are also considering collaborating on postcards and an art album with accompanying poems and stories.
In 2011, commissioned by Gina Lollobrigida, he completed a full body, official portrait of her.
Sounding Silence by Michael Cheval
The Mirror Asylum by Michael Cheval
Vessel Of Utter Bliss by Michael Cheval
Time To Be A Queen by Michael Cheval
His works are held in State Museum Of Fine Art, Ashgabad, Turkmenistan, in Museum of Fine Art, Volgodonsk, Russia and in the private collections of Gina Lollobrigida, Ernst Fuchs (artist) and Ian Gillan.