State Art Museum, Irkutsk
12 August - 15 September 2015



Personal exhibition of famous Italian photographer John Randolph Pepper "evaporation" opened on August 12 in the Irkutsk Regional Art Museum named after VP Sukachev.
A feature of the exhibition is that it consists of works that tell about the lives of people close to the sea, about man's relationship with the water element. These photos were taken in 2012-2013, on the shores of Vraznyh corners of the world - Naples, Thessaloniki, Chicago, New York, Geneva and St. Petersburg.
According to John Pepper, a person can feel completely free only in the face of the vast water surface. The water in his photographs symbolizes eternity and strength, and a man - a grain of sand, lost in the vastness of the universe, yet he is the central part of almost each of his compositions and the main object of landscapes.
Here's a photo where the great city with the black silhouettes of skyscrapers strongly "comes" at the little moving figures, trying to deal with the wind and stubbornly steps forward. And behind the gaping jaws of a huge boundless ocean, ready to absorb, delete, crush, destroy ... The picture gives you a feeling of heavy experiences of loneliness in the big city, it leads to philosophical reflection. There are photos, where the master enjoying life and having fun as a child, for example, a picture of the setting sun casting rays over the water, and the figure of a man on the sand, doing somersaults in the air, which the camera "caught" at a time when he was flying upside down. The picture combines the wonderful joy of life and strict composition.
Each work of John Pepper - is a dialogue with the model with the audience, even to himself. He knows how to pass on their shots mysterious play of light and shadow, black and white, rare and amazing phenomenon. It works only with 35-mm camera and black-and-white film, and in this sense, considers himself a true classical traditions. This is for him essentially.
- I'm never point to the pictures filming location, do not give the names of his pictures, - said John Pepper, - make no bindings to the specifics, I think it is more than clog perception.
The creative manner of the artist does not accept the staged shots.
He catches a moment, a brief moment of life, accident, an instant and inserts it into the frame. Here he follows creative style of his famous teacher, which I will shortly.
All his pictures "breathe." If it is water, it can not help you hear the quiet lapping of rolling waves, if the sand, then, in spite of the black-and-white photograph, seen its shade, if the stones - their structure, if people - we "hear" their voices. And all this because of the organic nature, truth given us pictures, because the photographer, as befits the great master, it activates our imagination and the imagination, forcing them to work.
On his canvases huge expanse of water, the sky, stretching to infinity. The elements in all its beauty, nudity, majesty and mystery. People are attracted to it his "unprepared" by the time the shutter flash, random, momentary, spontaneous emotions.
- Only this, and should be a real picture, it is instantly frozen short, seize the moment, torn from life, - says the master himself. His black and white photographs are harmonious and musical. And if you accompany an exhibition of jazz improvisations, I think they would be very out of place here.
Do not know what nourishes the artist's work, from which he draws inspiration, because the scope of its claims so broad, diverse, extensive and polyphonic. John combines just a lot of art in every genre has had some success. He is not only a well-known photographer, it - film and theater director, screenwriter, producer and musician.
John was born in Rome in 1958 in a family of photojournalist Bill Pepper, headed at the time Roman Bureau of Newsweek. He lived in Rome's Trastevere area. There was the usual boy, but, perhaps more careful and watchful of all that surrounded what was going around at the Roman streets and boulevards, in cafes, in the courts, stadiums, railway stations, because his eyes noticed a lot of what peers passed by. Not by chance at the age of 11, he took up photography seriously. And it was influenced by people who came to visit his father and mother, sculptor, and talked about the movie, about books, about the theater, travel. These people are actors, directors, journalists, photographers. Invariably the conversation comes to successfully take photographs, which for a long time considered and discussed.
These conversations were accompanied by cheerful friendly advice, interesting stories, brought from one or another of the expedition. Gradually formed the artistic vision of the boy. The special was influenced by Henri Cartier-Bresson - French photographer of world renown, a living legend and father of photojournalism, without which it is impossible to imagine the photographic art of the XX century. He was the founder of the genre of "street photography". His black-and-white images - a story, atmosphere, breath and rhythm of life of an era, and his photographs are learning today hundreds of contemporary photographers.
Visited them at a party not less than great and wonderful photographer, cameraman, producer and film director Sam Shaw, did, by the way, the famous picture of Marilyn Monroe standing on a ventilation grille hatch in a flowing dress, and removes other well-known Hollywood stars - Marlon Brando Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn.
At thirteen, John became an assistant photographer Ugo Mulas Italian, who was called a genius of the genre of portraiture and world legend "street photography". He created portraits of his contemporaries, which reflected the style and creative search of artists and then entered in the encyclopedia and solid books on art history. He appealed to the aesthetic of neorealism, did portraits of famous Italian film directors, actors, writers, left many articles necessary for the understanding of the theory of photography.
In 1976, John Pepper graduated from Princeton University with a degree in "History of Art", and then became a Fellow of the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. In the following years he worked as a photographer (his exhibitions are regularly held in Italy, France, Russia and the United States), as a film and theater director, having carried out a number of productions in theaters in France, Italy, Sweden and the United States. He worked in the theater with the great Italian playwright Eduardo de Filippo, was a producer of successful productions in theaters in New York.
Two years ago in St. Petersburg "Theatre on Vasilevsky Island" they put the play "My dear Matilda" based on the Israel Horowitz, one of the most popular American authors. The play is very popular with viewers. And in a conversation with John, he suggested that was not averse to work with any Siberian theater. Actually, John speaks of Siberia with great respect and joy. His photo exhibition, which took place in June and July in Vladivostok and was as well as we do, provided they personally had a great response, and he, in turn, fell in love with this seaside town.
Arriving in Irkutsk, John seems to have received from acquaintance with our city even more impressions and called his second Paris.
- You have no idea in which edge you live here is beautiful as possible sites for interesting observations and discoveries ... I'm happy to be here. Now I will talk in the West, some amazing places I have visited, met some wonderful people. After all, "there" think of Siberia, it is only natural cold and the Gulag, but I am now going to dispel these myths ...
An exhibition of photographs by John Pepper after Irkutsk will wait in Novosibirsk, Omsk, Yekaterinburg, Samara, Russia fototurne culminating in Moscow. Then the exhibition will be on display in New York.
And yet the author does not get tired to explore Siberia to conquer it. The day will come when this article, he would be flying in the early morning flight to Chita, proceed to the area where Chara desert with its majestic sand dunes and oases lakes where traces of ancient civilizations. "Desert" - this is a new topic of the future exhibition of the photographer of the romantic, the observer, the tramp, has traveled the world in search of a great shot. Cheerful man with a gaze that is able to stop time.