Alexey Titarenko was born in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) in 1962. He graduated from the Department of Cinematic and Photographic Art at Leningrad’s Institute of Culture in 1983. His series of collages and photomontages Nomenklatura of Signs (first exhibited in 1988 in Leningrad) is a commentary on the Communist regime. In 1989, Nomenklatura of Signs was included in Photostroyka, a major show of new Soviet photography that toured the US.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, he produced several series of photographs about the human condition of the Russian people during this time and the suffering they endured throughout the twentieth century. To illustrate links between the present and the past, he created powerful metaphors by introducing long exposure and intentional camera movement into street photography. The most well-known series of this period is City of Shadows. Inspired by the music of Dmitri Shostakovich and the novels of Fëdor Dostoyevsky, he also translated Dostoyevsky’s version of the Russian soul into sometimes poetic, sometimes dramatic pictures of his native city, St. Petersburg.
In 2002 the International Photography Festival at Arles, France presented this work at the Reattu Museum in the exhibition, Les quatres mouvements de St. Petersburg curated by Gabriel Bauret.
Titarenko’s prints are subtly crafted in the darkroom. Bleaching and toning add depth to his nuanced palette of grays, rendering each print a unique interpretation of his experience and imbuing his work with a personal and emotive visual character.
His works are in the collections of major European and American museums, including The State Russian Museum (St. Petersburg); The Getty Museum (Los Angeles); the Philadelphia Museum of Fine Art; the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston); the Museum of Fine Arts (Houston); the Museum of Photographic Arts (San Diego); the European House of Photography (Paris); the Reattu Museum of Fine Arts (Arles); and the Musée de l’Elysée Museum for Photography (Lausanne).
Alexey Titarenko lives and works in New York. He is represented by Nailya Alexander Gallery.