The State Museum and Exhibition Center ROSPHOTO presents the exhibition Sergey Osmachkin. Processing the Mundane. The exhibition continues the series of solo exhibitions, introducing the public to the works of the best Russian photographers of the second half of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century. This is the first display of Sergey Osmachkin’s work in St. Petersburg.

Sergey Osmachkin from Samara represents the generation of young photographers who, through their aspirations and creative pursuits, have determined the intensive development of Russian art photography since late 1970s and brought it to success on the international art scene in the 1990s.

This retrospective exhibition includes 100 pictures from the cycles Open Spaces, Still Lifes, Pink Smoke, Songs of Mundanity, and Yards and Streets of Old Samara. These include gelatin silver prints by the author created between 1978 and 2001 and digital photographs made by Sergey Osmachkin in 2000–2021. Some works in the genre of still life come from the collection of ROSPHOTO. 

Sergey Osmachkin, Wild dances 2.

Sergey Osmachkin was born in Asha, Chelyabinsk region, in 1961. Almost immediately after Sergey’s birth, his family moved to Kuibyshev (now Samara). At the age of 16, Sergey joined Kuibyshev amateur photography club Parallax and “was conquered by creative photography,” which defined his further life. 

He worked as a laboratory assistant, photographed at a theater, scientific research institute, and a factory. He has tried his hand at portrait, still life and landscape photography, and has experimented with the technique of photomontage, striving to transform reality. Since 1983, he has participated in many regional, nationwide and international exhibitions and contests. By the age of 23, he became famous across the country, having won prizes at the major photo shows in the United States, Spain, Great Britain, France and the GDR. In 1985, Sergey Osmachkin founded the Samara photoclub in Kuibyshev and became its president. In 1988, he moved to Cheboksary, where he worked as an instructional designer at a regional research and methodological center for work with amateur photographers. He took part in the organization of the Society of Photographic Art of the Chuvash ASSR. From 1987 to 1991, he participated in Analytical Exhibitions, a new type of exhibitions in the Soviet Union, negating the competitive aspect and favoring the presentation of authors’ collections, “bringing forward the individuality of photographic thinking, the author’s stand and style.” In the 1990s, Sergei Osmachkin’s works were included in major exhibition projects of Russian photography, such as The New Wave of Russian and Belorussian Photography (Moscow, 1991), Photo—Russia-92 (Moscow, 1992), ФОТО/PHOTO. Russian Art Photography Today (New Jersey, 1993), The Art of Contemporary Photography. Russia, Ukraine, Belarus (Moscow), Contemporary Photography from the Collection of the National Library of France (Paris, 1994). In the 21st century, Sergey Osmachkin keeps on working on his cycles Songs of Mundanity and Yards and Streets of Old Samara in the style of “true-life reality,” according to his own definition.

The exhibition got its title from the author’s formula Processing the mundane. The secret side of mundanity, hidden from the human eye in automatic repetitions of daily routines, reveals itself to the author and the viewer only in photographs. Each story, carefully thought through by the author, makes the viewer wonder, reflect and emotionally experience the simple events of everyday life.

In 2007, Sergey Osmachkin was one of the founders of fixxer, a community of photographers using only photographic language to reflect life.

Sergei Osmachkin’s photographs are held in the collections of the Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris; MOCA, Los Angeles; the New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe; The Herenside Collection at the University of Texas Humanities Research Center, Houston (USA); ROSIZO State Museum and Exhibition Center (Moscow), Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow; and ROSPHOTO State Museum and Exhibition Center.

Author about the exhibition

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