​Interview with the owner and co-founder of ArtStory Gallery, Mikhail Opengeym

29 Sep 2017

- Mikhail, have you been living in Moscow for a long time?
- Almost 25 years.

- Could you tell us a few words about your career?
- The word "career", I think, is not very suitable in my case. For me it's simply life. My biography. And it's all quite simple. I was born, I studied, served in the army, worked at a factory. And then together with friends I created one of the first cooperatives in the USSR. Since then I've been a businessman.

- Has opening a gallery always been your dream? How long did it take you to get there?
- Quite frankly, I never really thought about opening a gallery, although I've always been interested in art. It all happened quite accidentally, like most things in my life. It just so happened that I was able to amass a pretty sizeable collection of artworks by the brilliant artist MoiseiFeigin. He is in the Guinness Book of Records as the world's "most elderly working artist", who worked almost until his final days and died at the age of 104. LusynePetrosyan and I were looking for a perfect venue to hold an exhibition of his works in honor of his 110th birthday. We went around various museums, held negotiations in Moscow, flew to St. Petersburg but everywhere was at least a three-year wait. A deficit of quality exhibition venues became evident. So then Lusyneand I decided to create our gallery. That's how the ArtStory Gallery of Contemporary Art appeared in the center of Moscow.

- What would you suggest to a person who's in Moscow for the first time? Where should they go first? What is a must-see in your opinion?
- I would advise a first-timer to try and get a feel for the city's spirit. For this, of course, you need to go to the places that have been tested by time, iconic places, for example the Red Square, Sparrow Hills, the Kremlin's museums, the city's metro stations (the most beautiful metro in the world!) and to visit one of Moscow's most reputable and famous museums such as the Pushkin Museum or the Tretyakov Gallery. You should also go for a walk down one of the beautiful streets and the spacious parks. Lately I've had to spend a lot of time abroad and so when I come back to Moscow, I straight away notice a lot of big and impressive changes and I personally love going for walks around Moscow. Although I must admit, the weather isn't always favorable for this. And, of course, I'd like to invite everyone to ArtStory Gallery on 14 StaropimenovskyPereulok. We've always got something interesting on and entrance is free.

- Which three words would you use to describe Moscow?
- Beautiful, young, developing.


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