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Valery Katsuba

  • photographer
  • artist
  • writer
  • film director

Photographer, video and performance director, story writer.

His most famous photographic series "Physical Education", "Sitters: Classics and Modernity", "The Seasons, My Friends" are created as narratives based on the classical traditions of art and literature, as well as on historical research. To create photographic series, the artist works (as a director, choreographer or trainer works) with models - athletes, dancers, actors, circus performers, workers or his friends.

Lives and works in St. Petersburg and Madrid.

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Selected events

Selected Artwork Series

Associated institutions

Selected dates:

July 21, 1965

Born in the village of Sergeevichi (Minsk region, BSSR, today the Republic of Belarus) in the family of the forester Vladislav and the director of the secondary school Yanina.

After graduating from school at the age of 16, wanting to know the world, he leaves to study in St. Petersburg (then Leningrad) at the Leningrad Higher Marine Engineering School named after Admiral Makarov at the Arctic Faculty, majoring in meteorology. He graduated from the school with a red diploma and began to engage in scientific work in the graduate school of the school under the guidance of Academician Vladlen Adamenko. At the same time, he met journalist Sergei Kalinin and art historian Catherine Phillips. Under their influence, he begins to engage in journalism. He makes materials for St. Petersburg radio and television, BBC radio and television, and also writes about the art of St. Petersburg and Moscow during Perestroika (Kommersant newspapers, The Guardian, The Independent, Vogue Paris magazine, etc.). He leaves graduate school, clearly realizing that his vocation is connected with art.

Late 1990s

Starts collaborating with Vogue, which opened in Russia, W Magazine, Elle (and others) and produces shootings for such outstanding photographers as Arthur Elgort, Neil Kirk, Philip Lorca di Corsia and stylists Catarina Flor and Karine Roitfeld.


Starts working with photography as a director on the eve of the new millennium. On New Year's Eve of 2000, he creates a film crew, inviting Andrei Samatuga and Yuri Vinogradov to it, and together with them photographs how St. Petersburg met the new millennium. Then, in the winter of that year, he makes a series of "Winter Tales" in collaboration with Yuri Vinogradov, Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe and Evgeny Sorokin. He studies in the archives how the inhabitants of St. Petersburg met the year 1900 and his project “New Year's festivities. Petersburg. 1900 and 2000”, consisting of contemporary and archival photographs, was exhibited in the same year by Olga Sviblova at the Moscow House of Photography.


Made a joint project with the artist Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe ("Every passion is blind and insane").


He begins to shoot on his own with a Hasselblad camera given to him by Neil Kirk, who later becomes the first collector of his work. In the desire to discover the relationship in all times and spaces through what pleases our eyes and imagination, he makes a series of portraits of friends “Seasons. My friends” (2000-2005), trying to achieve the impression of timelessness and thereby focus on the essential in the appearance and character of the portrayed.


"Seasons. My Friends” are exhibited at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art. A poetic series of portraits is one of the trends in the artist's work. Another direction in the artist's work is determined by the influence of the academic, realistic tradition in art. Under this influence, a series of photographs "Physical culture" and "Air flight" were made. "Physical Education" was first shown in Madrid at the Society of Fine Arts (Circulo de Bellas Artes) in 2006. This project is a kind of visual narrative about the impact of trends in sports and physical education over the past 100 years on our contemporaries. "Air flight" (2010-2016) - a series of photographs and videos with aerialists in Moscow.


In Mexico City, next to copies of the sculptures of ancient Greece and Rome at the San Carlos Academy and the San Carlos Museum, he photographed the traditional Indian ball game and concheros dancers. All three parts in the series "The Models: Classics and Modernity" were shown at the National Museum of San Carlos in Mexico City in 2018-2019, including staged photographs of the educational process taken at the Academies of St. Petersburg, Madrid and Mexico City.


About myself:

“I have always been interested in the relative immutability of landscapes – whether natural or architectural – and the historical events passing through them, human destinies, faces. I ask my heroes to stop. And they stop in front of the camera as if in front of the infinity of time and space, exposing their greatness, beauty and fragility. I want to remember them like this and tell about them like that, and therefore I photograph, believing that artistic photography will preserve their elusive and touching images, or in any case, I do everything in my power to preserve them.

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  • corporality
  • language & literature
  • model
  • performative practices
  • photographic practices
  • portrait
  • russia
  • scene images
  • sergeevichi
  • spain