The first retrospective exhibition of a famous Russian photojournalist
The exposition comprises a hundred photographs created by the photographer during different periods of his creative and professional work. Along with the author’s original positive prints from the 1970s to the beginning of the 1990s, it includes late digital photographs. The earliest photoshoot presented dates back to 1968; the latest was made during the trip to Sicily in 2012.
Igor Gavrilov was born in 1952 in Moscow. He took interest in photography as a schoolchild, and soon this interest became a passion. During his school years, Gavrilov won an international photo competition among children Zorky – Druzhba 50, and some of his childhood photographs were printed in the press. Upon finishing school, he took part in a contest Passing Grade, conducted by edition The Journalist. After being acknowledged the best of 400 applicants who had arrived to Moscow from all parts of the USSR, Gavrilov won the right to enter the Faculty of Journalism at the Moscow State University without having to take the exams. There he studied in a pilot photography team, a group of students organized by the university for training professional press photographers. As a 23-year-old student, I Gavrilov was employed by the Ogonyok magazine. Working as a photoreporter for Ogonyok, he had been to many regions of the USSR, always aiming to show the life of Soviet people as it was.
In the middle of the 1980s, Ogonyok published a number of I. Gavrilov’s up-to-date photo-reports about the life of a country undergoing changes. In May 1986, he made on-site photo coverage of elimination of the damage caused by the accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, just seven days after the Chernobyl disaster. In 1987, he took part in a large-scale project One Day in the Life of the USSR. Upon his own initiative, but with the support of the chief editor of the Ogonyok magazine, he prepared a photo story about life in the juvenile prison. This material made Igor Gavrilov the first Soviet photographer that revealed the truth about the correctional system in the USSR.
In the next year, I. Gavrilov’s materials about drug addiction, first outbreaks of mass violence in Sumgait, and earthquake in Armenia were published by Ogonyok. At the same time, the photographer started collaborating with the legendary magazine Time, which nominated him for The Best Photographer of the Year award. In 1989, I. Gavrilov was invited to take part in the first photo journalism festival «Visa pour l’Image» (Perpignan, France). As part of the festival, he conducted a personal exhibition dedicated to the aftermath of the Armenian earthquake.
After leaving the Ogonyok in 1990 and after three years of work for the Time, Igor Gavrilov started collaboration with the newspaper Top Secret, magazines The Observer and The Results. His photo stories were published by foreign editions, such as The Independent, The Guardian, Paris Match, Le Monde, Stern, Der Spiegel, Bild. From 1999 to 2008, he has been working for the German magazine Focus, telling the world about the life in modern Russia.
Igor Gavrilov’s retrospective exhibition is a tribute to the maestro, who managed to showcase the forty years of the country’s life veraciously. He created a unique collection of images that constitute a project in which every photoshoot is perceived as an exquisite work of photographic art.