Russian Flooding Sparks Pop-Up Auction to Raise $250,000

'Neither War Nor Peace'
"Neither War Nor Peace" (2010), part of the charity auction "Help Krymsk," by Sergey Bratkov. The auction will raise money for the victims of a flood in the southern Russia town. Source: Regina Gallery via Bloomberg

Paintings, drawings and photographs by some of Russia’s leading artists will appear in a charity auction tomorrow to raise money for the victims of last week’s flood in Krymsk.

The auction, “Help Krymsk,” will be held on July 13 at Moscow’s Red October Gallery, a new nonprofit art space in a former chocolate factory across the Moscow River from the Kremlin.

“We want to raise as much money as we can, so we had to move fast,” said Vladimir Ovcharenko, the owner of Moscow’s leading contemporary-art gallery, Regina, and the auction’s organizer, in a telephone interview. “People respond the best while the tragedy is still fresh in their minds, before they go away on vacations.”

The July 7 flooding in the southern Russian town killed more than 170 people and destroyed the homes of thousands. The Moscow public has responded strongly, according to Masha Volkenstein, chief executive officer of Validata, one of the first independent public-opinion and market-research companies in Russia.

“Many people around me are collecting money, going to Krymsk as volunteers,” said Volkenstein. “It’s a common response and it’s linked to the birth of the civic society in Russia.”

Ovcharenko tapped his sources among artists and collectors and donated some of the works. He said he hopes to raise at least $250,000 from the sale of about 40 lots.

Price Estimates

A 2003 painting by Pavel Pepperstein titled “In a Desert” has a target price range of 15,000 euros to 20,000 euros ($18,000 to $24,000), according to Ovcharenko, who set the estimates after conferring with the artists.

A 2010 color photograph by Sergey Bratkov titled “Neither War Nor Peace” has an estimate of 8,000 euros to 10,000 euros.

“Lady With the Red Rose,” a 2009 oil on canvas by Semyon Faibisovich, may sell for 25,000 euros to 35,000 euros.

A 2010 watercolor by Vladimir Dubossarsky and Alexander Vinogradov is estimated at 6,000 euros to 7,000 euros.

A charcoal on canvas by Aleksei Kallima titled “Chechen Women’s Team for Skydiving” is estimated at 6,000 euros to 8,000 euros.

“It’s really like a pop-up auction,” said Ovcharenko, who will try his hand as an auctioneer for the first time. “So far we’ve had complete support.”

For more information about the auction, visit

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