«Jewish Observer»
July 2002
5762 Av

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I'd like to introduce to you, dear readers, Sofia Raikhman - a photo-artist, member of the Union of photo-artists whose works are known in Simferopol and far beyond it. In March 2002 she was awarded a title of Merited worker of culture of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.

Quite a young girl Sofa came to a photo-circle of the Palace of pioneers. Its head was a well - known in Simferopol professional photographer Franz Franzevich. He was a wonderful and bright person but... A war veteran, he considered a photo should be social, patriotic. And Sofa, having learned there are themes more important than post-rain streets, ceased to go there.

But she did not stop doing photos. After leaving a school of fine arts Sofa entered a vocational school on the recommendation of the magazine "Soviet photo". She left it with a distinction and continued her studies at the Kiev technological college, department "phototechnique". Her entire life Sofia Naumovna works as a photographer at a photo-studio.

Visitors of Raikhman's exhibitions could not but pay attention to below-photos signatures. These are excerpts from verses of great poets. Sofia Naumovna belongs to those rare people who value mystery of a verse, hear its melodics, subtly perceive shades of each word's sounding. We encounter Pushkin and Lermontov, Pasternak and Akmatova, Mandelshtam and Tsvetayeva, Voloshin and Gumilev, Omar Khayam and Japanese tankis... She lives with their creative works, they are her assistants and advisers in difficult moments, they are participants of happy events.

Sofia Raikhman cooperates with newspapers and magazines; her themes are centered on Crimea and its residents. She has created wonderfully expressive, rich in image and emotions portraits of famous Crimean writers and political figures, art historians, actors, journalists... Next to them are portraits of rather young people whose entire life lies ahead of them... though all these works are alike in one thing. Whether a person smiles or contemplates, his eyes radiate a bright, shining, sparkling thought - foundation of everything beautiful, on the earth, basis for creative activity.

The painter could not overlook the theme connected with her nation. These works represent one cycle named "My dear Jews, my dear brothers...". We see astoundingly subtle, piercing, touching one's mind and heart portraits of old persons, child faces, still life works, photo collages... Only a person who feels the life and fate of his people could create such compositions. They are filled with great love and pride, with a feeling of history, with...what can only be felt but can't be expressed in words.

At present Sofia Naumovna is an active member of the international Jewish woman's movement "Project Kesher". She is not simply a guest at the Simferopol Charitable Jewish center "Khesed Shimon", she is an active participant of the khesed's life. The artist helps create photo chronicles of the contemporary Jewish community in Simferopol; her works have more than once been advertised on the pages of the newspaper "Khaverim".

I write these words addressing them to Sofia Naumovna with a great admiration and respect for her talent though we know each other for rather a short period of time. I write these words and am concerned about only one thing - not to understate the level of this talented person with a wrongly chosen word or expression. I would like to end my story quoting a great Russian artist Fedotov, "You have a gift to notice laws of movement to enrapture people for just a moment. Having depicted this moment, you create eternity".


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