Sergei Pavlenko graduated from St Petersburg Academy of Fine Arts in 1988 and was nominated for the Gold Medal. He moved to the West in 1989 and became an established portrait painter in Europe and the USA. In 2004 he had two solo exhibitions, at the Russian Embassy in London and the British Embassy in Moscow. In Britain, Channel 4 showed a film about Sergei and his portraits. Pavlenko’s name has been added to the list of “highly distinguished emigrants”. Pavlenko and his wife Tatiana are both now British citizens, and live and work in London.