Friday, December 19, 2014

“Do not count on any financial support from the state” – Kommersant

In Moscow Luzhnetskaya waterfront today opened a new private museum – a museum of Art Deco, the only one in Russia with such specialization. At its heart – the collection of philanthropist and businessman Mkrtich Okroyana. The museum features the world’s largest collection of sculptures in bronze and ivory Parisian master of 1920-1930 Dmitry Chiparusa and furniture designers who helped shape the style and its very name – “decorative arts” Art Deco. Mkrtich OKROYAN answered questions TATIANA Markin.

– What is your collection – a hobby or business?

– Collector collects what he likes; if he buys art to invest money, and then capitalize on this – it’s not a collector, this is an art dealer and gallery owner. The collection can then be transformed into a kind of conditional investment – but then only to a certain extent.

– You have to have a great collection of Russian classics, Levitan, for example, and beyond. Why did you decide to show in his museum is not it, and Art Deco?

– Russian painting was the main focus for me when I started to collect, even in times of adjustment in 1988-1989. I then takes the picture hierarchy, Labasa, Zvereva. There were periods when I bought more, were – when less. All these works, and now I have.

But to compete with the Tretyakov Gallery is futile. Nothing like my collection of Art Deco in Russia is not, and this is a very important and interesting style, the last great style of the twentieth century, after it was nothing …

– How to avoid it? A abstract expressionism, pop art?

– I do not mean the direction in painting, but a lifestyle that would cover all of its side, would form the philosophy life. Art Deco was the last of this style in Europe – style people active, affluent seeking to transform the world around them.

– But Art Deco has so little to do with Russia ?

– We have it too was. Mukhina work in sculpture, painting Deineki, “Stalin’s empire” furniture of the period – it’s all manifestations of art deco, we just have not called it so. And Western Art Deco linked to Russia – after he was given a boost Russian “Diaghilev Seasons”. Russia’s influence on the development of European society in the 20-30s seems obvious I love sculpture and interested in it – and so, in any European sculptor of the time has a “Russian dancer,” it was just a symbol of time. By the way, we will be represented in the museum world’s largest collection of Art Deco sculpture.

– When I first took your familiarity with the Art Deco?

– In the mid-1990s, I designed the interior of one huge room (it was an entire floor) in the Egyptian style. And get real Art Deco – then I realized that, at that time I did not know about this. Therefore, to me this style is very close and interesting. Then I bought my first Chiparusa, it was more than a decade ago. And now I have the largest collection of his sculptures in the world. Not enough, probably only two or three of his works.

– Why did you decide to organize it as a museum? And what is your ideal museum at all?

– Museums in our country are usually talking about how we were good before. We want – and the director of our museum will be my wife, Alla Baban – talk about how it will be good as can be. This means that our museum should be even and educational center. Such as the London Victoria and Albert Museum, where they study and the children and students. Earlier, in Soviet times, something similar was Polytechnical Museum – but then it was gone. Now the word “art deco” called almost anything. We must show people the perfect examples of this style; then it will be possible to raise decorators, architects and art historians.

– How will the museum on?

– I do not count on any financial support from the state. Some of the exhibits, the most valuable, we want to register as a museum values. We’ll restoration workshops; we can carry on the museum site activities (near the business center). In addition, we plan to organize cooperation with the famous house of Lalique, show their museum objects Art Deco era – and a number of modern, in the same style, which can be bought. And I do not plan to sell anything – just add to the collection.


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