The Moscow art world has moved fast after a flash flood ravaged the city of Krymsk in the south of Russia. The Red October Gallery has organized a charity auction called "Help Krymsk," to be held on Friday. Fifty works by the country's top contemporary artists will be sold to raise money to aid victims of the flood. Much of Krymsk is in ruins, thousands have been left homeless and over 170 killed in the disaster following the July 7 disaster.
The founder of Red October Gallery, Vladimir Ovcharenko, will act as auctioneer at the event. He talked to The Moscow Times about the auction.
Q: Why did The Red October Gallery decide to help Krymsk?
A: It was an impulse of my heart. I wanted to somehow help. Since I work in the arts, the auction was one of the first things that came to mind.
Q: Where will the money raised at the auction go?
A: We have a few ideas, but we are mostly focused on helping children whose families have been affected by the flood.
Most of these kids are now suffering from very serious psychological trauma. We think the best way would be to see them spend a couple of weeks away from Krymsk and to let psychologists work with them so as to help them overcome this traumatic experience. In any case, it will all be absolutely transparent. All the money that we raise is going straight to Krymsk. We are not taking any money for expenses. We hope to raise 100,000 euros at the auction. Anybody can follow the process by visiting our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/redoctobergallery.
Q: Which artists will participate in the auction?
A: Sergei Bratkov, Oleg Kulik, Vladimir Dubossarsky and Alexander Vinogradov, Pavel Pepperstein and Semyon Faibisovich are among the artists who will participate. They reacted very quickly, and most of them agreed immediately. We have estimates of 6,000 to 7,000 euros for the Pepperstein work and 8,000 to 10,000 euros for a piece by Bratkov.
The least expensive work has an estimation of around 500 euros. It is a photo by a very interesting artist, Vladimir Arkhipov, whose solo show is going to open at Red October Gallery on Sept. 4.
Q: Will The Red October Gallery participate in charitable events in the future?
A: The idea to have this auction was very impulsive. Myself and my team suddenly realized that we have to do all we can to help the people who suffered so much. No charity actions and events are planned in the near future, but we now know it can happen again when our help and support is needed.