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Russian-born Sergei V. Chernikov began his professional painting career over ten years ago. Prior to moving to the United States, he earned a Masters in Linguistics, with a major in English and a minor in French. Art was a hobby he adopted to balance the intense academic lifestyle; it gave him a way to express himself. 

The hobby soon became a profession and word of his talent spread as he settled in the North Shore suburbs of Chicago. “People are the most fascinating and challenging genre of painting because of the fluidity of expression that shows the inner life of a person,” he says. In Chernikov’s opinion: “A portrait is not a stationary combination of features, but the subtle manifestations of a character on the background of outward appearance.” Chernikov is also successful when he applies his talents to other genres of painting such as still lifes, murals—including trompe l’oeil—and statue restoration. He often exhibits his work in shows in his adopted state of Wisconsin as well as Illinois.

Chernikov works primarily in oils, but he also enjoys creating pastel portraits. His work is realistic, but clearly a painting which should not be confused with a photograph. Chernikov loves to include pets, additional figures or whatever best illuminates the subject. With his artistry in still life, he also enjoys including mementos which help to tell the subject’s story to future generations.


He starts with a three hour meeting and photo session where he can get acquainted with the subject. Chernikov makes portraits from photos—as in a posthumous portrait, but he prefers to control the lighting and shoot his own photo reference material. Chernikov then goes back to his studio outside of Chicago to paint the portrait which will be completed in one to two months. Along the way, the client will receive digital images as updates via email. 


Albert Einstein Healthcare, Philadelphia PA

Beverage Control Corp, Knoxville, TN

Chattanooga Tennessee Court

Court of Appeals, Knoxville, TN

Duke University, Raleigh, NC

East Carolina University, Greenville, NC

East Woods School, Oyster Bay, NY

EMJ Corporation, Chattanooga TN

Fitchburg State University, Fitchburg, MA

Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta GA

Greeneville Tennessee Court

Harvard University, Cambridge MA

Kenosha County Court, WI

Magee Rehabilitation Hospital, Philadelphia, PA

Memphis Academy School, Memphis TN

Morristown Beard School, Morristown NJ

Perimeter College (GSU), Alpharetta, GA

Pilot Corporation, Knoxville, TN

Roosevelt University, Chicago, IL

St. Augustine, Chicago IL

State of Tennessee

Tennessee Supreme Court

University Club, New York,  NY

University of Alabama, Birmingham, AL

University of South Carolina, School of Nursing, Columbia, SC

University of South Carolina, Law School, Columbia, SC

University of Tennessee, Health Science Center, Memphis,TN

University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN

Watson & Roach Law Firm, Knoxville, TN


Numerous private commissions

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