Yury Toroptsov

  • Selected Works

    The House of Baba Yaga, 2008

    “The House of Baba Yaga” depicts the reality and daily life of the photographer’s family house in Grodekovo, a typical village of some three hundred people, north of Vladivostok in the Far Eastern Russia. Exploring the notion of home, the artist offers to viewers two visions: daylight portraits of family members currently occupying the house and night photos of the house exterior. For the night photos, Yury Toroptsov uses the visual codes of Russian traditional fairy tale illustrations. Dark shadows, saturated colours create a feeling of another reality.


    The photo series Fairyland was produced during Yury Toroptsov’s international photographic residency on the British Channel island of Jersey in 2014.

    “Island” as a general notion possesses powerful imagery stemming from myths and legends deeply anchored in the collective unconscious. Jersey with its unique geographical location and history owns a fair share of those mythologies. A closed space, a place of exile, un lieu de passage, a microcosm of society, independence and neutrality, presence of sea and other elements, a promised land, etc. With Fairyland Yury Toroptsov explores how these and other themes manifest themselves in present day Jersey.

    The resulting series is composed of island’s landscapes (dolmens, seaside, and nature) and portraits of its inhabitants (both set up and spontaneous). The title Fairyland was borrowed from travel literature about Jersey in which numerous allusions are made that Jersey is in fact Fairyland. Inspired by this discovery the photographer went on a journey to uncover and document the traces or remnants of what is referred as Fairyland or the land of fairies. In his final selection the photographer makes references to Jersey Norman folklore which has a special place for fairies, described as entities which only visible to few and invisible for most people.

    After the six month residency on the island Toroptsov noted that the island though not vast in terms of its size had a feel of a rather discreet place that wasn’t immediately open for a stranger to witness and photograph, just like fairy folks who choose to reveal themselves only to those they choose.

    Fairyland was showed for the first time in an exhibition at Jersey Arts Centre in September 2014.

    Marilyn and I, 2005-2011

    'In 1999 I had a chance to attend as a spectator "The Personal Property of Marilyn Monroe” auction at Christie’s in New York. I was intrigued by a masterfully orchestrated ritual in a room filled with people determined to shell out thousands of dollars for the right to own a piece of Hollywood’s most iconic woman. It is at Christie’s that I first started wondering about the elements of the exceptional longevity and modernity of Monroe’s myth.' Yury Toroptsov

  • Biography


    France , 1974 -

    Born in 1974 in a rural community near Vladivostok, Yury Toroptsov left his native Russia in 1998 to study at the New School for Social Research in New York after having won a prestigious scholarship. Nourished by his Far-Eastern origins, American travels and the current residence in Europe, Yury Toroptsov keeps what constitutes a common denominator for those distant cultures at the core of his work: people and their identity and the permanence of myths. Memories, metamorphosis, profane and sacred are the recurring themes in his photographs. Toroptsov's photographs have been featured in numerous personal and group shows including at the Maison Europeenne de la Photographie in Paris (2008), Paris Photo (2008), Moscow House of Photography (2013). In 2014 he won the appointment of the Arch'Isle International Photographer in Residence in Jersey (British Channel Island). Lives and works in Paris.

    Yury Toroptsov's website

    Solo exhibitions
    2015 "Deleted scene", Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature, Paris (2/24 - 6/14/15)
    2014 "Fairyland", Archisle International Photography Residence, Jersey (CI), The Berni Gallery, Jersey Arts Centre (9/1 - 9/13/14)
    2013 "Marilyn and I", Moscow House of Photography / The Ekaterina Foundation, Moscow (3/15 - 5/12/13)
    2012 "Marilyn and I", Le Bon Marche Rive Gauche, Paris (10/29/11 - 1/21/12)
    2010 "The House of Baba Yaga", Basia Embiricos Gallery, Paris (4 - 16 May, 2010)
    “The House of Baba Yaga”, large format photo exhibition, Sainte Genevieve des Bois in the framework of 2010 Year of Russia in France (4/30 – 7/4/10)
    2008 "Marilyn and I" (extracts), French National Center of Costume, Moulins during the International Festival Cinema & Costume (6/26 - 6/29/08)
    "Happiness", Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris (01/16 -03/30/08)

    Art fairs and public sales
    2013 Fotofever Art Fair, Brussels (10/4 - 10/6/13)
    2012 Sale LINK pour AIDES, Le Grand Palais, Paris (11/27/12)
    Sale "Photography: vintage, modern and contemporary", Piasa, Drouot, Paris (10/26/12)
    2011 Sale "Russian and Soviet Photographs from 1900 Till Present", Piasa, Drouot, Paris, curated by Agnès de Gouvion Sant-Cyr (03/28/11)
    2010 Photo Off, Paris (11/18 - 11/21/10)
    2009 Salon de mai, Paris (5/11 - 5/17/09)
    2008 Paris Photo, Carrousel du Louvre, Paris (11/13-11/16/08)
    Scope Basel, Switzerland, represented by Saatchi Online (6/3 – 6/8/08)

    Group exhibitions
    2012 "DIY: Photographers & Books", The Cleveland Museum of Art, curated by Barbara Tannenbaum, (8/11 - 12/30/12)
    "Seule", Renoma Store, Paris (5/11 - 12/31/12)
    "Je voeux", Galerie de l'Atelier 2, Villeneuve d'Ascq (9/1 - 24/2/12)
    Galerie Photo 12, Paris (12/8/11 - 1/14/12)
    2011 "The House of Baba Yaga", BAL, Paris (5/10 - 5/15/11)
    2010 "Lille3000", St. Sauveur train station, Lille, France (9/21 - 10/31/10)
    “Dream dresses”, Le Colysee Maison Folie, Lambersart, France (3/13 – 5/30/10)
    2009 "Marilyn and I" (work in progress), School Gallery, Paris (10/13 -11/07/09)
    "Marilyn and I", The Rencontres d'Arles, France (7/07 - 8/30/09)
    2008 "A hotel photo, an artist's view", Théâtre de l'Odéon, Paris (10/6 - 10/24/08)
    "Legender une Vie", Les Correspondances de Manosque, France (9/24-9/28/08)
    Contributed to Brooklyn Museum 's Click! A Crowd-Curated Exhibition (6/27 - 8/10/08)
    2006 "You said advertising?" Gallery of the House of Photographers, Paris (11/3 - 11/30/06)
    "Histoires d'Eaux ", Gallery of the House of Photographers, Paris (1/2 - 1/31/06)
    2005 "Histoires d'Eaux ", Halle au Blé, Alençon, France (1/29 - 2/28/05)

    Video screenings
    2011 Belfast Photo Festival (8/4-8/14/11)
    2011 Festival Images Singulieres, Sete, France (6/2 - 6/19/11)
    2007 Bastille Design Center, Paris (11/29/07)
    Les Vergers de l'Art Gallery, Paris (5/17/07)


  • Exhibitions
  • Press

Exhibitions and Fairs


2016 | PhotoLA 2016 | The REEF, Los Angeles


2015 | Retrospective | Galerie du 10

2015 | Deleted Scene | Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature, Paris


2014 | Fotofever 2014 | Carrousel du Louvre, Paris


2013 | Fotofever Brussels 2013 | Tour & Taxis, Brussels

2013 | Marilyn and I | Moscow House of Photography


2011 | Marilyn and I | Le Bon Marché, Paris


2009 | Lauréats SFR Jeunes Talents | School Gallery

2009 | Marilyn and I | Galerie SFR Jeunes Talents, Rencontres d'Arles