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"Although the artist does not render his subjects in a naturalistic fashion, these are often drawn from his own personal reality. Recollected and imaginary scenes are combined with self-produced or archived photographs as well as art-related documents, which partially have been digitally arranged into composite scenes beforehand at the computer. In the physical traces imprinted in Engraved Paintings ( Neo-Grattage ), the impressions and visual evidence of experienced reality, which from the very beginning specifically included reflections on the art world, its products, and events, find concrete expression...

...Mat Vey ´s ( Matvey Slavin ) neo-surreal grattages not only operate between the times and locations, but also between mediums and atmospheres, internal and external perspectives, the unspectacular and the exceptional..." Belinda Grace Gardner, 2020

Quote from the text below 

Etching into the

Surface of Time


Exploring the deeper dimensions beyond appearances: Mat Vey´s

( Matvey Slavin ) Neo-Grattage

( Engraved Paintings )

In various ways, Der Momentfänger (Catcher of the Moment) created by Mat Vey ( Matvey Slavin ) in 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic set off a worldwide state of emergency, is a key work. It depicts the artist standing at the easel in a landscape, which he is evidently rendering on the mounted canvas. The hat worn by the artist while working on his painting also serves in a stylized form as a signet, a fusion of Matvey Slavin ´s initials ‘M’ and ‘S’.

Both the self-portrait emerging from contours, and the landscape reduced to outlines and etched into the painted surface, remotely recall compositions by Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890). This is surely no coincidence: In Mat Vey's ( Matvey Slavin ) work art-historical references, montages of citations derived from a wide range of sources, and pictures within pictures are fundamental elements that recur in different shapes.

The term Der Momentfänger (The Catcher of the Moment) reflects the artist's consistent interconnection of various aesthetic dynamics, spatial, and temporal levels quasi at “the tip of the moment”in the instant of the respective representation. The aforementioned work revolves just as much around the making of pictures as around the coexistence of different phenomena in the flow of time, which converge in a “simultaneous image,”becoming part of an expanding narrative.

Mat Vey's ( Matvey Slavin ) origins lie in landscape painting, which from 2006 onward was increasingly replaced by pencil drawings of everyday urban life, from which the Zeitbilder (Temporal Images) evolved. The starting point of this series was a long-term exploration of the northern German harbor city of Hamburg, where the artist, born in 1987 in St. Petersburg, spent his youth. In Hamburg, he studied at the University of Applied Sciences and the University of Fine Arts. In the course of an exchange program in 2013, he attended the class of the painter Daniel Richter (*1961) at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. Here, he experimented with manifold print and etching techniques, developing from these his own uniqueengraved paintingstyle, which since then has become his primary medium.

His method of etching pictorial motifs into layers of impasto acrylic paint on the canvas is a present-day revitalization of the grattage (Engl.: scraped/scratched work), which the innovative Dada-Surrealist Max Ernst (1891–1976) conceived after inventing the frottage (Engl.: rubbing).

Subsequent to Max Ernst, representatives of the post-war avant-garde such as Art Brut initiator Jean Dubuffet (1901–1985), or the abstract-expressive creator of mythical ciphers, Cy Twombly (1928–2011), also took up the grattagetechnique.

In his view, Engraved Paintings ( Neo-Grattage) offer Mat Vey (Matvey Slavin), who has been living and working in Copenhagen since 2017, the possibility of conflating the quick tempo of drawing, the multi-layered complexity of painting, and minimalist conciseness with the immediacy of the incisions on the surface. As the artist states, “etching is like writing.”3

Accordingly, he regards Engraved Paintings ( Neo-Gratttage ) as an intertemporal “associative language,” which reaches into the depths of the material and of history, spanning an arc to ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics and Roman inscriptions, all the way back to the cave paintings of our ancestors.

Acrylic paint, which the artist applies alla prima directly to the canvas in at least two layers with his hands, comprises the ground of his works. The top layer is incised with tools such as metal nails and palette knives while it is still wet, so that the pictorial motif becomes visible through the contrasting color of the underlying layer.

