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Born in 1960, Kharkiv, Ukraine. Lives and works in Moscow, Russia.
In 1978 he graduated from the Repin Art College and Polytechnical Academy in 1983. He was part of the artist group "Litera A": creating semifigurative painting and a member of the “Rapid Response Group”. In 1993 in his Kharkov studio Bratkov founded the gallery "Apdaun", it lasted until 1997. He is a member of the 25th Biennale in Sao Paulo (2002), Manifesta-5 (2004), the Venice Biennale (2003, 2007, 2011) and the Moscow Biennale (2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015).
He creates photo series (reportage, staging), video, installations and performances. In his works he reflects the social reality of Russia and Ukraine, focusing on the life of homeless, poor and middle-class people. He addresses the society's problems and fixes the "peoples kitsch - an absurd collage of everyday life, typical of the post-Soviet space" (S. Bratkov). His author's signature is best known by his brutal frankness and irony: "In order to reach out to the audience the provocation is necessary", - says the artist.

It is hard to believe that five years ago this deserted place nobody knew was transformed into the most popular mud health resort of the Kuban area where the visitors have a unique opportunity to take mud baths inside the crater of an extinct volcano. As it is revealed in this shoot, patients feel a little excited when they are submerged in the mud because during this process electrical currents are generated carrying a number of active ions into his or her system…