My infatuation with Russia began in 1985 as I came of age during the Reagan
and Gorbachev era. I had already experienced international living with my
middle school years, bouncing between New Jersey, Lahore, Pakistan and Oahu.
We went to live for 1 year in Lahore and ended up being evacuated in 1979
(another story another day...)
So, I decided that French and Spanish were too easy and I wanted a challenging
language in college. It was a choice between Arabic, Japanese, Chinese and
Russian. Well, for no other reason but glasnost and perestroika, I chose
Grueling hours spent memorizing vocabulary and struggling with complex
grammar paid off and I went to Moscow in 1988 as a student with ACTR. White
nights, Bulgakov, St. Basil's, vodka and secret encounters with brave Russians
let me into a love affair that has lasted to this day.
From student to sales rep for Tyson chicken, I returned to Moscow in 1993
and discovered that, with a little help, Russian's could develop their capitalist
side. In some ways, the innocence and naivete of my youth vanished along
with the former Soviet Union, as my own growth paralleled Russia's entrance
into a new economy and open society.
I spent five years living and working in Moscow in the 1990's, first as
a sales representative for a frozen food distributor based out of Arkansas,
then as a country manager for a Russia entrepreneur based in New Jersey
and finally as a marketing director for Remy-Cointreau, an internationally
renowned spirits and wine distributor. Life was never dull.
In the 90's, I lived more than I photographed, so the bulk of my images
come from 2000, when I returned to Russia as a consultant and looked at
Moscow with a photographer's eye. My collection is extensive, and this is
just a small sampling of images that are now on display at Javarama. I also
had the opportunity to revisit Novosibirsk and to visit Tomsk in 2000. Siberia
fascinated me and I have written several short stories about my encounters
there. You can read some of these stories at your leisure as well.
So, please, click on an image for an enlarged picture and a brief caption.