Although the artist does not render his subjects in a naturalistic fashion, these are often drawn from his own personal reality. Recollected and imaginary scenes are combined with self-produced or archived photographs as well as art-related documents, which partially have been digitally arranged into composite scenes beforehand at the computer. In the physical traces imprinted in Engraved Paintings ( Neo-Grattage ), the impressions and visual evidence of experienced reality, which from the very beginning specifically included reflections on the art world, its products, and events, find concrete expression. These are haptic manifestations, which translate Roland Barthes's idea of photography as “an image rubbed off from the real”into palpable materiality.

Humorous accentuation, clashes between seemingly contradictory elements, dreamlike scenes, the spontaneity of the sketch, a paring down to the essentials: Mat Vey´s ( Matvey Slavin ) neo-surreal grattages not only operate between the times and locations, but also between mediums and atmospheres, internal and external perspectives, the unspectacular and the exceptional. 

Predominantly realized in thematic groups, since 2013 their subject-matter has ranged from a focus on everyday life at the academy in Vienna, including classroom, studio, and exhibition situations, to portraits, landscapes, and interiors.

The artist's approach varies between cartoon-like condensation and filigree complexity, which has still increased in recent years. Thus, a number of engraved paintings created in 2018, which recall René Magritte's “mystification of the everyday and the banal,”feature intricately interwoven forest segments, in which simplified pictorial symbols such as a cloud, a hat, or boot, a house, or a trophy reveal further ramified wooded areas that have been inserted in these.

Self-portraits produced in 2019 on one occasion represent the artist sitting at an easel in front of the painting of a couple in the landscape (Indoor Plein Air), and, in another instance, depict him seated with a drink at the table of a sidewalk café (Porter og Citronvand), which is situated in Mat Vey's ( Matvey Slavin ) new adopted hometown, Copenhagen.

The subdued chiaroscuro hues of the latter scene prefigure those in the series Die maskierten Ostergenießer (The Masked Easter Enjoyers, 2020), which is dominated by grisaille tones, evoking the inversion of photographic negative images and half-tones of aquatint ink etching.

On the one hand, it recalls an Easter ritual celebrated by the family of Mat Vey's

( Matvey Slavin ) partner and collaborator in joint performances, the Copenhagen-born artist Nana Rosenørn Holland Bastrup.

On the other hand, in its phantasmagoric imagery with the figures costumed as Easter bunnies and chicks, gathered around opulently laden tables and folding chairs in the garden, it tilts into the surreal.

In a different manner, the series Blumenköpfe (Flower Heads, from 2020 onward), in which flowers equipped with heads instead of calyxes are depicted in vases bearing facial features, also revolves around masks, which gained acute relevance in 2020 in the context of the coronavirus pandemic.

While the work Blaue Blumenköpfe (Blue Flower Heads, 2020) recalls Van Gogh's Sunflowers (1888), other flower-head conglomerates invoke the masked beings of the Belgian Symbolist James Ensor (1860–1949). A large-format interior scene, finally, created in 2020 and titled Я рисую, следовательно, я есьм. I draw, therefore I am, may be interpreted as a kind of aesthetic program of the artist.

In a crimson-hued studio sphere, central representations of art and cultural history, such as the prehistoric Venus of Willendorf, ancient Egyptian figures, or a painting by the Dutch constructivist Piet Mondrian (1872–1944) are united: Like a visual network of inspiration, they enter into a dialogue on the wall of the represented room with some of Mat Vey's ( Matvey Slavin ) Engraved Paintings (Neo-Grattage) from the groups mentioned earlier.

The artist himself, his face hidden by an Ensor mask, is gazing out at the viewer. In front of him, a laptop is placed on top of the table, and next to it a vase of Flower Heads, accompanied by a Russian Cheburashka doll. On the wall to the side, the line: Я рисую = я есьм (Engl.: I draw = I am) is displayed in Old Russian on a television screen.

Here, as both the author and subject of his work, Mat Vey ( Matvey Slavin ) in a way becomes one with his “pictorial notes on life.”6

His “documents for our time,”where he embarks on a cognitive quest into the deeper dimensions behind the appearances of reality, simultaneously serve as repositories of transcultural, era-spanning memory and as sites of exploring his own existence and self-understanding as a painter traversing the tracks of contemporary modern life.

