Sergey Cherniy belongs to a generation of icon painters that can be called pioneers. He was one of the people who started creating church art in the 1980s. During the Soviet period doing anything like this was, to put it mildly, quite unsafe. But having discovered the beauty of ancient images, the beauty of the Gospel and Orthodox worship, and finally, the beauty of the Kingdom of God Sergey Cherniy could not go into anything but the church art. He began to carve on stone, paint icons and cathedrals. Studying at the architectural department of the Surikov Art Institute laid the perfect basis that can be easily seen in his free and skilled drawing. But as for the icon painting, he had to master it by himself or working with other artists. However having mastered the icon painting, Sergey remains a true artist — thoughtful, creative and always looking for something new. He never just copies ancient images, never blindly follows them. Quite opposite, understanding the God’s plan, he tries to reconsider the image and create a work that meets the spiritual needs of today. His style is always recognizable, characterized by thoroughness of painting, the beauty of lines, the nuanced and complicated coloration. The images painted by him feature inner completeness and devotional intensity evoking response from viewers.
Sergey Cherniy contributed greatly to the church art: his works can be found in Russian churches as well as in churches around the world. He has got dozens of painted churches under his belt. More than that, the Cherniy’s icons can be also found in private hands and collections. His creations were often showed at the modern church art exhibitions starting from the very first one that took place back in 1989 in the city of Zaryadie (Moscow).
Sergey Cherniy has devoted more than 30 years to the church art. Today his family members, namely his wife Olga and kids, are working together with him. The eldest son Alexander has already gained a reputation of an established and original church artist. He paints churches all by himself. The daughter Irina helps her parents in painting. The youngest Serafim is into icon carving, wood and stone carving. He also takes part in projects related to churches. It can be said that we witness a living tradition being restored, in other words, the older generation passing the torch to the younger one.
Unfortunately the latest creations by Sergey Cherniy have not been finished as they are located within the military conflict zone (Donetsk region), we are referring to St. George’s cathedral in Makiivka and the Pokrovskiy church of Svyatogorsk Holy Assumption Monastery. We express hope that they will remain unchanged, and the hand of the master will be able to finish the process of painting initiated earlier.
a Russian scientist and a public figure, a fine art expert, the head of the Christian culture department at St. Andrew’s Biblical Theological Institute, a lecturer at the Kolomensk theological seminary. A contributor of the following magazines: "Pages: Theology, Culture, Education", "Truth and Life" and "The road together".