Born in Moscow in 1943, the son of a military officer and an actress, Chemiakin showed early promise as an artist. He studied at the Special High School of the Repin Academy of Art in Leningrad, but was expelled for failing to conform to the standards set by the Soviet regime. As a result, Chemiakin was forced to work as a laborer and was required to receive treatment at a mental institution, which was standard treatment for ideological dissidents. In 1967, he worked at the Hermitage Museum on a maintenance crew, but soon the artist established "Metaphysical Synthesism", which was a form of art based on icons and the religions of all peoples, and the transcendence of reality.
Chemiakin still seeks original sources and roots of artistic expression of the past, then synthesizes them into something that is applicable to the present. In 1971, Chemiakin was exiled from the Soviet Union and moved to Paris where he lived for the next ten years and where he produced some of his most famous works. As his reputation grew, French diplomats began to smuggle many of his works out of Russia. In 1981, Chemiakin moved to New York City. His research has earned him honorary doctoral degrees from the University of San Francisco and L'Academie des Arts Europeans in Paris.
Chemiakin has received many awards and commissions, and his work is exhibited in some of the world's finest collections.
SELECTED COLLECTIONS & EXHIBITIONS:
Metropolitan Musem of Art-New York City
Tretyakov State Gallery- Moscow
Museum of Art-Tel Aviv
Hudson River Museum-New York
Museum of Art-Japan
Yad Vashem Memorial-Jerusalem
Museum of Modern Art-Paris
The State Russian Museum-St. Petersburg