Wake up the taiga: how to draw the attention of entrepreneurs to art
The love of art can manifest itself in different ways: either you create it or you acquire it. Galleries that combine creativity and business are often the meeting place for creative personalities and collectors. Alina Kryukova, the founder of the a-s-t-r-a gallery of contemporary art, shared her personal experience of running a gallery business, who spoke about the beginning of her career, its development and today's sources of motivation.
— What goal did you set for yourself when opening the a-s-t-r-a gallery? Is the basic concept of the gallery different from the moment of opening and now? Has the main vector of development changed?
— At the time of the gallery's opening, it was extremely important for me that a-s-t-r-a became a comfortable entry point to the art market for those who are interested in this art and want to start acquiring it. The second task was to popularize collecting through a series of exhibition and educational projects. We tried to make collecting not something outlandish, but understandable and accessible to more people. We do not impose art on anyone and do not force them to buy it, because it is extremely important for us how a person will live with this art in the future and that everything be for love. Has my strategy changed? No. I still try to be a guide to the world of art for people aged 35-45, where they can first get acquainted with their taste, and then begin to develop, expand and strengthen it through visits to other galleries, museum exhibitions and educational programs. My task for the next three years is to form a strong exhibition agenda, launch a philosophical program, and expand the project to the regions.
— Which artists do you mainly collaborate with? Are they aspiring creators or, conversely, artists with considerable experience behind them?
— Since the opening of the gallery, we have collaborated with young guys, and we had only a few artists with a great exhibition career in the pool who believed in us. Now we have several groups of artists. The first is the young ones, whom we select according to the permanent open call. With the help of this format, we find new names, new guys who continue their creative path with a-s-t-r-a in the future. The second group is residents with whom we already cooperate. These can be both young established artists and superstars who have an international name. The third segment includes 55+ artists. This September highlights the gallery's policy in a very interesting way - on September 5, a solo exhibition of a twenty-year-old artist-resident of the Jolie Alien gallery opened at the MMOMA on Petrovka, and on September 6 we opened a solo exhibition dedicated to the 60th anniversary of Igor Litvinov. These are completely different artists and different experiences that I, as a gallery owner, and the audience at the exhibition get when they come into contact, and it's very interesting to watch.