Ilya Kabakov was born in Dnepropetrovsk, USSR, in 1933. He studied in Leningrad and, from 1945, in Moscow, where he attended the Art Institute and the VA Surikov Art Academy. In the 1950s and 1960s he worked as an artist and illustrator, dedicating himself to painting and developing the first of the theories that would fuel Muscovite Conceptualism. In 1987, he fled the Soviet Union and settled in Graz, Austria, where he began a new phase in his career concerning multiple international projects based on the idea of “total installation.” In 1988, he began working with the artist Emilia Lekach, who became his wife in 1992. Born in Dnepropetrovsk in 1945, Emilia attended the Music College in Irkutst as well as studying Spanish language and literature at Moscow University. She immigrated to Israel in 1973, and moved to New York in 1975, where she worked as a curator and art dealer. The two artists began working together in New York in the mid-1990s, continuing with and renewing the artistic research that Ilya had begun in the previous years. Kabakov’s works are filled with personal experiences and political myths: drawings, paintings, performances, and installations merge narratives and illustrations on a single metalinguistic level. Ilya’s installations, as well as the ones he made later with Emilia’s collaboration, testify to the birth of the Soviet regime and its decadence, and they express the profound contradictions within Soviet society. The Kabakovs regularly show their works in the most prestigious museums and galleries around the world. In October 2017, Tate Modern in London hosted a major retrospective of their work. Kabakov has received numerous awards and acknowledgements, and is currently the most famous Russian artist; he is also listed among the ten most important artists in the world according to the prestigious magazine, ArtNews. Thanks to his unsurpassable ability to interpret the Soviet conscience, he was the first Russian artist in the second half of the 20th century to achieve the role of art-star in the art system. The Kabakovs live in Long Island, New York.