Belinda Grace Gardner, 2020


1Cf. Gottfried Boehm, “Bild und Zeit,” in: Das Phänomen Zeit in Kunst und Wissenschaft, ed. by Hannelore Paflik, Weinheim: VCH, Acta Humaniora, 1987, p. 18.

2Ibid., p. 21.

3Mat Vey ( Matvey Slavin ) in a telephone conversation with the author on November 30, 2020.


5Cf. Roland Barthes: Die helle Kammer. Bemerkung zur Photographie, from the French by Dietrich Leube, Frankfurt/Main: Suhrkamp Verlag, p. 126. [Emphasis in the original].

6Cf. Uwe M. Schneede: Die Kunst des Surrealismus. Malerei, Skulptur, Dichtung, Fotografie, Film, Munich: C.H. Beck, 2006, p. 114.

7Mat Vey ( Matvey Slavin ) in a telephone conversation with the author (see note 3).


[All Engl. quotes are the author's translation from the German.]




Corner Udstillingen

Gammelgaard, Denmark




Pleinair Ausstellung 7 Malen Dölln

Galerie im Neuen Rathaus

Prenzlauer Allee 7, Templin, Germany


1987 born in Saint Petersburg, Russia

2000 moved to Hamburg, Germany

2017 moved to Copenhagen, Denmark, where he lives and works today


2011 graduated from Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (prof. Erhard Göttlicher)

2015 graduated from University of Fine Arts of Hamburg (prof. Markus Vater)

2013-2014 attended a semester at Academy of Fine Arts Vienna (prof. Daniel Richter)

Artist-in-residence / work grants

2014-2015 at Künstlerhaus Meinersen, DE-Meinersen (1 year)

2016 at Künstlerhaus im Schlossgarten, DE-Cuxhaven (6 months)

2018 at Katholische Akademie Schwerte, DE-Schwerte (3 months)

Group exhibitions (selected)

