°° Guardians - Andy Freeberg °°
In the art museums of Russia, women sit in the galleries and guard the collections. When you look at the paintings and sculptures, the presence of the women becomes an inherent part of viewing the artwork itself. I found the guards as intriguing to observe as the pieces they watch over. In conversation they told me how much they like being among Russia’s great art. A woman in Moscow’s State Tretyakov Gallery Museum said she often returns there on her day off to sit in front of a painting that reminds her of her childhood home. Another guard travels three hours each day to work, since at home she would just sit on her porch and complain about her illnesses, “as old women do.” She would rather be at the museum enjoying the people watching, surrounded by the history of her country.
Andy Freeberg alternates his photography endeavors between personal projects and assignment work. Andy was born in New York and studied at the University of Michigan. He began photographing with assignments for Rolling Stone, Time, The Village Voice, and Fortune, specializing in environmental portraits. His project Sentry: Gallery Desks in Chelsea was presented in a solo show at Danziger Projects in New York in September 2007, earning critical acclaim in The New York Times, The New Yorker, and other publications. His current project, Guardians of Russian Art Museums, was awarded the book prize at Photolucida Critical Mass 2008 in Portland, Oregon, and GUARDIANS is the subject of a monograph published in 2010. Guardians was also selected as a winner at the Hearst 8x10 Photography Biennial in New York. His work is represented in many collections including The George Eastman House, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and others.