Shalamov Yuri

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Yuri Shalamov (1924 – 2018) was born in Moscow and educated in Russia. He began to get involved in photography from early childhood: with a small camera, which his father gave him, at first he shot everything that he saw around. During his studies, he made photo reports for the school wall newspaper.

Shalamov was a participant in the Second World War, after which he continued to engage in photography. At the end of the 40s, while studying at the institute, Shalamov began working as a photojournalist for the newspaper Vecherny Leningrad, and then – for Leningradskaya Pravda.

Since the 50s, he has filmed a lot of everyday Soviet life, as well as prominent political, cultural and sports events. Shalamov’s photographs capture such memorable moments of history as the opening day of the “Tomb of the Unknown Soldier” memorial in Moscow (1967), the days of protest movements against the Vietnam War (1960s), the first appearance of Sophia Loren and Gina Lollobrigida in the Soviet Union at Moscow International Film Festival (1965), the last match of the legendary Soviet goalkeeper Lev Yashin (1971).

For over a decade, Shalamov worked as a staff photographer for one of the most popular and influential Soviet daily newspapers, Komsomolskaya Pravda. During this time, more than six thousand of his photographs were published, preserving the memory of significant events of that time.

Sports occupied a special place in the heart of Shalamov – he participated in auto races on a par with professionals, flew an aeroplane, and excellently shot at a shooting range. These hobbies are clearly reflected in his work. Shalamov’s photographs cover many international sporting events, including the Olympic Games. His photographs show both very young athletes who are just beginning their activities on the way to glory, as well as Olympic champions and world record holders.

In 1970, Shalamov was invited to work at the primary colour photographic magazine in the Soviet Union”. For two years, he travelled with a camera around the country both on the instructions of the editorial board and on his own initiative. In 1974 he emigrated to the United States with his family. There Shalamov continued his work already as a freelance photographer. His photographs have been published in LIFE, The New York Times, as well as in other American magazines, newspapers and books. Once “The New York Times” posted a selection of Yuri Shalamov’s photo reports on an entire page. It was an unprecedented event in the history of America’s premier newspaper. Later he received an offer of permanent work in the most prominent photo agency “Wagner International Photo”, where he worked for almost three years.

Yuri Shalamov was awarded several international awards: a gold medal in the Photographique competition (Switzerland, 1970) and a silver medal at a photo exhibition of the X Winter Olympic Games (Grenoble, France, 1968).

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