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Vera Kochubey

Vera Kochubey was born in Moscow. She graduated from the Moscow State Art School and the National Research University Moscow at the psychology department. She earned a master degree in psychoanalysis and cultural studies at International Psychoanalytic University Berlin: IPU Berlin.   Her works want to impose a new kind of spirituality. Spirituality outside religious and cultural perceptions is a spirituality of one's own self. A self that becomes an element of connection through art with the Universe, through self-knowledge. Her black and white canvases are invaded by interrogative texts or statements about the concepts of transgender, feminism, gay and lesbian orientation or asexual or sexually ambiguous stylized characters. Since 2011 she lives and works in Berlin.

The majority of Kochubey’s paintings take the form of heavily symbolic portraits, often combined with brash or existential statements such as “Have you figured this life out?” or “My true will can move mountains”. The style of painting is unapologetically primitive — “primal and raw” Kochubey confirms — and she maintains that their monumental, large-scale “chose her”. Blunt, fat brushstrokes are applied to construct fierce faces reminiscent of ancient tribal masks, where jagged shapes and hypnotic vortex-like symbols take the place of eyes. According to the artist, the mismatched features and vibrant colours have earned her paintings the nickname “Picasso on acid”. Kochubey regards her paintings to be expressive, symbolic and bold, but also to be a little bit “aggressive” — something which she relates to the “punk aspect” of her personality.

Undoubtedly, there is a fearless punk energy permeating Kochubey’s paintings. Her style borrows heavily from the swift, spirited style of street art — “Someone quickly writes a truth and walks away” — which in turn is very much a part of the urban fabric in the German capital. Originally from Moscow, Kochubey has lived in Berlin since 2011 and considers the unique creative atmosphere of the city to have had a huge influence on her work. “I see the freedom of expression here everyday. No one is judging you, and people accept you in terms of how you express yourself”. 

This notion of self-expression and expressing the deeper, hidden parts of the self is central to Kochubey’s overall approach to art making. Having originally studied psychology and cultural studies before undertaking a Masters in psychoanalysis,  Kochubey started to paint consistently ten years ago after a major heartbreak, and her work is heavily informed by the teachings of Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud. Kochubey’s immense paintings pivot on the “spirituality of self” and express an interest in conveying a greater understanding of the varied strata that make up the human psyche. “You have to know yourself and what you want in this life, your desires and especially (what Jung calls) your ‘shadow self’,” she explains. “Sometimes somebody appears really soft and cute, but in the background there is a lot of dark stuff going on.” In this sense, Kochubey’s paintings represent a multiplicity of selves, the “complexity of human personality”. “Most of the paintings are metaphorical: a person sees himself not as he would in the mirror, but how he would in his fantasy, in his spiritual fortress, or in another reality. What some people see in the mirror is a completely different substance — there is a conflict and I try to paint this.”


  • 2019 “PORTRAITS OF SOMEONE” group show Rhodes Contemporary Art gallery, London 2018 “VORTEX OF CREATION”, Solo Show, BAC-Gallery/ SLEEK magazine, Berlin

  • 2018 STOCKHOLM ART WEEK, group exhibiton with Enter Art Foundation

  • 2018 Lothringer 13 HALLE, Seeing her ghosts, group show, Munich

  • 2018 Kuenstlerhaus Bethanien, Studio 1. Bitch material, group show, Berlin

  • 2018 Permanent Artist @ BERLIN ART CONSULTING

  • 2017 EYES WIDE SHUT, group exhibition, Anaid Art Gallery, Berlin

  • 2017 Arte Contemporanea Bolsena, group exhibition with AMACI cultural association, Bolzano, Italy 2017 Galerie Pavlov’s Dog, group show, Berlin

  • 2017 Permanent Artist @ THE ART SCOUTS, Berlin

  • 2016 Participation of the official ART WEEK 2016, Berlin

  • 2016 ART BASEL, group show, invited by Enter Art Foundation, Basel

  • 2016 “NEW KINGDOM”, Solo Show, THE ART SCOUTS GALLERY, Berlin

  • 2016 VERA KOCHUBEY MEETS OLIVER RATH, live painting performance, Rath-Factory, Berlin

  • 2015 “NEVERLAND” – FLOFFERZ MAGAZINE issue 2 launch group exhibition, Gallery Olivier Robert, Paris

  • 2015 “LOS ANGELES PROPHECIES”, artist residency & solo show, LA/California

  • 2015 “There is no higher religion then...”, installation, painting, VERA KOCHUBEY meets Mads Dinesen/ off space : Kaufhaus Jandorf, Berlin Fashion week, Berlin

  • 2015 Russian Contemporary Art Week, group show, The Ballery gallery, Berlin

  • 2015 “Interpretations of black magic”, solo performance, live painting, Angel Orensanz Gallery space, Paris

  • 2015 SESSION ZERO, live painting performance, Temporary space Where Is Jesus, Berlin

  • 2015 “Künstler erschaffen neue Welten”, group show, Achtzig Galerie, Berlin

  • 2014 International Art Fair BERLINER LISTE 2014, Postbahnhof / Berlin

  • 2013 MACHT KUNST, group show, Deutsche Bank Kunsthalle, Berlin

  • 2012 Berlin Unhinged Festival , group show, S0 36, Berlin

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