NATASHA SHARYMOVA

Natasha Sharymova is a journalist, photographer, artist and producer. She was born in Leningrad, USSR (now St. Petersburg, Russia).

Her interest in photography emerged at early age. Largely self-taught, she became acquainted with photographic practices by studying English and German books at the National Library of Russia, Russia’s oldest public library.  There she photographed her friends and acquaintances who were later to become important figures in Russian and world culture. In 1962 she covered the visit of American poet Robert Frost to Leningrad.

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Ms. Sharymova studied the history of theater at the Saint Petersburg State Theater Arts Academy and attended the Department of Performance Studies at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. In 1970s she was a member of the editorial board of the samizdat independent journal «37» under the pseudonym Kononova.

In 1977 Ms. Sharymova emigrated to New York, where she contributed to numerous publications of the Russian language press, including Novoe Russkoe Slovo (The New Russian Word), Novyi Amerikanets (New American), Radio Svoboda (Radio Liberty) and published the journal Tochka Zreniia (Viewpoint). In 1980s she taught at St. Sergius Gymnasium in Manhattan.

Ms. Sharymova was active in cultural circles, taking part in the dynamic artistic scenes that defined New York at that time. Among the cultural icons she interviewed for the publications were Yoko Ono, Federico Fellini, Alain Resnais, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Kurt Wonnegut, Jean-Luc Godard, Peter Brook, Allen Ginsberg, Vasily Aksyonov, Dmitry A. Prigov, and Lady Bunny. Among the many noted cultural figures who became subjects of her photographs were Joseph Brodsky, Lillian Gish, Catherine Deneuve, Andy Warhol, Roman Yakobson, Vladimir Vysotsky, Innokenty Smoktunovsky, Alexei Khvostenko, Vitaly Komar, and Alexander Melamid.

In the United States, Ms. Sharymova arranged poetry readings for Bella Akhmadulina, Joseph Brodsky, Dmitry A. Prigov, and Sergei Yursky, among others. In 1991, she moved to Moscow to work in the Russian bureau of the Voice of America. Later she worked as a producer and promoter in Moscow’s artistic night clubs Soho Pilot, Schwein, Gvozdi, and Club on Brestskaya.

Since 2005, in her photographic works Ms. Sharymova has been experimenting with the transformation of images as a way of extending the boundaries of perception.

In 2007 Ms. Sharymova returned to the United States and was active as a journalist and artist. In 2013 she took part in a group show at the Museum of Russian Art in Jersey City, New Jersey, and in 2015 exhibited in the show “Syntax Lies” at the Circus Gallery in New York. In the same year she organized her solo exhibition entitled “A Pixel at the End of the Rainbow,” at the Kings Highway Library in New York.

Since 2011, Ms. Sharymova has been a curator and participant in numerous exhibitions of documentary and fine art photography inspired by the unofficial, non-conformist culture of the USSR and the United States, from the 1950s to the present. Her art exhibits have taken place in New York, Moscow, and St. Petersburg. Her works have been featured in monographs illustrating nonconformist art events and have been published both in Russia and the United States.

Natasha Sharymova lives in the West Village in New York.

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