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Sculptures of Serhiy Sakalo


Serhiy Sakalos wooden sculptures can be found in museums, in private collections, in offices and private apartments of those who appreciate such art. All of Sakalos sculptures have one mysterious quality  they emanate energy which you feel even just looking at them. When you touch them, you feel this energy seeping into you.


Sakalos sculptures combine small sculptural mass with freely moving surface planes, which create lively images, bursting with inner life. They startlingly merge geometrical forms with soft, fleshy shapes, yet unified with the unflagging vitality of the surface. Forms smile, frown or are pensive according to the view and the viewer. Bold rhythms seem to envelop the physical form.

Serhiy Sakalo was born in the city of Dnipropetrovsk in 1961. His father, Professor Lev Sakalo, was a well-known scientist and inventor. Jointly with his brother Mykola, Serhiys uncle, he patented more than 80 inventions in the fields of agricultural automatics and electronics. Professor Lev Sakalo founded three departments at three colleges where he taught and conducted research. But his two sons, Serhiy and Volodymyr, did not follow in his steps  they chose to become wood carvers instead.

Their father did not press his sons into pursuing science careers but he wanted them to learn a trade that would earn them a decent living. They began their working careers making parts for high-precision instruments. What they had learnt as teenagers, came in handy in their wood carving. Serhiy, without using any special instruments, can achieve precision which, when measured, would be within 0.02 millimeters.

In his . young. years, Serhiy Sakalo wanted to design and create weapons. He drew battles fought on land, on the sea and in the air. When he was ten, he made a collection of wooden weapons, both historical and invented. But he did not become a weapons designer because he rejected violence. Besides, he felt increasingly drawn to wood carving. He found wood to be warm, poetic material which was used by folk artists for centuries. And at one point in his life he realized that he could not live without wood carving, that it was his true calling.

The wood he likes best is pear, particularly of the kind that grows in the village of Zhuky in Poltavshchyna, the native land of his ancestors. Pear wood is a very difficult material to carve but it provides great opportunities for the sculptor who has clever hands.

A piece of pear wood should be kept for four years in special conditions before it can be used for creating sculpture. Serhiy Sakalo has developed a unique, high-precision technique of carving which allows him to create pieces with minute details. Very few wood carvers have mastered similar techniques of wood carving, and probably no other artist can rival Serhiy Sakalo in precision.

After the piece is finished, it is aged by being kept for some time in the shade and then exposed to direct sun rays. At the next stage, the piece is coated with a sort of lacquer whose ingredients and the way of making are a closely guarded secret.

Most of the pieces that Serhiy Sakalo creates are only several centimeters in length and in width but they are concentrated manifestations of beauty.


Based on an essay by Viktor SYDORENKO

Photos by Yury BUSLENKO

Sculptures on photos are from Yury Buslenkos collection





















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