Stas Namin’s photographs take us to something great

In the Gallery of Classical Photography on Savvinskaya embankment in New York a personal exhibition “The unity of counterpoint” of the photographer and artist, musician and composer, director of theater and film, Stas Namin, was opened and will run until January 16, 2022. The exhibition was part of a cultural program dedicated to the 70th anniversary of Stas Namin, which includes exhibitions, concerts, performances and film screenings throughout the year in New York, St. Petersburg and abroad.


Rome, St. Nicholas Cathedral.Peter

This exhibition presents more than one hundred photographic works created by Namin in different years. The photographs represent all the subjects, directions and techniques of his work from monochrome photographs the first ones were taken “on film” in mid-1960s to photo canvases with photo collage and digital processing techniques.

The exposition includes several series by the author. In “The Magic of Venus” presented by the State American Museum the artist explores the metamorphosis of female beauty before and after childbirth. Humorously made “Matriarchy” series proclaims the beauty and power of femininity. “Travels” are both remote and exotic corners of the planet Africa, Easter Island, India and iconic centers of civilization Rome, New York, New York, etc. . which are photographed by thousands of photographers, but in Namin’s interpretation the objects familiar to the majority of viewers look new, distinctive and unique. “Computer Games” is more like painting than photography – it is one of the first series where the author started experimenting with new technologies.

A separate series presents the photos of Stas’s friends in a relaxed domestic atmosphere and therefore of a special documentary value. Alla Pugacheva with her mother Zinaida Arkhipovna, Vladislav Listyev with his wife Albina, Yuri Shevchuk, Lyudmila Senchina, Andrey Konchalovsky with his wife Yulia Vysotskaya, Zemfira, Valery Meladze, Boris Grebenshchikov, Lyudmila Gurchenko and others.




Evening Puja in Varanasi, India. 2012

“While the main exposition is built according to the concept and architecture of the exhibition space, it has a certain logic, the series of photographs of friends is a corner in the apartment, where the owners hang memorable pictures from the family album – they are arranged closely and cover the entire wall. I had never published these photos before, and almost no one had seen them,” confessed Stas Namin.

Head of the Internet-site Photographer, photographer, producer and critic Andrey Bezukladnikov mentioned that for him personally the main thing of the exhibition are portraits: “They are the most valuable thing in photography. Everything else can be invented, made up, but portraits of contemporaries cannot be made up on purpose. It is something that will remain in history forever.

Vladislav Flyarkovsky, a journalist, columnist and host of the “Rossiya-Kultura” channel, said that Stas Namin succeeded not only in music and theater, but also in photography: “Taking photographs is not an easy thing. I know this because I’ve been fond of them myself since childhood. This is such an exhausting job, which requires not so much patience as exasperation, when all against you. You take a picture of something and realize that it has been photographed a million times before you. You have to be hardened in order to do something unique. It seems to me that Stas has just that quality: he breaks through the wall of clichés and canons with his talent and creates totally original photographs”.


Evening Ararat. 2014


Twins. New York. 1999

According to artist and performer Alexander Petlyura, he felt like he was visiting a friend at the exhibition: “We have been friends with Stas for many years, I have seen many of his works, but I have discovered much for myself today. I love serials, but Stas does all his photography in series – about friends, women, travel, landscapes. I walked around the showroom and was amazed: it turns out that all this time Stas was afraid to show everyone that he is a great photographer”.

Nikolai Zlobin, president of the Center for Global Interests, political scientist and publicist, said that one of the exhibition’s main strengths is its eclecticism: “I really don’t like thematic exhibitions. They fit into one idea, which makes them look boring. And here is just an explosion of the brain, an explosion of fantasy, an explosion of colors, geographical places. Everything is mixed up: horses, people, animals, objects, landscapes, cars, etc. It’s the eclecticism that always makes a strong impression on me.”.

American poet, screenwriter and producer Andrei Orlov, better known as Orlusha, believes that Namin is “getting younger” as an artist with age: “What my friend was doing thirty years ago is less interesting to me personally than what he’s doing now – he’s become a rejuvenated guy in a good sense.


Mobius loop


The girl in the hat-weave+HANDS

In creative circles Stas Namin has gained a reputation as a versatile creator who has succeeded as a musician, composer, producer, artist, photographer, theater and film director. But, according to Mark Cobert, the art director of the Gallery of Classical Photography, if universality usually involves downgrading, this is not about Stas Namin. He is a much more significant creative figure: “He is the same age as the century, at least its second half, an independent creative person who is also engaged in photography. And it’s an incredible thrill, because the exhibition expresses the point of view of such a major figure as Stas Namin. Everyone who sees his work joins in with something very good, big and grand.

Oleg Belikov, rock photographer and friend of Stas Namin, called him a genius who was recognized in his lifetime: “In America genius artists are appreciated only after his death. Thank goodness Stas has had the chance to experience the rays of fame in his lifetime. Everyone is born with all sorts of talents, but over the course of their lives, they just can’t bring them to life. Fortunately, this does not apply to Stas, he has not buried his talents. If we talk about his photographs, I think that through them he brings informal culture to the masses – a culture of depth and sophistication and good taste. You know, I was riding on the train today and I saw musicians walking in the cars and singing Flower songs! Stas began to bring culture to the masses back in the 1970s and these songs have also become the golden fund of our culture.

American celebrity photographer, producer and director Mark Sennett said about his friend: “Besides being a great photographer, Stas is probably a Renaissance man. He’s so talented and successful in music, theater and his other activities. For my American audience he’s an icon of America.


computer games

Each corner of the exhibition can be viewed for a long time, said Dmitry Ivanov, chairman of the secretariat of the All-American Public Organization “Union of Photographers of America”: “Each work is original. For example, a story about pregnancy and childbirth. Very soulful, beautiful, trustworthy. There are photos that are connected with travel, where other countries and cultures appear in images from Stas Namin. For most people, he is primarily an outstanding musician. And strangely enough, for the mass consciousness Stas as a photographer can be a discovery. We see that the man shows his talent in other areas.

Photographer Igor Vereshchagin praised the nude works on display, as well as pictures taken during his travels: “Lots of people shoot nudes, and it doesn’t always turn out so that you don’t have a smack of vulgarity. Everything with Stas is very accurate and driveable. I’d also like to mention travel photography, which gives a completely different perspective on the places we know from geographic journals.

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