The photo art exhibition "Impressions..." by Sergey Yastrzhembskiy
March 14 April 5, 2009
The exhibition was held at the Ekaterina Cultural Foundation, Moscow, 21/5 Kuznetsky Most, entrance 8. Enter from Bolshaya Lubyanka street.
The Ekaterina Cultural Foundation, the Moscow House of Photography and the "Geo-Photo" National Photo Archives with the support of the "National Standard" Bank presented the photo art exhibition "Impressions..." by Sergey Yastrzhembskiy. The exhibition shown about 200 unique photographs created by the famous Russian statesman during the last three years.
Less then a year ago Sergey Yastrzhembskiy left the posts of the Russian President's aide and Special Representative for relations with the EU to devote himself to his favourite occupation photography. For 20 years photography has been his hobby, but now it has become the meaning of his life. The exhibition at the Ekaterina Cultural Foundation combined three series of large-size photographs created by Sergey Yastrzhembskiy during several last years. All the photos demonstrate the same technique, if the word "technique" is the right definition in this case. All of them were made at the height of several hundred meters above the Earth.
On his foreword to the exhibition catalogue Sergey Yastrzhembskiy wrote the following:
"I do not remember when ever I have got hooked on air-photo shooting. May be it started when I was making photographs from the Moscow Kremlin roofs and Ivan the Great Belfry so that the height allowed me to have a totally different view on the palaces and cathedrals well recognized from the childhood. They delighted my eye by new viewpoints and details which where impossible to see standing on the ground. Or, may be, it happened when I was making the first sky portraits of my worshiped Toscana from the air-balloon basket, and this experience sinked deeply into my heart."
The exhibition consisted of two parts: Toscana (the Ekaterina Foundation's first floor) and Air-impressionism (three halls of the second floor). Each of the three halls of Air-impressionism display was dedicated to a separate theme: Africa, Europe and Siberia demonstrated from the viewpoints accessible, perhaps, for Yastrzhembskiy only.
Speaking about his favourite and dearest photographs, Yastrzhembskiy has said that he would like to mention a series of photos created in South Africa from the plane. The colours, the texture and geometrical language of the Earth captured by those photographs reminded him of the Russian avant-garde painting. Sergey Yastrzhembskiy also mentioned the photographs which were created in Toscana. Here you can see the hills situated between Siena and Florence in Val D'Orcha valley. "Usually I made them standing on my feet while travelling through the area by car," recollects the artist, "this time I managed to take photos from the air." There are several areas in Toscana, which are recognized as Word Natural Heritage sites. It is a rare estimate on the part of UNESCO which was awarded namely to several regions of Toscana because of their incomparable beauty.
The exhibition curator, the Director of the Moscow House of Photography Olga Sviblova says: "As an air-photographer Sergey Yastrzhembskiy is interested first and foremost in the visual structure and abstract composition highlighting the differences between countries and continents by means of the texture and the scale of colours. These differences were determined not only by natural features but also by the impact of human civilization. Yastrzhembskiy's photographs manifest the objective nature of the Russian avant-garde notional constructions. His Africa looks brutal both in composition and colours. Europe is picturesque and more impressionistic. These series of photographs are fascinating by themselves, but even more so in comparison with each other."
The visitors had a unique opportunity to compare the countries and continents from the height of the bird's flight as well as take pleasure in the ideal combination of design, texture and colour created by Nature itself while captured and skillfully photographed by Sergey Yastrzhembskiy.