Sunday, 6 June 2010

Alexey Titarenko

Images copyright Alexey Titarenko.
Photographers can define cities. They can invent them or at least the idea of a city, the image of a city, and that image can be so strong that once in place the photographers vision can never again be separated from the reality. A perfect bonding between an artists vision and a location. Photographers can make stars into icons, and they can do the same for cities. When I went to Paris In my head I was visiting the world of Brassia and of Atget. Having never been, I imagine a New York of Gary Winogrand and if I go to to Hamburg I'm sure it will be populated by a cast straight out of Cafe Lehmitz. It takes involvement and if not love then fascination for a place or in the case of Eugene Smith and 'Pittsburgh' a near fatal and devistating obsession.
Alexey Titarenko has over many years been working on St Petersburg. This has become the main subject for his life's work and in the process he has made an extraordinary body of work, that not only portrays this great city but also deeper themes of recent Russian history. I have always wanted to see St Peterburg, I imagine and hope it to be like the pictures by Alexey Titarenko. Alexey Titarenko is in the west an under appreciated artist and an exceptional talent. Few photographers can match the balance and marriage he achieves between technique and concept. Gushing? I guess I am.

Below a documentary about his work. (it's in 3 bits and a little slow to get going and sounds like it's translated by Stephen Hawking but persevere....)

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