Denis Kulikov was born in Yaroslavl in 1978. Having connected the profession with metal and spare parts, his artistic activity began with the idea of how to give scrap metal a second life. The process of “reincarnation” of textured parts and the mystery of the birth of each new sculpture inspire the artist and allow him to draw an inexhaustible flow of energy to create unusual installations.
At present, the name of Kulikov is already widely known in his hometown. In Yaroslavl, he created several unofficial attractions, one of which was especially quite popular with the citizens of Yaroslavl - a sculpture of a dinosaur in human size, guarding the building of the city archive. However, at the initial stage of his work, the master worked incognito. Before opening his personal gallery in the city shopping and entertainment complex of Yaroslavl "Altair", Kulikov kept the sculptures in a garage. When the number of his ideas exceeded the number of square meters available to him the sculptor realized that it was time to show his work to the audience and create a separate space for the exhibition.
Kulikov's ideas for processing metal into art objects were highly appreciated by members of the jury of the Moscow Green Project competition, where the master got the first place in his nomination. In 2019, the first personal exhibition of Kulikov took place outside his native country - in Qatar. Large-scale works of car and motorcycle parts, wrenches, cut nails and bent spoons were first shown in a single conceptual space and immediately received a splendid response from a discerning audience. The freshness and spontaneity of the artist's vision of everyday things in his sculptures attracts people’s attention, prompting the eyes to take a closer look at the thousands of different details - components of the work.
The search for creative self-expression also led Denis Kulikov to landscape design. According to the sculptor, it is sometimes necessary to get distracted from the mainstream in order to stay inspired. Making objects out of wood is a meditative process, different from working with iron. Direct work with natural materials brings a person closer to the gifts of the earth, its energy, and it is not so much the artist transforms them as they transform him.
In 2020, the first Moscow personal exhibition of Denis Kulikov under the title “Alternative Evolution” summarizing the ideas in his works will begin in April at the POP UP MUSEUM Museum of Contemporary Russian Art. The exposition will bring together plots of the parallel branch of evolution, created by the author, where amphibian dinosaurs, half fish - half cars, crossed vegetables, cyborgs with human consciousness, and giant insects exist. Conceptually, the sculptures are combined with recycled metal, which creates the effect of cyberization and futurization of objects.
Denis Kulikov came up with the ambitious idea of introducing scrap metal sculptures into the discourse of contemporary art, creating his own statement about global problems of the present and future through the recycling of materials. Depictions of the contrast between nature and technology, the real and the imaginary, the struggle between the natural and the artificial inspire the artist to reflect dialectically on the coexistence of man and his planet, as well as his responsibility to the world, that he will have to conquer once and for all.
"Chernozem" is a large-scale series of bronze sculptures by Stefan Herbst, which tells the story of the realities of the post-apocalyptic world. The overall subject was inspired by Stefan's earlier series "Biological Incubator," which was also included here. The works reveal the artist's ideas about the fantastic future that awaits humanity under prolonged and unconscious exploitation of the environment. The main question on which all the works in the series are based is what scale problems may reach in the future that do not seem fatal now.