Nailya Alexander Gallery is pleased to announce “Alexey Titarenko: Venice,” a new series by the photographer taken during 2001-2008. The opening reception will be held on April 3rd, 6-8pm at 24 West 57th Street, #503.
In Watermark, the poet Joseph Brodsky, from St. Petersburg like Titarenko, depicts Venice as an extension of St. Petersburg. The photographer portrayed St. Petersburg as the city of shadows, and the same thought could fit Venice, a fading city in its dreamlike beauty and surreal atmosphere. Here, even the solidity of the marble fails and seems to evaporate. Titarenko increases this feeling leaving the shutter open, so everything hangs suspended, and Brodsky's Venice, city of approximations, becomes visible.
It is inevitable to eventually fall hopelessly in love with Venice. Weighed down by water, fog and heat, the city creates an ideal environment for meditation. Awakening hidden tender feelings, it invites one to get more in touch with an inner self, and experience humility and a deep gratitude for the city’s continuous inspirations.
The exhibition showcases some twenty photographs, with every image a personal reflection of the photographer’s love for the captivating city. Although Titarenko’s editions are of ten and five, every print is a unique interpretation. Titarenko, as a winter light in this city, forces us to see the shades of gray that arouse both our imagination and senses. Sunset is the photographer’s favorite theme, a time of magic and purest light. In the dusk the darkened gray brings mystery, in Brodsky’s words, “[a] private light, the light of Giorgione or Bellini... the city lingers in it, savoring its touch, the caress of the infinity whence it came.” He catches this glowing light on sides of a decayed building suspended over a small canal or in playful auric circles following a passerby. With Titarenko's images we hear the chiming of bells, a hectic traffic jam of motorboats, vaporetti and gondolas in a melting light over Grand Canal’s busiest Rialto bridge area. A melancholy murky sun between the elegant columns casts a shimmering silver-golden light on the Piazetta, as if a gigantic liquid mirror, the sky and its reflection, merge and we mix with the crowd that seems entranced and carried away towards the sea.
The overwhelming beauty of the city has a soothing healing effect. Experiencing its transformative quality of light provides solace and one cannot escape a feeling of a sweet tormented longing to return to the beloved place again and again.
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); Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego (CA); Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara (CA); Davis Museum, Wellesley (MA); Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk (VA); European House of Photography, Paris (France); Musee de l'Elysee, Lausanne (Switzerland); Reattu Museum, Arles (France), and in the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg (Russia).