Russian Postcards Exhibition

By Andre Lavigne (55 y.o., Lyon, France).

In November 2017 a good friend of mine Bernard Fortier offered me to arrange an exhibition of his Russian friend Alex Markovich.

It was neither classical photographs nor paintings exhibition as most cafes do. It was a display of Russian postcards which Bernard had been receiving from Alex for more than two years.

I readily place pictures of various artists and photographers in my café so there were no objections on those postcards. I was confused just with ones thing as those cards were small – not of the regular size artists usually display their pictures at the exhibitions.

We stretched the fabric and pinned those Russian postcards. We made a note that everyone could unpin any card to read what’s on the other side of it but then the postcard should be pinned back.

These postcards from Russia were on display for seven weeks (almost until Christmas). I can say for sure that these postcards had defiantly evoked deep nostalgia in dozens of visitors. The other significance is that most of these showpieces were art postcards, not just regular tourist pictures of Russia.

Alex said that according to his blog statistics he was getting much more direct traffic from France as people were typing whether his URL or search query “Postcards from Russia”.

I know that at least three people are now getting this type of Russian postcards from Alex directly to their mailboxes at least once a month and these fellows are happy.

I think that a postcard is a unique way to promote your art. Alex creates watercolor paintings and if these paintings are exhibited just as a regular artwork in frame – it is just another painting. But converting artworks into postcards is something special. Each postcard has a history of traveling thousands of miles from Russia to France. The surface is scratchy; there is a real post stamp on each card.

I think Alex’s cards are a great find for people involved in postcrossing. I don’t know how postcrossing is developed in Russia but in France it’s quite popular. These Russian postcards combine two elements in themselves: Russian landscapes performed in watercolor technique. What you can find in regular souvenir shops – just classical photographs of the most popular tourist objects.

I think when Gerard and Bernard will have enough of Alex’s new postcards we will arrange a new exhibition.

Painting: Alex Markovich.
Pereslavl-Zalesskiy, Yaroslavl Oblast, Russia.