2022 UDS 22 - Ung Dansk Samtidstkunst, Kunstbygningen, Vrå, Denmark

          KP 22 - Kunstnernes Påskeudstilling, Kunsthal Aarhus, Denmark

2021 REMIX #7, kunstmix Pop-Up, Galleri Fjellvang, Copenhagen, Denmark

          Galleri47s Juleudstilling, Galleri47, Næstved, Denmark

          The Krunchist Movement III, Blaa Galleri, Copenhagen, Denmark

          The Beginning Galleri47, Næstved, Denmark

          Krunchist Movement II, Blaa Galleri, Copenhagen, Denmark

          7 malen Uckermark Pleinairmalerei in Gross Doelln, Galerie Hennwack,

          Berlin, Germany              

          The Krunchist Movement, Blaa Galleri, Copenhagen, Denmark

          Between Waves, Blaa Galleri, Copenhagen, Denmark

          7 malen in Doelln. Ergebnisse eines Kuenstlertreffens, Kunstverein,

          Schwedt, Germany

          Efter-Billeder, JANUS- Vestjyllands Kunstmuseum, Tistrup, Denmark

          20 x Testimony Kunsthal, Vejle, Denmark

2020 Ohne Einschraenkung: KUNST, Galerie subjectobject, Berlin, Denmark

          Lebenszeichen Katholische Akademie, Schwerte, Germany

          Art of Giving. SIRIN Copenhagen Gallery, Copenhagen, Germany

          Efter-billeder SAK, Svendborg, Denmark

          Corona Confinement Blues, Blaa Galleri, Copenhagen, Denmark

          By og Land, Galleri 2132, Roslev, Denmark

2019 Remix #6, galleri kunstmix, Copenhagen, Denmark

          Kunst im August, Galerie subject object, Berlin, Germany

          Plein Air, Glyngoere Kulturstation-Museum, Salling, Denmark

          Remix #5, galleri kunstmix, Copenhagen, Denmark

2018 Remix #4, galleri kunstmix, Copenhagen, Denmark

          URBAN 2018, Maerz contemporary, Molde, Norway

          Remix #3, galleri kunstmix, Copenhagen, Denmark

2017 Remix #2, galleri kunstmix, Copenhagen, Denmark

          Artgeschoss 2017, ARTGESCHOSS, Berlin, Germany

          Aus der Natur, Kunstverein, Barsinghausen, Germany

          Remix #1, galleri kunstmix, Copenhagen, Denmark

          Spurensuche, Kunstverein, Schwedt, Germany

          Sommer in Hamburg, Galerie des Hotels Grand Elysee, Hamburg, Germany

          3653 x JA, Galerie subject object, Berlin, Germany

2016 Die Farben des Winters, Museen im Kulturzentrum, Rendsburg, Germany

          Die Farben des Winters, Kunsthaus Muellers, Rendsburg, Germany

2015 Erinnerung, Galerie Hengevoss-Duerkop, Hamburg, Germany

          Sommersausstellung, Galerie Halbach, Celle, Germany

2014 Chill Out!, Galerie Hengevoss-Duerkop, Hamburg, Germany

          Zimmer Frei, Museet paa Koldinghus, Kolding, Denamark

          Wuk Exhibition Ubik Bueller-S Day Off, Ubic Space, Vienna, Austria

          Xzbit - Die Ausstellung, projekthaus, Hamburg, Germany

          Acchrochage, Galerie Rose, Hamburg, Germany

2013 KurtSalon, Galerie Kurt im Hirsch, Berlin, Germany

          Norddeutsche Realisten - Meinersen 2013 - Eine Bestandaufnahme,

          Kuenstlerhaus, Meinersen, Germany

          Kunst am Bodden, Galerie der Farbrique, Gängeviertel, Hamburg, Germany

          HEUTE,- Ultramarin, Galerie Hinterconti, Hamburg, Germany

          Galore 2013, Valby Kulturhus, Copenhagen, Denmark

          Kunst - Landschaft - Moelln neue Stadtansichten, Möllner Museum, Mölln, 


          HEUTE,- Zitate und Zutaten, Galerie KUB, Leipzig, Germany

          Kuenstler der Galerie, Kunsthaus Muellers, Rendsburg, Germany

          Norddeutsche Realisten in Hohwacht, Kunsthaus Müllers, Rendsburg, Germany

          Speicherplatz, Nullunendlich, Leipzig, Germany

          HEUTE,- Groteske Wirklichkeit, Galerie affenfaust, Hamburg, Germany

2012 HEUTE,- Momente, Galerie Hafentor 7, Hamburg, Germany

          Die Bionale - Zwischen Ackerbau und Hochkultur, Galerie der HFBK,

          Hamburg, Germany

          Zeitgeist, Fabrik der Kuenste, Hamburg, Germany

          Macht Spass, Galerie Raum linksrechts, Hamburg, Germany

          Ideen von Landschaft, Jenisch Haus, Hamburg, Germany

          Pappdemokratie, Künstlerhaus Vorwerkstift. Hamburg, Germany

2011 Heute, Kunsthaus Speckstrasse, Gängeviertel, Hamburg, Germany

          Galore 2011 - Valby Kulturhus, Copenhagen, Denmark

          Antlitz, Bildnis, Conterfey, Frappant, Hamburg, Germany

2010 Experiment 010 - Kulturforum Schwimmhalle Schloss, Ploen, Germany

          Hamburger Stadtteile, Fabrik der Künste, Hamburg, Germany

          Zeitgenössischer Mythos, Kunsthaus Speckstrasse, Gaengeviertel, Hamburg,


2009 Cartel 21, Fabrik Gaengeviertel, Hamburg, Germany

2008 Russische Variationen, Stiftung Landdrostei, Pinneberg, Germany

          wandsbektranformance. Die Gegenwart des Kolonialen. Kunsthaus, Hamburg,


Solo exhibitions (selected)

2021 SKAKMAT, Blaa Galleri, Copenhagen, Denmark

          Tugend und Suende, Katholische Akademie, Schwerte, Denmark

2020 Tugend und Suende, Bank fuer Kirche und Caritas, Paderborn, Germany

2019 Copenhagen Open Air, galleri kunstmix, Copenhagen, Denmark

2018 Image Hunter, galleri kunstmix, Copenhagen, Denmark

          Image Hunter, Katholische Akademie, Schwerte, Germany

2017 Fiction Factory, galleri kunstmix, Copenhagen, Denmark

2016 Geflasht von Trash, Galerie OST-ART im Kulturring, Berlin, Germany

2011 Hamburger Landschaften, Galerie Kunst-nah, Hamburg, Germany

2008 Die Elbe von der Speicherstadt bis Blankenese - KulturForum Altona, Hamburg,


Duo exhibitions (selected)

