Column by Evgenia Milova about the events of the past social week

Column by Evgenia Milova about the events of the past social week

Last social week there were good cultural events, not sad and not alarming: the Blazar art fair opened, the Askeri sisters - Polina and Angelina - opened the space of their Askeri Club, and in St. Petersburg Marika and Ildar Abdrazakov gave a charity evening in honor of the 150th anniversary of Fyodor Chaliapin. And this sharply brought secular processes out of the captivity of restaurant openings in areas where one can show taste not only in matters of food.

The Blazar young art fair, which traditionally took place at the Museum of Moscow, seems to be increasingly detached from the “mother” fair - Cosmoscow. According to the original idea, young art was to be sold in parallel and simultaneously with older art. However, for the second year in a row, some bad luck hangs over Cosmoscow - we have to change the place and dates. Without going into details, it is, of course, clear: Cosmoscow was conceived as an event not only in the art world, but also partly in the city. So it was supposed to take place year after year in Gostiny Dvor simultaneously with the celebration of City Day. This was a cool plan for Moscow, open to the whole world, which, like other world capitals, could not exist without a good art fair. Since then, the priorities and tasks within the framework of City Day have changed. And so we discover Cosmoscow at the end of September at Expocentre. However, there is no doubt that everything will be successful there too. Let's return to Blazar, which already showed sales of 7 million rubles in the first 24 hours, even though almost half of the visitors continued to call the fair an exhibition. Guests excitedly ran around the stands, many of which were pretty much gnawed by the middle of the preview day. In general, it is clear that those who come in the evening on the day of the preview do it more for social reasons and for the sake of networking, while buyers come during the day. But year after year the flow of collectors who come for installation becomes more and more active. This year it was Anton Belov and Irina Volskaya. In the morning, Boris Zarkov, Ksenia Kitaeva, and, of course, Andrei Malakhov came. It is strange that he has not yet developed the habit of visiting galleries and artists a few days before the opening of the fair and buying up all the most interesting things, as Pavel Tretyakov did.

On Thursday, at the intersection of the Garden Ring and Spiridonovka, the Askeri Club opened, uniting the gallery of Polina Askeri and the design bureau of Angelina Askeri under one roof. There were slightly fewer guests here than the day before at Blazar, but their diversity turned out to be even wider. The ambivalent attitude towards Polina Askeri and her gallery from her colleagues became completely clear after the Cosmoscow fair rejected her application for artistic reasons. However, this opinion is definitely not shared by... O. the head of the capital's depcult, Alexander Kibovsky: according to him, for many years he hoped that Polina would leave this “fashionable passion for contemporary art,” but now he’s even glad that this didn’t happen. One way or another, those who regularly purchase art, and, for example, singer Anna Sedokova, came to the opening.

The week ended with a ball in St. Petersburg in honor of Chaliapin. Mr. Abdrazakov could dedicate this ball to himself - this year he celebrates his 25th anniversary on the big stage. But it was Chaliapin’s 150th anniversary that he took as personally as possible. Indeed, Mr. Abdrazakov has already shown a short, spectacular program of numbers previously performed by the great bass - at the VTB party as part of SPIEF (and probably somewhere else). But now he did it in the palace of Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich.

This palace, of course, has always existed; it is better known as the House of Scientists named after Gorky. All the time it existed on its own wave and was never included in the mandatory list of places for social activities in the historical interiors of St. Petersburg. And then about a year ago, it was as if it had been put on the map again, and enlightened Muscovites, along with dinner at Birch, certainly tried to go there on an individual excursion. But in the case of the current ball, the place was determined not so much by the fashion for the Vladimir Palace, but by the fact that it was here that Chaliapin regularly performed and generally had a rather informal relationship with the Grand Duke and his wife.

The purpose of the charity fundraiser was to support Mr. Abdrazakov’s foundation, which helps talented children. After the concert there was a dinner, during which the guests of the evening had to buy certain lots. No one knew in advance what kind, but it turned out to be exclusively cultural: a master class by Mr. Abdrazakov himself, a trip to Paris to an art fair with a visit to Lohengrin directed by Kirill Serebrennikov, tickets to the opening of the theater season in Monte Carlo, and so on. At first, the shouts from the seats were timid, so Ksenia Sobchak got involved in the matter, and things took off. Towards the end of the evening, gypsies appeared in the palace, leading them, Mr. Abdrazakov sang “Dark Eyes”, and also congratulated Victoria and Oleg Shelyagov on the anniversary of their acquaintance.

Evgenia Milova, Kommersant columnist

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