St Petersburg photographer wows Delhi at arts festival

Alexey Sukhopar presented his works at the Delhi International Arts Festival. Source: RCSC

Alexey Sukhopar presented his works at the Delhi International Arts Festival. Source: RCSC

Alexey Sukhopar presented his works from different corners of India at the Delhi International Arts Festival.

Visitors to the 6th Delhi International Arts Festival were enthralled by forty pictures depicting a harmonious synthesis of classical painting and traditional photography. The artworks are the brainchild of Alexey Sukhopar, a renowned photographer from St Petersburg. 

The landscapes, portraits and scenes from Indian life were photographed over the last six years during Sukhopar’s trips to Varanasi, Agra, Khajuraho, Haridwar, Rishikesh, Pondicherry, Pushkar, Tiruvannamalai. “There is a mystery in each photo, despite the fact that they are reflections of real life. He managed to combine documentary features of photography and emotional character of painting,” says Jyotika Sharma, curator of the Delhi International Arts Festival.

“The photo painting technique includes both digital and classical painting and graphics. The basis is a photo which is gradually retouched in a graphics editing programme with simultaneous use of watercolour or oil-painted sketches,” says Sukhopar. “I started my career with painting and drawing. The acquisition of my camera reminds me of buying a new brush or paints.”

Sukhopar’s works on India have been exhibited in many countries. The Jawaharlal Nehru Cultural Centre at the Embassy of India in Moscow, the Russian Centre of Science and Culture in New Delhi and Indian Cultural Centre in Bangkok are some of the venues that displayed the St Petersburg artist’s works. Many of his works are preserved in private collections in India, Thailand, Germany and Russia.

“I was looking for a way to pass my perception of India through art and found it in the photo painting technique,” Sukhopar says. “Each time, India guides the artist and helps him discover new facets of his profession. Discovering India, you discover yourself,” Sukhopar says. The artist graduated from the Philosophy Department of St Petersburg State University and has a Master of Sports (athletics). He is also a teacher and fashion photographer.

“As an inquisitive and enthusiastic person, Alexei travels a lot. But since he first visited India in 2006, this country is his favourite place of study and inspiration,” says his wife, musician and photographer Julia Sukhopar.

Alexey and Julia Sukhopar are now working in India within the framework of an international cultural project called ‘Kerala and Carelia: Too Different and Too Similar,’ initiated by the Tourism Department of the Government of Kerala with the support of Landenpohya and Sortavalla administrations of Russian Republic of Carelia and the Russian Centre of Science and Culture in Trivandrum. The project involves the collection of photographic material in India and in the Republic of Carelia and thematic exhibitions in both regions.

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