Press Release

Nailya Alexander Gallery is pleased to announce “Alexey Titarenko: Havana Sketches,” a new series by St. Petersburg photographer Alexey Titarenko (b.1962). The opening reception will be held on March 21st, 6‐8pm.

Alexey Titarenko believes that the artist’s most important goal is to recreate through his art those aspects of the profoundly personal that form the unique essence of the individual and to impart to it universal forms that are visible both to himself and to others.

Working over the course of many years on the theme of his beloved St. Petersburg, he has gradually understood that part of the creative joy he feels in his work comes not only from the city’s special character and atmosphere, but also from the dynamism of its museum‐like environment and the memory it preserves of his childhood and youth. The city’s distinct presence entered his personality and became a part of his inner world. Thus, entirely independent of his will and consciousness, Titarenko has instinctively tried to find this ‘other half’ in each new place of travel but only rarely feels inspiration.

This happened during his first trip to Havana in 2003. As he describes: “I was struck by a wave of unexpected joy – of unconscious, all‐encompassing joy—that surged from somewhere deep inside me. I felt as if I had flown back in time at least 20 years before: old fashioned models of cars passing by, modestly dressed people, stunning architecture in dilapidated physical condition, pioneers merrily marching across the road...” He was mesmerized by the city’s atmosphere that reminded him of his youth. He felt its presence from the first moment he perceived it and grasped it with all his senses. 

The present exhibition showcases the artist’s sketches of a city frozen in time through a kaleidoscope of leisurely street life. Taken in 2003 and 2006, these images eloquently capture his passion for the world he encountered. 

Alexey Titarenko is one of the most prominent photographers from Russia today. He has had numerous exhibitions both in Europe and the US. Titarenko’s photographs can be found in the collections of such museums as the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia (PA); the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston (TX); the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston (MA); the Museum of Fine Arts in Columbus (OH); George Eastman House, Rochester (NY); the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk,(VA); Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego (CA), Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara (CA); Davis Museum, Wellesley, MA; European House of Photography in Paris (France); Musée de l'Elysée in Lausanne (Switzerland); Reattu Museum, Arles (France), and in the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg (Russia).