RETROSPECTIVE PHOTO REVIEW OF LIFE IN THE USSR
YURI SHALAMOFF

I look for the big moment, the one that captures the event.”

Yuri Shalamoff

Interview, The New York Times


Yuri Shalamoff was born and educated in Russia. He took his first picture - of his grandmother - with a tiny camera called Liliput when he was seven. That was the beginning of his love and unwavering devotion to photography.

In the Soviet Union pictures could tell a story that was not always possible to describe in words. Thus camera became Shalamoff’s pen.

In the late forties, while still in college, Shalamoff started working as press photographer in Leningrad’s newspapers Vechernyaya Gazeta and later Leningradskaya Pravda. His photographs were gaining notice and in 1960 he made it to the “big league” in Moscow.

For over ten years Shalamoff worked as staff photographer for the most popular Soviet daily Komsomolskaya Pravda. His work captured the most important events of the time. In his photographs are people, their work, achievements, life and death...

Sport has a special place in Shalamoff’s heart and this is vividly reflected in his work. His camera captured youngsters just starting out on their path to glory within the infamous Soviet “sports machine” as well as World and Olympic Champions and record holders. He covered many premier national and international sporting events, including Olympic Games.

In 1970 Shalamoff joined an elite team of photographers at the magazine Soviet Union (Soviet equivalent of Life magazine). In 1974 he emigrated to the US with his family.

Here, in his new homeland, Shalamoff continues his work as a free lance photographer. Shalamoff’s photographs are published in magazines, newspapers (The New York Times being one of them) and books.

He participated in many group and solo exhibitions both in his native country and in the West, including individual shows at the Modernage Gallery and International Center of New York. Among his awards are a gold medal in 1970 at the International Photo Show in Switzerland and a silver medal at the winter Olympics exhibition in France in 1968.

Yuri Shalamoff currently lives in New York City. Here are some of his works.

Copyright © 1959 - 2004 Yuri Shalamoff