Valera Cherkashin was born in 1948 in Kharkiv, Ukraine. He began by using the camera to photograph himself and his developing body and personality from a young age. He has continued to study the human figure, as evidenced in a majority of his works, influenced from his former years. In 1968, Cherkashin began studying the theory and practice of visual art in various mediums, but in 1976 he stopped and his attention turned to a dedication in the martial arts. He deeply studied the practice of meditation and work with energy under the leadership of the Vietnamese masters.

Later, it would play a major part in the creation of his visual and physical artistic endeavors. By 1978 Cherkashin became a martial arts instructor, and started to include photography in his life again, with a presentation of his early works in a show with photographer Boris Mikhailov. In 1979, he returned to the visual arts and moved to Leningrad, where he worked and exhibited with the “Sterligov’s Group” -  painters and artists who work and follow the traditions of the Russian avant-garde movement. A year later, Cherkashin moved to Moscow where he became more familiar with contemporary art and artists including Ilya Kabakov. 

Valera met Natasha Polyakova in the Moscow Metro in 1982, they got married in 1983. Their initial collaborations focused on images of public spaces and cultural memorials that defined the Soviet era. Photographs and newspapers became the basic materials for their artistic work. and in turn now document historical moments in this period of work entitled “The End of the Epoch.” In one, now famous “happening”, the Cherkashins staged a wedding at Moscow’s “Revolutionary Square” metro station where a woman was “married” to one of the three-dimensional soldiers from the 1930s in a traditional ceremony.

The Cherkashins like to express their conceptual ideas using traditional forms of visual culture. In their project “The End of the Epoch” they used the traditions of the Russian avant-garde, the form that was born at the junction of the two epochs. In 1994, the Cherkashins left Russia for the first time and traveled to the United States by invitation from the Museum of Fine Arts, Santa Fe, NM. Following their instincts to explore the cultural differences in the USA, they returned to Russia with a new understanding of the historical changes reflected in their own culture. This led to other important series, such as “Mirage of Empires” and “Travel as Art” which led them to discover and record cultural monuments around the world. Their travels and projects have taken them to Germany, Spain, Great Britain, Italy, France, Austria, Japan, China, and MongoliIn 1999-2000 the Cherkashins created an underwater installation in the reflecting pool of the World Bank headquarters in Washington, DC, “Good-bye, Favorite European Portraits: Hello Euro.” This installation merged ideas of art, money and national identity, to create a unique and provocative concept. The emergence of the Euro marked the beginning of the new era in the unity of European countries; however, some nostalgia as reflected in the installation was associated with the disappearance of the national currencies.The ever-changing state of the world continually requires a search for new forms and materials to reflect it. In the late twentieth century, the Cherkashins began to work with digital technology and with the support of the New York School of Visual Arts (SVA). This collaboration inspired a whole new body of work that has taken on large proportions. 

In 2005, the Cherkashins chose to develop further earlier themes of the metro series. A new project began in the subway of New York City and was soon transformed into a worldwide project. The “Global Underground” reveals the similarity and cultural diversity found in the underground transportation systems from countries and cities around the world. Video installation also became a concurrent part of the new projeMost recently, the artists have been working on issues related to world economics, politics and environmental changes. In their series (“The Evolution of Chaos: Apocalypse,”) the Cherkashins approach these issues by creating works that reflect society’s self-destructive behavior. Since 2010, the noted shift in planetary climate change and the transition to the Age of Aquarius have influenced the Cherkashins to create a number of new series related to water. ”Immersion,” “Vibrations” and “Radiant Outburst” are among the new projects. Valera & Natasha Cherkashin live and work in New York and Moscow and travel around the World.

Valera and Natasha Cherkashin currently live and work in New York City and Moscow. They have been exploring the cultures of the USSR, Russia, The United States, Great Britain, Germany, Spain, Japan, China, France, Italy and other countries for over three decades, and as a result have presented more than 170 solo exhibitions and more than 270 live art performances. The Cherkashin's work has been the subject of 70 television programs, including CNN, Deutsche Welle, and Russian TV, as well as the subject of over 250 publications, which include   Art+Auction, Art Forum, Stern Magazine, The Washington Post, among others.    


