About Alexander Petlura

About Alexander Petlura

Alexander Petlura is a Moscow artist. In the history of Russian alternative art he will remain, first and foremost, a collector of rubbish. He has been accumulating his phenomenal collection for the last 30 years and now it’s one of the unique alternative private collections of rare stuff.

Today the collection numbers more than 20,000 pieces: costumes, shoes, hats, accessories etc. Its major part is second-hand clothes, footwear and utensils found in city dumps, attics and cellars of abandoned houses.

“I’m a collector. I collect objects which were made by subjects, not myself.” — Petlura

After the rubbish stage, the objects go through three other stages. The first is scientific investigation. Here I am investigating whether an object could be useful. The second stage is stationary exposition, the third is theatrical action”.

New symbolism

The artistic movement that Petlura works in, is described as “New symbolism”. The “New symbolism” method consists of the former object owner transforming energy by the circumstances under which that object was found combining it with the artist’s own added energy and fantasy.

That is why Petlura’s stylistical compositions belong to Russia’s real history as much as they express Petlura’s subjective view on that history. He organized exhibitions, ballets, and operas, produced films using his collections. For the last 10 years things from collection took part in different exhibitions in Russia and others countries and took part in theater stagings and movies of the natives and beyond the frontiers authors.


  • was born 1955 in Ukraine.
  • 1969-1972 - studied in high art school the fresco restore in Vladimir.
  • 1988 – studied in high art school design and interior in Moscow.
  • 1985-1988 – organized first rock-festivals and took an active part in Untraditional arts.
  • 1988 – took part in opening first Free Academy of Art in Moscow.
  • 1989 – became the president of Free Academy of Art.
  • 1990-1995 – for first time made art-squat in the center of Moscow, which was the center and generator of ideas (Moscow events in Untraditional art) for 5 years.
  • 1995 – governments refused the artists to keep that place, so Petlura opened a new art fund called “Zapovednik of Art” and became its president.
  • 1995-2000 – Fund “ZA” organized alternative exhibitions, festivals and took part as well.