Masha Ivashintsova, the Russian Vivian Maier

Russian photographer Masha Ivashintsova photographed constantly but never showed her work to anyone.

In late 2017, a relative stumbled on boxes of negatives and undeveloped film gathering dust in an attic: 30.000 images from the remarkable discovery.

Born in 1942, Masha used photography as a visual journal of her life, taking photographs from the time she was 18 years old up until one year prior to her death.

Coming of age in the USSR, Masha was highly involved in Leningrad’s underground poetry and photography movement, and her life was intertwined with three geniuses of the time—photographer Boris Smelov, poet Viktor Krivulin, and linguist Melvar Melkumyan.

Much like Vivian Maier, Masha hid her photographic talents from the world, never showing her work or considering herself an artist in her own right.

Asya Ivashintsova-Melkumyan always knew her mother was taking photographs, but never fully understood just how deep this passion ran until recently.

When Masha Ivashints passed away in 2000, she left behind boxes of belongings and memories, which remained untouched until late 2017.

It was only then that Asya discovered over 30.000 negatives and undeveloped film—as well as personal diaries—in an attic, all of which detailed the turbulent details of her mother’s life.

It was Asya’s husband that found the collection of around 30.000 photographic negatives in a family attic.

Asya has been approached by art galleries asking to exhibit the work and by people hoping to buy prints.
Asya’s project is a loving tribute to her mother, one whose life was not without mistakes but also filled with wonder.

“I loved without memory: is that not an epigraph to the book, which does not exist? I never had a memory for myself, but always for others.”
Masha Ivashintsova

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