2020 Greifbar, BLAA Galleri, Copenhagen, Denmark

2019 Open Up, Galerie subjectobject, Berlin, Germany

2018 ET - Yellow Popdada, galleri kunstmix, Copenhagen, Denmark

          ET - Red Popdada, galleri kunstmix, Copenhagen, Denmark

2017 ET - Von nix kommt nix, galleri kunstmix, Copenhagen, Denmark

          ET - Popdadaistische Blabla- & Laufbilder, Galerie 149, Bremerhaven, Germany

          ET - Berliner Kuriositaeten, Studio Bildende Kunst im Kulturring, Berlin, Germany

          ET - Popdada-Dadapop, galleri kunstmix, Copenhagen, Denmark

2016 ET - Popdada, Galerie subject-object, Berlin, Germany

          ET - Laufbilder - Cuxhavener Kuriositäten, Künstlerhaus im Schloßgarten,

          Cuxhaven, Denmark

          ET - Wir sind soweit, Kuenstlerhaus im Schloßgarten, Cuxhaven, Germany

          ET - Enfants Terribles, Huset, Asnaes, Denmark

2015 ET - Kribbel-Krabbel, Künstlerhaus, Meinersen, Germany

2014 ET - Laufbilder, Ubik Space, AT-Vienna

          ET - Laufbilder & Videoskulpturen, Galerie Hengevoss-Dürkop. Hamburg,  


          ET - Kinder der Louise B., Kunstverein Barsinghausen, Germany

2013 ET - Viking Revival, Galleri Labr, Roskilde, Denmark

          ET - Inszenierte Träume I + II, Galerie Kurt im Hirsch, Berlin, Germany

2012 ET - Vernetzt, Bräuning Contemporary, Hamburg, Germany

          Mensch und Ware, Altonaer Museum, Hamburg, Germany

Public Happening / Duo Enfants Terribles (selected)

2016 23.04. - 25.07. ET - Wir sind soweit, seid Ihr bereit?, Künstlerhaus im Schlossgarten, Cuxhaven, Germany

2015 27.08. ET - Kære gallerist, Bredgade, Copenhagen, Denmark

2014 01.08. ET - Die sieben Matveys, by the Nanas, Leineufer, Hannover, Germany

          28.03. - 01.04. ET - Aufstieg der Ameisen, Künstlerhaus Meinersen, Meinersen,


2012 31.08.ET - Konsumschwein, Fischmarkt - Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg, Germany

          10.05. ET -Enfants Terribles, Aussenplateau der Hamburger Kunsthalle,

          Hamburg, Germany

          *(ET = Enfants Terribles - Nana Bastrup & Matvey Slavin)

Catalogues/books (selected)

