- Gennady, when did the idea to
represent homeless people come to you for the first time?
For the first time I faced them in 1962 when I worked as the policeman on
point duty at the area of the Belarussian station. And everywhere around on benches,
and even directly on the earth slept the hungry and torn-off bums whom I had
to wake up and deliver to the 10th police station. Then my head was stuffed
by "correct" things, and there wasn't any pity to people.
those bums differed from the today's. Usually the people who had come from
prisons and colonies became the bums. They came back to Moscow to their home, but their wives had already lived
with others, and relatives didn't accept them back. People couldn't leave the
familiar places, neighbors and usually remained at the entrance of their
house, lodging under a ladder near the battery. Neighbors brought them food
and left it in bowls directly on a floor. They looked awfully - chilled,
beaten, tied up by rags instead of bandage... Never fought and didn't resist,
were in a borderline between life and death - "live corpses". In
1997 I decided to make a series of bums in oil. I judged that the real bums
is the dead bums. Who lived as the bums and died as the bums. And there is
still a big tragedy as the last minutes of life of such people are awful...
- So anybody hasn’t seen these
In 1999 when the "Moscow-Petersburg” exhibition in TsDH was organized, I
showed my works to the selection commission. At first all the members of the
commission grimaced and didn’t want to take anything. But then they chose one
picture. The organizers found sponsors and published the magnificent catalog.
There were presented all the works, except mine.