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Anton Shebetko’s Exhibit On Closeted Ukrainian Gays Comes To Toronto

Amsterdam-based photographer Anton Shebetko brings his “Common People” project to the Robert Kananaj Gallery…
Anton Shebetko is a Ukrainian artist and photographer who examines LGBT-related topics with his work. His latest series, entitled “Common People”, has received acclaim for featuring several dozen impersonal portrait photographs of closeted Ukrainian gay men who are currently hiding their sexuality from friends and family.
The portraits in Shebetko’s “Common People” are manually spoiled, distorted, or initially taken without faces. The destroyed or compromised faces represent the ongoing struggle that these Ukrainian closeted men face.

“I chose the theme of being gay and closeted because I think that it is a problem that Ukrainian society struggles with, especially with growing intolerance and the uprising of right-wing gangs,” Shebetko told IN Magazine. “It’s also a theme that I know and understand quite well.”

“This project was a natural path for any artist who wants to work with themes of being gay in a conservative country.” Shebetko continued. “But, for me it was important to examine the problem from a different angle and find something that was common in the Ukrainian gay community… And, different states of fear are actually something that united them.”
Despite the promise of anonymity, Shebetko struggled to find subjects to be photographed and interviewed.

Anton Shebetko’s “Common People” exhibit, which includes additional portraits, audiotracks, videos and sculpture, will be on display at the Robert Kananaj Gallery (172 St Helens Avenue, Toronto) from June 21st until July 21st.
For more information you can visit Anton Shebetko’s website.



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