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Russia: The Business Of Art In St. Petersburg

  • John Varoli



St. Petersburg, 25 July 1997 (RFE/RL) -- Many Russians believe that art and business don't mix because the smell of money inevitably leads to pandering to the market. But a visiting artist from America, on a program to teach business skills to exhibit organizers at the Fund for the Social Defense of St. Petersburg Artists, is teaching otherwise.

The artist, Ray Pierotti, says good artists don't have to be starving artists. He says a good artist can develop good business sense without compromising integrity.

Pierotti visited the Fund for the Social Defense of St. Petersburg Artists as a volunteer for the month of July on a program organized by the American non-profit, International Executive Service Corps (IESC).

IESC's project with the Fund for the Social Defense of St. Petersburg Artists is its first with a non-profit organization.

The Fund for the Social Defense of St. Petersburg Artists, founded in 1992 seeks to prompte local art to foreign buyers, in part by organizing exhibits for them abroad. The Fund's directors applied to the IESC for assistance. Pierotti is part of the response.

He said that he finds Russian art unusual from an American perspective, but of high quality. He said that what he has seen probably is saleable in lucrative U.S. markets. But he said it "needs to better presented and promoted to be competitive in the American art market."

Pierotti said he will make a report and recommendation to the IESC. It is possible, he said, that the Fund will receive long term help to show St. Petersburg art in the United States.
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