News and events
29 April
Eternal-Momentary: Vladimir Sichov photo exhibition opens at GUM
Forty-eight artworks by the renowned photographer whose photos of mundane life in the USSR conquered the world are presented on Line 3 of the Main Department Store of Russia. The exhibition is one of the events that are being held as part of the Cherry Forest Open Art Festival.

“I am the first photographer who brought real, not staged photographs of life in the Soviet Union to the West. Moreover, I am the last living participant of the Bulldozer Exhibition”, — with these words Vladimir Sichov introduced himself at the opening of his exhibition at GUM on April 26.

“Today we are opening the exhibition of a wonderful artist. I am happy that a lot of people will be able to see his photographs: they will see the eternal in everyday scenes and the momentary in the lives of famous people”, — said the organizer of the exhibition and festival Ilya Kusnirovich.

In the evening the Section Space held a public talk with the photographer. Multimedia Art Museum Director Olga Sviblova moderated the event. “I am beyond overjoyed that Sichov is presented at GUM, his exhibition is a perfect compliment to the Red Line Contemporary Art exhibition”, — noted Olga Sviblova, — “The festivals of Bosco and the Cherry Forest Festival will one day be seen as chronicles of Russian history.”

The display at GUM is divided into two sections. The first cycle of works includes the photographs made “on this side of the Iron Curtain,” in the USSR before the immigration. These photos brought Vladimir Sichov the well-deserved recognition of his colleagues, as well as the admiration of a wider audience. This section includes depictions of everyday life of Soviet people, as well as the art life of Moscow at the end of the 1970s, and portraits of the photographer’s friends. On the other side is life in Europe and Asia that Vladimir has captured while living in immigration. Here you will find exclusive photo portraits of Yves Saint Laurent, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Karl Lagerfeld, and street photos of Paris and China. Rare historical events and simple scenes of everyday life, posing celebrities and people on the street — nothing escapes Sichov’s eyes.

Eternal-Momentary Exhibition is held with the help of TM Defense Legal Firm and is a part of a large-scale touring exhibition of Sichov’s oeuvres that began in 2018 with the exhibition Fr om the Soviet Epoch to the Great Designers at ROSFOTO in Saint Petersburg.

Graduate of the Kazan Aviation Institute, Sichov found his real purpose with time: for two years he worked as a radio engineer at Baikonur while playing saxophone in his free time. Later he purchased a Zenith photo camera and got the hang of taking photographs. He got so involved in the process that he had to quit his job and move to Moscow where he started to make covers for magazines and records.

In 1980 the self-made artist immigrated to France wh ere he gained international recognition in just a couple of months. He was the first Soviet photographer who had a contract with Vogue. The debut publication High Fashion as seen by Vladimir Sichov was 40 pages long — a record even now. Sichov would publish his photos on 200 pages in total during his work with the magazine. Later the photographer collaborated with Paris Match, Le Figaro, Life, Stern. He worked at the Sipa Press up to 2010,

In the 1980s Sichov was the most published photographer in the world – his photos were printed at a record-setting volume. Sichov’s artworks still ring true; they have not lost their relevance and value. 

Vladimir Sichov has created a series of portraits of celebrities: Mikhail Baryshnikov, Roman Polanski, Yves Saint Laurent, Karl Lagerfeld, Kenzo Takada, Cesaria Evora. He was admitted to the highest political circles and accompanied several presidents of France during trips and interviews: François Mitterrand, Jacques Chirac, Nicolas Sarkozy.

Moreover, Sichov has captured momentous world events: the Fall of the Berlin Wall, the overthrow of Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu, and the first days after Mikhail Gorbachev resigned from power.

Sichov’s evocative black and white photos have been included in private and state collections. 14 photographs of the artist are stored at the Pompidou Centre. The artist’s Everyday Soviet Life in the 1970s solo exhibition took place at the State Tretyakov Gallery in 2009.
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