Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art

Everyday Life
Acrylic on canvas, 95 x 73 cm

Walking On Water
Acrylic on canvas, 92 x 73 cm

Blossoming Chestnut
Acrylic and spray paint on canvas, 80 x 100 cm

You Have To Break Something
Acrylic on canvas, 40 x 30 cm


Alexey Yakovlev (1982) is a self-taught painter whose acrylic works on canvas depict the banalities of everyday life and its simple pleasures. The works are populated by a motley crew of outcasts—the unemployed, alcoholic or simply unlucky—and informed by a deep sense of connection with a section of society that is generally forgotten. The titles of the paintings explain the situations in which Yakovlev is caught and offer a humble and generous view into this peripheral reality.

The paintings Walking on Water and Blossoming Chestnut are expressions of moments of daily life. In Walking on Water, a man wearing sailor’s clothes waits in the check-out line of the supermarket to buy a crate of beer. Without knowing him personally, one could assume he is a sailor who is out of a job and now spends his days drinking. Blossoming Chestnut is made in the style of a pastiche, drawing on various art historical references, and shows two youths sitting by the curb wearing Adidas tracksuits. This recognisable scene of the urban periphery describes the habits of disenfranchised youth. Yakovlev’s paintings are confrontations with the proximity of these situations and with the outcasts of a society based on inclusion and exclusion—a society that fills its cities’ peripheries with misfits and castaways who then go on to create their own parallel society.