Vitaly Mikhailovich Novikov (went under a pseudonym – Vargachev) was born in 1932 in Leningrad. In 1968 he graduated from Repin State Academic Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, Sculpture Faculty. In 1972 he became a member of the Leningrad Artists’ Union. For some time he worked with sculptors V. G. Stamov, V. L. Rybalko, N. Sh. Mogilevsky and transformed their works to stone N. Sh. Mogilevsky was his tutor. Under his guidance he made a marble composition «Sivka-Burka» which was exhibited at All-Soviet Union Exhibition in Moscow in 1975. After that it was set up on Tverskoy Avenue in Moscow.
In 1977-1979 he went to International Symposium on Stone in Hungary, where he made a non-figurative sculpture «Russian Motive» 3 meters high after spinning wheel women from Vologda. The sculpture was exhibited in many European countries. Now it is in the International Museum of Stone Sculpture in Hungary. In a village of Tula region, where his relatives lived, the artist found a strong stone – Devonian limestone – and made some transportable sculptures of it. Three of those sculptures were exhibited at All-Russia Animalistic Exhibition in 1987 in Moscow. All three were bought, and one of them – «Horse’s Run» – became the property of the State Tretyakov Gallery. «Work Horse» from the same series was exhibited in Dresden.
In 1989 he participated in International Symposium on Stone in Bulgaria in Asenovgrad, Rodopi. His sculpture «Centaur» dedicated to Gregory Bakuriany, the founder of Bachkovsky monastery, is set up in Asenovgrad.
He participated in the International Animalistic Exhibition in Antverpen in1993. His work «Sitting Bear» is set up in the Antverpen Zoo. At the same time he began working at porcelain factory (till 2003) where he transformed his works to porcelain. Now he works with porcelain of his own. Since 2004 he works with bronze plenty of time.
Since 1998 he is a participant of the International Festival of sculptors-animalists working with bronze. In 2004 he got the first prize for his composition «A Bear Heavy with Young» and in 2006 he got the third prize for his composition «She-wolf».
2008 75-year anniversary of the Artists’ Union, «Manege» Central Exhibition Hall, St. Petersburg
2009 Russia XI, Moscow
2009 Animalistic Exhibition, Exhibition hall of the Artists’ Union, St. Petersburg