Art Institute of Chicago; (1994, 1998), USA
Santa Fe Museum of Fine Art, New Mexico, USA
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, USA
Boston Museum of Fine Arts (2003, 2005), USA
Philadelphia Museum of Art, USA
Houston Museum of Fine Arts (1998, 2005), USA
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, USA
US Library of Congress, USA
New York Public Library, USA
Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, University
of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA
The Jane Voorhees Zimmerly Art Museum,
Rutgers University, New Jersey, USA
Newseum, Washington, DC, USA
Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington DC, USA
Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center,
University of Texas, Austin, USA
World Bank Headquarters, Washington DC, USA
Kennan Institute. Woodrow Wilson Center.
Washington DC, USA
School of Visual Arts, New York, USA
Kolodzei Art Foundation, USA
Emprise Bank, Wichita, KS, USA
Museum am Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin, Germany
International Center of Photography, Tokyo, Japan
The State Russian Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia
Russian State Archive of Literature and Art, 
Moscow, Russia
The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Russia
The State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia
Museum of Organic Culture, Kolomna, Russia
The Lumiere Brothers Gallery
Museum of History of Moscow, Moscow, Russia
Rostov on Don Museum of Modern Arts, Russia
F.A. Kovalenko Krasnodar Regional Art Museum
Perm State Art Gallery
MAMM, Moscow, Russia
Art Gallery Cogito, Moscow State University, Russia
University Museum MIREA, Moscow, Russia
Motorola Company, Moscow, Russia
Russian Funds, Moscow, Russia
Cultural Art Foundation of Russia
Ford Foundation, Moscow, Russia
Stella Art Foundation, Moscow, Russia
The Other Art Museum, Russian State University
for Humanities, Moscow, Russia
The Gallery Tennis Club, Moscow.
Ministry of Culture, Astana, Kazakhstan.
Kolodzei Art Foundation, USA.
A3 Gallery Collection, Moscow, Russia.
Pacific Ocean
Niagara Falls
Kharkov Art Museum, Kharkov, Ukraine.
Imago Mundi, Luciano Benetton Collection, Italy.
Copelouzos Family Art Museum, Athens, Greece.

