Marat Guelman is a Russian collector, gallery owner and art manager, who has been behind some of the most important art initiatives connected to Russia in the last thirty years.
Marat Guelman was born in Chisinau on 24 December 1960. His father is writer and playwright Aleksander Isaakovich Guelman. He finished school № 34 of Chisinau in 1977, in 1983 he graduated from Moscow Institute of Сommunications with a specialization in engineering, he worked simultaneously as a stagehand at MKhAT (Moscow Academic Art Theatre), «Sovremennik» and the Mayakovsky Theatre.
Up to 1986 he worked as an engineer in Chisinau. After the repeal of the article about parasitism (March 1, 1986) he quit his job to write a novel and start his own business.In 1987 Guelman, who had been interested in art, particularly contemporary, since his youth, created his first exhibition, showing Moscow artists in Chisinau. It was a great success; after going to Moscow to return the artists their paintings and give them the money received from selling their works, Guelman decided to remain there. He started his professional life in art as a collector, but, having collected an unsuccessful first collection due to inexperience, he was forced to master the skills of selling works of art and actually became the first art dealer in the USSR. In 1990, having received an education in the field of contemporary art abroad, he assembled a collection of Ukrainian art, which formed the basis of the exhibition «South Russian Wave», shown in 1992. Guelman describes his way into art and in art as a series of accidents, but it is this flexibility and openness to chance, according to the gallery owner, that may be more important for success than commitment. In 2014 he moved to Montenegro for the implementation of a new cultural project.Marat Guelman is the former director of Perm Museum of Modern Art PERMM. From June 2002 to February 2004 he was the Deputy General Director Russia’s ‘Pervy Kanal’ television channel. Gelman is a political strategist, a founder of the Fund of Effective Politics, a member of the Public Chamber of the Сonvocation of 2010-2012. He has lived in Chernigoriya, Montenegro, since 2014.