Russian nudes: An anti-erotic angle

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By German ABAYEV

Sexuality had nothing to do with five-year plans and socialist realism. On the contrary, Soviet officials probably pictured nudes not as an art but as mere "pornography," a distraction of the Soviet people from the great ideals of communism.

But nudity photographers have still managed to work in this country, even in places far from Moscow. A presentation by S.Art Gallery of Voronezh-based photographer Alexander Doro makes that point. An exposition and sales of its works "Nudes, Shocking Erotica" opened last week at the gallery, offering an usual trip to the depths of Russian sexuality in these troubled times.

S.Art Gallery owner and art director, Petr Vois, is always looking out for new talent in Russia. "Sometimes you can find an artist like that in the provinces," he said, explaining that he immediately became interested in Doro’s work and decided to arrange his exhibition in Moscow.

"There is a thin line between art and pornography and Doro’s is on the verge of crossing that. He’s a very angry artist and that’s a good thing: It’s like being an angry athlete," he said at the opening of the presentation. "Doro just works with female nude bodies," Vois said. "He uses them to express his feeling rather than to depict the usual beauty."

The exposition indeed has nothing to do with the commonplace and sweet beauty of nude photography of the Playboy style: Doro rejects that.

Living in the Russian province, Doro experiences all the hardships of life and that pushes him to express himself through nude photography.

The pictures are available for $300-400. The address: S.Art Gallery, Zemlyannoy Val, 14 (entrance from Maly Kazarmenny Pereulok, Metro Station "Kurskaya.")