Yu. A. Galev’s photographs include many group portraits of men, young fellows, and boys. He was a schoolteacher and photographed his fellow teachers, his friends, pupils and graduates. He created a multitude of male group portraits.
A comrade, according to the dictionary definition, is a person who is close in views, activity and conditions of life, who is amicably disposed towards one — a peer, a fellow student, a co-worker. Just such comrade-friends are in Galev’s pictures. The subject matter of the photographs is simple: boys who have just been sent from the classroom out the door and are obviously satisfied with this circumstance; a company of classmates on a walk in the woods, who have just emerged from a merry scuffle, judging by their hats that have been shifted in various directions; teenage friends posing after a May meeting; men, festively wearing neckties, dressed for a birthday or anniversary, still somewhat reserved in the expectation of a feast, and men, already much fewer with neckties, at the holiday table; friends in anticipation of fishing, teacher colleagues in a private conversation. They are happy in each other’s company — that is apparent. They entrust their relationship to the photographer — that is also apparent. And also, the world of male friendship is visible — mutual, unselfish interest and respect — possibly complicated by competitiveness, but not by hypocrisy.
Inna Veselova, Svetlana Adonyeva
Translation by Laura Olson Osterman, Jessika Aguilar, Alexandra Aleynik