|Birth name||Alexey Viktorovich Titarenko|
November 25, 1962 |
Leningrad, Soviet Union
At age 15, he became the youngest member of the independent photo club Zerkalo [Mirror]. He went on to graduate from the Department of Cinematic and Photographic Art at Leningrad's Institute of Culture.
His series of collages, photomontages and images created by superposing several negatives, "Nomenklatura of Signs" (first exhibited in 1988, in Leningrad) is a commentary on the Communist regime as an oppressive system that converts citizens into mere signs. In 1989, "Nomenklatura of Signs" was included in Photostroyka, a major show of new Soviet photography that toured the US.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 he produced several series of photographs about human condition of the Russian people during this time and the suffering they have endured then and throughout the twentieth century. To illustrate links between the present and the past, he created powerful metaphors by introducing long exposure and intentional camera movement into street photography. However, it is rather the way he uses long exposure (not the fact by itself of using it) that many sources note as his most important innovation. John Bailey (cinematographer) in his essay about Garry Winogrand and Alexey Titarenko mentioned that "One of the obstacles was having an exposure of himself and people's reaction to him included in the image." 
The most well-known series from this period is "City of Shadows," whose urban landscapes reiterate the Odessa Steps (also known as the Primorsky or Potemkin Stairs) scene from Sergei Eisenstein's film The Battleship Potemkin.  Inspired by the music of Dmitri Shostakovich and the novels of Fyodor Dostoevsky, he also translated Dostoevsky's vision of the Russian soul into sometimes poetic, sometimes dramatic pictures of his native city, Saint Petersburg.
Titarenko's prints are subtly crafted in the darkroom. Bleaching and toning add depth to his nuanced palette of grays, rendering each print a unique interpretation of his experience and imbuing his work with a personal and emotive visual character. This particular beauty was recently emphasized by the exhibition of his prints from Havana series in J. Paul Getty Museum of Fine Arts (Los Angeles, May - October 2011).
As it was for Man Ray or Maurice Tabard, solarisation is another Titarenko's creative tool. But unlike his predecessors, he exposes the print to light during developing mostly at the edges and in a such subtle way, that only lower the contrast and create a very particular kind of gray silver 'veil', an aerial 'atmosphere' that is so characteristic of his style. Nonetheless, in order to emphasize the dramatic aspects of "City of Shadows" series, he sometimes uses the Sabattier effect called the Mackie line.
Through numerous interviews, lectures, books, curated exhibitions and two documentaries by French-German TV channel ARTE (2004, 2005); Titarenko is defending a particular vision of an artist and Art, close to the one of Marcel Proust, linked to the literature, poetry and classical music (especially the music of Dmitri Shostakovich), placing himself very far apart from conceptual art tendencies that were developing particularly in Moscow. He now lives and works in New York City.
- "Alexei Titarenko." Galerie Municipale de Château d'Eau, Toulouse, France, 2000, ISBN 2-913241-20-4
- "City of Shadows." Art-Tema, Saint Petersburg, Russia, 2001, ISBN 5-94258-005-7
- "Alexey Titarenko, photographs." Nailya Alexander, Washington D.C., USA, 2003, ISBN 0-9743991-0-8
- Aidan Dunne. "Camera in a City of Shadows." Irish Times, Dublin, May 05 , 2007
- "Dictionnaire mondial de la photographie" Paris, Éditions Larousse, 1994, page 629, ISBN 2-03-511335-0
- Richardson, Nan; Hagen Charles (1989). Photostroika: New Soviet Photography. Aperture 116. New York: Aperture Foundation. ISBN 0-89381-410-5. LCCN 58-30845
- "The Elements of Photography. Understanding and Creating Sophisticated Images." Oxford, Elsevier, 2008, page 200-205, ISBN 978-0-240-80942-7
- Pollack, Barbara. "Alexey Titarenko." Art News, April 2010, page 108
- William Meyers. "A Master of Technique." Wall Street Journal, March 13–14, 2010
- Howarth, Sophie and McLaren, Stephen . "Street Photography Now." London, Thames & Hudson , 2010, page 199-201, ISBN 978-0-500-28907-5
- Ollman, Leah. "Russian Photos Trace Images of Mortality and Memory." Los Angeles Times , August 3, 2001
- Protzman, Ferdinand. "Landscape. Photographs of Time and Place." National Geographic, 2003, page 84-86, ISBN 0-7922-6166-6
- Glueck, Grace "Northern Light." New York Times , New York, March 24, 2006
- Guerrin, Michel. "Alexey Titarenko, clair-obscure." Le Monde, Paris, February 22, 2003
- Bouruet-Aubertot, Veronique "La Cite des Ombres." Beau-Arts magazin , Paris, February 2003
- A.-D. Bouzet. "Saint Petersburg en Ombre et Blanc." Libération, Paris, July 21, 2002
- Johnson, Reed "Cuba under the lens at the Getty Museum" Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles, May 27, 2011
- Hugues, Sylvie "Alexey Titarenko, esthetique et documentaire." Reponse Photo magazine n.132, Paris, France, March 2003, page 80-89
- "Aspects de la photographie Russe" (Aspects of Russian photography) Nice Musées, Nice, France, 2002, page 86, 130-133, 151, ISBN 2-913548-41-5
- Burnstine, Susan "Connection American." Black&White photography magazine, United Kingdom, June 2010, page 20, 21
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Alexey Titarenko.|
- CNN presentation of 'City of Shadows' project
- The Nicholas R. Clifford Symposium 2003, Middlebury, USA
- The American Society of Cinematographers "Street-Wise: The Photography of Garry Winogrand and Alexey Titarenko"
- Centre National de l'Audioviuel, Dudelange, Luxemburg
- Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, VA about "City of Shadows"
- J. P. Getty Museum of Art, Los Angeles, USA
- Davis Museum and Cultural Center, Wellesley, Maryland, USA
- Kenneth Woods on Alexey Titarenko and Dmitri Shostakovich's music
- Nailya Alexander Gallery, New York City, Saint Petersburg in Four Movements exhibition
- Alexey Titarenko on ARTE TV, Le Journal de la Culture, 2004
- A Documentary "Alexey Titarenko: Art et la Maniere" ARTE, France-Germany, 2005
- C. Grimaldis Gallery, Baltimore, Maryland