Solo Exhibitions

- Presentation of the book How I Was a Real Artist. A3 Gallery. Moscow.
- Presentation of the book Night with a Pioneer Leader. The National Center for Contemporary Art, Moscow, Russia
- Love and Money. The National Center for Contemporary Art, Moscow, Russia
- Exchange office. "Overcoat" gallery, The National Center for Contemporary Art, Moscow, Russia
- Presentation of the book Night with a Pioneer Leader. A3 Gallery. Moscow.
- Presentation of the book Night with a Pioneer Leader. Cherkashin Metropolitan Museum, Moscow.
- Creative Gravity. Gallery Tennis Club. Moscow. (Catalog.)
- Tennis Art. International Congress "Architecture - 2018. Sport", WTC, Moscow.
- Global Underground. University of Maryland, USA.
- How it Began. Kino-theater "Mir", Festival Photo-Krock, Vitebsk, Belarus.
- Passion. The Church of St Peter in Chains, Mdina Cathedral Contemporary Art Biennale, Malta.
- The Last November. 1990. Harriman Institute, Columbia University, New York.
- New York, Premonition. DEVE Gallery, Moscow.
- Khrushchev and Mao: An Exhibit. Harriman Institute, Columbia University, New York.
- Alan Klotz Gallery. New York.
- Road to Myshako. Myshako Winery. International Festival of Photography PHOTOVISA IV, Krasnodar.
- Luxury Beneath the Surface. Poltrona Frau Showroom. Galerie Blue Square, Washington DC.
- XVII Encuentros Abiertos Festival De La Luz. Buenos Aires, Argentina. Evolution of Chaos.Scream of Apocalypse. 
- FotoFest 2012 Biennial - Perestroika: Liberalization & Experimentation.  Mirages of Soviet Empire. Personal Exhibition. Houston, USA.
- Monuments. Kultproekt Gallery, Moscow.
- Transportation Evolution. Dubai Experience. World Trade Center, Dubai.
- Favorite Portraits. Moscow International Finance Week, Swiss Hotel Krasnye Holmy, Moscow.
- The End of the Epoch. Center of Photography behalf of the Luimer Brothers. Moscow. 
- Project Global Underground, Bernstein Gallery, Princeton University.
- Barbarian-Art Gallery, Zurich (Catalog)
- Moscow - Bilbao. Transfer. Center for Contemporary art Winzavod. Together with Ima Montoya. Moscow (Catalog)
- Exhibition in the residence of Eric Rubin, Embassy of the USA, Moscow.
- Valera's Jubilee exhibition. Union of Photo Artists. Moscow.
- New York. Premonition. Museum of Modern Art, Rostov on Don, Russia. 
- Metro in Art and Art in Metro. Exhibition in Moscow Museum of Modern Art. (Catalog)
- Global Underground. Gallery Blue Square, Paris.
- Global Underground. Kennan Institute, Woodrow Wilson Center. Washington DC.
- For Kozlov Jazz Club, Moscow.
- Presentation of Mirax company, Federation Tower, Moscow.
- Metro New York--Moscow. Harriman Institute, Columbia University, New York, NY.
- Night with a Pioneer Leader. Museum of Modern Art, Rostov on Don, Russia. (Catalog)
- The End of the Epoch. Project Museum of the USSR. Andrei Sakharov Museum & Public Center. Moscow. (Catalog)
- Vasiliev Theatre. Moscow.
- Presentation of ZOOM Magazine, Maxilab, Moscow.
- Night with a Pioneer Leader, Glaz Gallery, Moscow House of Photography, Moscow.
- Chippolino. Frolov Gallery. Moscow.
- Labirint. Frolov Gallery. Moscow
- Portuguese Embassy. Moscow
- Presentation. Office of Kodak Company in Moscow.
- Mirages of Empires. XV International Festival "Month of Photography in Bratislava", Slovakia.
- Futurism & Nostalgia. Great Neck Arts Center, New York, USA
- Gallery of Martha Schneider, Chicago, USA.
- Moscow. Love. Artist's network of Riverdale, Toronto, Canada. Organized by Stella art Gallery.
- New York Real and Unreal. Union of Photo Artists, Moscow.
- Perestoika: First Came the Word. Harriman Institute, Columbia University, New York, USA
- Sport in Arts. Aphrodites of Russia. Municipal art Center, Athens, Greece. (Stella Art Gallery).
- Fountain of Friendship. Indian Cultural Center.  Moscow.
- Moscow, 100 Anniversary. The Embassy of New Zeeland. Moscow.
- Moscow. The Embassy of Columbia. Moscow.
- Moscow, Putin's Era. Columbia University, New York, USA.
- Favorite Portraits of People in the World. Fleet Bank, Empire State Building. New York. USA. 
- From USSR to Russia. The Emil R. Weiss Center for The Arts. Dickinson College, PA, the USA.
- New York, September 11. The International University. Moscow.
- Supremacist Meditation.  Intersection, Kara Kurum, Mongolia. (Catalog)
- Mirages of Empires. The State Russian Museum. St. Petersburg. 
- Capital. The International Banking Club. Moscow.
- Empires. Details. Municipal Art Gallery Phoenix, Moscow.
- Cultural Workers of Europe on Bank notes. Delegation of the Commission of the European Communities, Moscow.
- Mirages of Empire. Russian American Cultural Center, New York.
- From USSR to Russia. International Center of Photography, Shadai Gallery, Tokyo, Japan.
- Western Empires. Wakkanai University, Japan.
- "Empires": Russia Past and Present. Together with Bill Wright and Steve Yates. Irving Arts Center, Dallas, TX, USA.
- Permanent installation Goodbye Favorite European Portraits: hello Euro. World Bank Headquarters, Washington DC.
- Favorite Portraits. Fashion House. Moscow.
- Mirages of Empires. PhotoEspana 2000, Caja Madrid, Madrid, Spain. 
- The Kremlin Catacombs. Dom. Moscow.
- Germany on High. Baltchug - Kempinski Hotel, Moscow. 