2022 REMIX #7, Matvey Slavin: s. 29-87 Tekst: Harald Holst, Jegor Fetisov

          Published by: kunstmix, Copenhagen, Denmark

          ISBN 978-87-93898-03-5

2021 Matvey Slavin: SKAKMAT Tekst: Harald Holst

          Published by: Blaa Press, Copenhagen, Denmark

          ISBN 978-87-973618-0-1

2019 Matvey Slavin: Copenhagen Open Air

          Published by: kunstmix Copenhagen, Denmark

          Texts: Nana Bastrup, Tom Joergensen

          German, English, 84 pages

          ISBN 978-87-93898-00-4

2018  Matvey Slavin: Image Hunter

           Published by: Stefanie Lieb, Verlag Katholische Akademie, Schwerte, Germany

           Texts: Peter Klasvogt, Stefanie Lieb

           German, 88 pages

           ISBN 978-3-927382-76-3

2017 Aus der Natur - Nana ET Matvey + Maike Graef

          Published by: Kunstverein Barsinghausen, Germany

          Text: Friedrich Holtiegel

          German, 30 pages

          ISBN: 978-3-945527-08-5

2016 ET - Popdada

          Published by: Galerie subject object, Berlin, Germany

          Text: Ljiljana Vulin-Hinrichs

          German, 36 pages

          Unique drawings, limited numbered, signed edition

2016 ET - Laufbilder - Cuxhavener Kuriositäten

          Published by and Text: Nana Bastrup & Matvey Slavin, Cuxhaven, Germany,

          36 pages

          Unique drawing, limited numbered, signed edition

2015 Katalog Hamburger Landschaften

          Publisher by: Akademiker Verlag, Germany 

          52 pages

          ISBN 978-3-639-86498-4

2015 Zeitbilder - Matvey Slavin

          Published by: Irmgard Bösenberg, Meinersen, Germany

          Text: Belinda Grace Gardner

          48 pages

          ISBN 978-3-00-050176-0.

2015 ET - Footwork

          Published by: Galerie Hengevoss-Dürkop, Hamburg, Germany

          Text: Kerstin Hengevoss-Dürkop, John Czaplicka, Matthias Schatz

          English, 80 pages + DVD

          ISBN: 978-3-00-049805-3

2015 ET - 3 Years Enfants Terribles

          Published by: Nana Bastrup, Matvey Slavin, Meinersen, Germany 

          Text: Kerstin Hengevoss-Dürkop, John Czaplicka, Michael Stöber,

          Merle Radtke, Hanna Richter-Kiewning, Friedrich Holtiegel

          Danish, English, German, Russian, 344 pages

          ISBN: 978-3-00-049034-7

2014 ET - Enfants Terribles

          Published by: Nana Bastrup & Matvey Slavin, Hamburg, Germany

          Text: Michael Stoeber

          German, English, 100 pages

          ISBN: 978-3-00-047552-8

          Unique drawing, limited, numbered, signed edition

2014 ET - Enfants Terribles - Kinder der Louise B.

          Published by: Kunstverein Barsinghausen, Germany

          Text: Friedrich Holtiegel, Joachim Voss

          German, 31 pages 

          ISBN: 978-3-945527-00-9

2014 ET - Laufbilder

          Published by: Nana Bastrup & Matvey Slavin, Hamburg, Germany

          Text: Viola F. Holtz, Hanna Richter-Kiewning 

          German, 100 pages

          ISBN: 978-3-00-045152-2

2014 ZIMMER FREI Unge kunstnere genopdager kongeslottet

          Publisher: Axel Johnsen & Museet paa Koldinghus, Denmark

          Texts: Anders Scrmn Meisner, Anna Bak, Axel Johnsen, Dan Stockholm,

          Eske  Rex, Jacob Taekker, Lotte Agger, Mia Helmer, Mie Lund              

          Hansen, Michael Wuertz Overbeck, Nanna Riis Andersen, Nana Bastrup &

          Matvey Slavin, Niels Pugholm, Nina Saunders, Soeren                

          Behncke, Timo Andersen, Ulla Bech-Bruun

          Danish, 17 pages

          ISBN: 978-87-87152-64-8


2014 Meinersen - Eine Bestandaufnahme

          Publisher: Dirk Bösenberg, Ernst Posselt. Meinersen, Germany, 121 pages

          ISBN 978-3-00-046560-4

2013 KUNST LANDSCHAFT MÖLLN - Neue Stadtansichten

          Publisher: Stadt Mölln/ Moellner Museum Historisches Rathaus. Mölln. 2013

          Text: Michael Packheiser

          German, 44 pages

2012 ET - Enfants Terribles

          Published by: Bräuning Contemporary, Hamburg, Germany

          Text: Till Bräuning   

          German, 25 pages

          ISBN: 978-3-00-039981-7

2012 Die Norddeutschen Realisten. Symposium 2012 in Hohwacht am Genueser  


          Publisher: MCM ART Verlag, Berlin 2012

          Editor: Christopher Lehmpfuhl, Berlin

          Text: Uwe Haupenthal

          German, 92 pages

          ISBN 978-39815169-3-7

2011 Matvey Slavin - Hamburger Landschaften

          Publisher: Matvey Slavin. Hamburg, Germany

          German, 38 pages

CONTACT Mat Vey (Matvey Slavin)

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