An introduction to Alexey Shifman

©Richard Hanemaayer

Hello everyone!
My name is Alex, I am 30 and I am from Saint-Petersburg, Russia.

Recently I have decided to open a street photo gallery in Rotterdam. Starting from this blog I will share with you the backstage of the gallery life. A look in the kitchen of “making” the exhibition gallery.

But I would like to start from the beginning – the turning point to open my gallery and start this crazy adventure. Several years ago I was asked by a fashion creator to make the art collection for his salon. All went well till the moment the gallery started to look like a shop. My rebellion did not help to change the politics of art selection, so I have left that project for another one. It did not help – the end was the same.

There was no time to be upset and working for some other fashion salon and having the same problems again was not my intention. It was clear for me the following step was to find the way to open my own gallery and create what I was considering how my gallery should be. Gallery of  street photography was long time cherished dream, so the subject of gallery was not a point of long reflections. Main issue was what make it different from other galleries in the city? How to make the name? How attract artist and finally how to work with my audience?

From the beginning it was clear that I do not want to hide myself from the street audience by the clean laboratory look of high established galleries. Instead create a space for common public where it is possible to experiment with curating. Giving full freedom for photographer in subjects and be easily accessible.

Then surprisingly I found that in the Netherlands there isn’t any gallery for emerging artist. Really few galleries risk to show the emerging street photographers. In this moment I was screaming: “Eureka!!!”.

At that moment was born the concept of street gallery: gallery for emerging street photographers “RAW”.

The first step was done, the following was to come: which artist to show? How to contact? Will the audience appreciate the works? When to open the gallery? Where to look for the gallery space? And how to combine my idea of open public gallery with availability in the city spaces? And finally what is my budget? An ocean of new questions.

But the first step is the most complicated – all the coming problems were only the motivating challenge for me and I was eager to solve them.

In the following blog the crazy time of preparations for a gallery opening. A new art address at West Kruiskade 51 and the first exhibition of Rotterdam photographer Jasper van Orden.

See you!!

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