- Between Nostalgia and Mirage. Russian State University for Humanities, Moscow.
- Flying High. Dom. Moscow.
- Complete Flying High. Dom. Moscow.
- Goodbye Favorite European Portraits: hello Euro. World Bank Headquarters Atrium Pool, Washington DC.
- Improvisation. International Center of Photography, Shadai Gallery, Tokyo, Japan.
- Exhibition at the apartment of the Cherkashins. Tokyo.
- Exhibition in the apartment of Dorothy Dwyer. New York.
- Good buy, Just in Case, Favorite Portraits of New Russian People. Moscow State University. Moscow
- Presentation. International House of Japan, Tokyo, Japan.
- Favorite portraits of European People. Delegation of the Commission of the European Communities, Moscow.
- The culture of European portraits on Bank notes. The Financial Ministry of Russian Federation.
- Libraries of the World. ACTR, Washington DC.
- Empires: Russia Past & Present. Together with Steve Yates and Bill Wright. The Center for  Contemporary Arts, Abilene, TX.
- Test - Improvisation. Good Buy favorite European Portraits. World Bank Headquarters Atrium Pool, Washington DC.
- Favorite Portraits of People in the World. The World Bank, Washington DC, USA.         
- Goodbye Favorite Portraits of European People. Phoenix Cultural Center, Moscow.
- Goodbye Just in Case, Favorite Portraits of New Russian People. American cultural Center. Moscow.
- Russia/United States. Chen Cultural Center. Soho, New York.
- Mirages of Empire. Harriman Institute, Columbia University. New York. USA.
- The End of the Epoch. Installation. The World Bank, Washington DC, USA.
- Russian Constructivist Ruts: Present concerns. Personal Installation, University of Maryland, USA     
- Russia/America: Mirages of Empires. Chevy Chase Art Center, Washington DC, USA.
- The Last "Pravda". Moscow State University. Moscow.
- Favorite Portraits of People in the World. Citibank, Washington DC, USA.
- Mirages of Empires. Dickinson College, PA, USA.
- Moscow from 30s to 50s. Art department, Library of Foreign Literature, Moscow.
- Russians and Americans - Brothers Forever. American cultural Center. Moscow.
- USSR Atlantis. Swimming pool. University of Maryland. USA.
- The End of  the Epoch. Kunstverein Rosenheim. Germany. (Catalog). 
- Moscow - Washington. Carnegie Moscow Center. Moscow.
- Cenzorship. Moscow State University. Moscow.
- Russian Art Happening. Dianne Beal Contemporary Art. Washington DC.
- The Mystery Play of Berlin. The Goethe Institute. Moscow. (Catalog). 
- Mirages of Empire. Wittenberg University. OH, USA.
- Moscow, the End of the Epoch. The Ford Foundation. Moscow.
- Four Empires. Library of Foreign Literature. Moscow.
- Press and Art. The German Embassy in Moscow.
- Mirages of Empire. The Russian House Berlin.
- Memorial to Memorial. Russian Cultural Center, Budapest.
- German Atlantis. Underwater exhibition. Olympia Stadium. Berlin.
- Presentation for the opening of Angelicos Restaurant. Moscow.
- Travel as Art. Under and Above. Municipal Art Center "Rama Art". Moscow.
- Russians and Americans - Brothers Forever. Together with Steve Yates. Municipal A - 3 Gallery. Moscow (catalog).
- Design for TV Family Channel. Moscow
- Moscow's Red Square in Santa Fe. Museum of Fine Arts, Santa Fe, NM, USA. (Catalog).
- Exhibition in honor of Beverly Whitney Kean, in the House of Hilary & John Spurling.  London.
- Nostalgic Exhibition among the Cactuses. Sayon Garden. London.
- Silver Age. Central House of Writers. Moscow.
- The Chinese New Year. Club Mecenat. Moscow.
- Under Cover. IBM Office, Moscow.
- The Day of Press, the Day of Pravda. Ostankino TV Center. Moscow.
- Presentation of The Cherkashin Metropolitan Museum. Moscow.  A-3 Gallery (catalog). 
- Excavations and Reconstruction of the Ancient World, Middle of the Twentieth Century.  Personal exposition. Museum of Paleontology. Moscow.
- Love Art for the People. Tvorchestvo Gallery. Moscow.
- Supremacist Bedroom. Personal Installation. A-3 Municipal Gallery. Moscow.
- The Cherkashin Metropolitan Museum the with Collection of Sotsrealism. Kremlin, Palace of Congresses. 
- Cherkashin Metropolitan Museum Starts Spring in Russia. Central Concert Hall Russia. Moscow.
- Design for TV Show. Central TV Ostankino. Moscow
- The End of the Epoch. 1990s. Library of Foreign Literature. Moscow. 
- Watercolors.Restaurant "Theatro", Metropol hotel, Moscow.
- The Funeral of the Epoch. Moscow. On the grounds of the Tretiakov Gallery.  April.
- Works From the Exhibition Halls of the Cultural Workers. The Hall of Sergei Soloviev.  Film and Music Hall "Russia". Moscow.
- Fruits and Flowers Installation. Moscow.
- Project Institute. Moscow
- Scientist's Club of USSR Academy of Science, Chernogolovka.
- Club of Moscow Teacher's Training University.
- Publishing House. Moscow.
- Watercolors. The Maltese Embassy. Moscow.         
- Watercolors. Schusev Museum of Architecture. Moscow.
- "Pravda" Publishing House. Smena Magazine. Moscow.
- Lithographic Studio of the Moscow Union of Artists.  Moscow.
- Exhibition at the apartment, Dom Rossia. Moscow
- Paintings. Aviation College Student's Club. Together with Boris Mikhailov and Vladimir Klim. Kharkov, Ukraine.
- Apartment Exhibition. Kharkov.