guido-van-helten-chernobyl-1In commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, Brisbane-based artist Guido van Helten painted this wonderful portrait based on a photograph taken by the renowned photojournalist Igor Kostin short after the disaster in 1986.
The mural, made possible thanks to the assistance from the Chernobyl district authorities, was painted inside an abandoned reactor that was under construction at the time of the accident.
For this special occasion, Guido van Helten chose to recreate the work of Igor Kostin, famous for documenting the both the disaster in 1986 and the arduous clean up activities in the aftermath of the accident, often sacrificing his own safety and health to denounce the dangers of such nuclear catastrophes. In Guido van Helten’s words:
‘I wanted to create a work that honoured the sacrifice Igor Kostin made in the documentation of this disaster and for the importance of photojournalism as a medium of sharing of information with the world and in this case, showing the extreme dangers Nuclear energy can have.’ – Guido van Helten

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Guido van Helten’s work was documented by Ukrainian photographer and filmmaker Geo Leros who created a short film released today 26th of April in order to commemorate the anniversary of a disaster that injured and displaced more than 300.000 people. According to Geo Leros ‘This movie is not just about the mural, it’s a story about Igor Kostin, about a journalist who battled everyday to put his life in danger to share with us this information, it’s the story about the strong people who fight with this disaster.’

Amazing work.

Photos by Anton Kuleba, film by Geo Leros
Project: ArtUnitedUs
Curators: Geo Leros, Iryna Kanishcheva, Waone Interesni Kazki, Ilya Sagaidak
Where: Chernobyl, Pripyat (the city-ghost, exclusion zone)

Author: Fran

Founder and editor of Urbanite. Street Art lover who after the finishing her MA thesis on the muralist movement in the 1920-50s, developed a fascination for street art and graffiti that eventually led to collaborations with different art blogs, including the creation of this one.