Veteran photographer Alexander Zabrin began his career in the Seventies, taking photographs of the key players and clubs of the Soviet jazz scene. Using his insider status, he captured the countercultural movement and those involved in the scene as it grew in popularity. Now, from 24 October to 1 December, a new exhibition at St Petersburg’s Rosphoto gallery will show a selection of images from Zabrin’s work over a decade starting from 1985.
The photos depict the lives of some of Russia’s major jazz artists, as well as the artistic circles they moved in, including figures such as artist Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe, who died earlier this year. Describing the era, art critic Bogdan Mamonov said: “The late Eighties was a time when, within the underground culture, all kinds of practices in music, art and theatre easily merged and masterfully overcame any limitations. Many heroes of those years would not be able to define exactly who they were. An artist could be at the same time a poet, a musician could do paintings, a theatre director could try being a curator or a drummer.”