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Alexander Kholopov – RUSSIA – 1948 to 2016 Memorial Tribute

Alexander Kholopov (Sasha) is internationally known for his Artistamps and his contributions to the Mail Art Realm.

Alexander Kholopov
Alexander Kholopov


The Best Sewerage for the Best People, 1996 Artistamp Series.

His resume lists his accomplishments:

How did a USA Artist become acquainted with Russian Artists in Moscow?  I was actively engaged in artwork based on the theme of  Manhole Covers, when a colleague, Michele Brody, a designer of  NYC Manhole Covers, suggested that I apply to be on the “Sewers of the World Unite” website.

My art was happily accepted in their projects, commentaries and archives:, but I was amazed at how this unique website had evolved.

Sewers of the World Unite (website:

On Laughter Day 2000 (Our April Fools’ Day) Two enterprising artists, Alexander (Sasha) Kholopov and Natalie (Natasha) Lamanova from Moscow posed a mail art project just for fun.  They invited artists from all over the world to send photos of manhole covers to their website.  So April Fools’ Day was the start of something “Grate.”  Artists from 40 countries enthusiastically responded to the E-mail request.

Sasha, Bobbi and Natasha in their apartment.
Sasha, Bobbi and Natasha in their Moscow Apartment in 2001.

In August 2001, my husband, Al sang with Barbershop Harmony Choruses in St. Petersburg, Russia. The next week, we met Natasha and Sasha in Moscow and were invited to their apartment for dinner. They were not comfortable speaking in English and I knew only a few Russian Words, but their warm hospitality, and our love of music and art bridged the gap. Their bond and devotion to one another were heartwarming.

For a decade we maintained contact with them by overseas mail and e-mail. Sasha continued his artistamps and arranged some fascinating manhole art exhibits in Russia and Abroad.

Moscow International Forum
The Moscow International Forum of Art Initiatives, 2004. Exhibition “Paradise” A.Kholopov exposition in “Pirogi” on Nickolskaya.

The “Sewer Cover” project reflects in an ingenious way Kholopov’s personal history as an artist throughout the isolation of the Soviet era. From the BBC to BB King to the Beatles, each sewer cover is dedicated to the many sources of stimulation and inspiration that sustained his art. Choosing the sewer cover as a vehicle for his project is an apt reflection of the sardonic and bitter-sweet humor that characterizes so much of Russian humor.

Sasha and Natasha at a Moscow Cafe
Sasha and Natasha at a Moscow Cafe

By 2009 the participation grew to 233 Persons who contributed 3,052 images of manhole covers and grilles from a total of 71 countries.  Alexander Kholopov, a single artist, promoted more International Good will than many politicians accomplish. Sasha’s Drawing honors all the participants of  “Sewers of the World, Unite.”

Sasha's Drawing "Sewers of the World, Unite" & Participants
Sasha’s Drawing “Sewers of the World, Unite” & Participants

Sasha and Natasha especially enjoyed time in the country and working on their Dacha.

Natasha and Sasha at their Dacha
Natasha and Sasha at their Dacha

On the fortieth Day after his passing, People from all over the world were celebrating Alexander  Kholopov.

Here are Artistamps from the website: The postings are by Ginny Lloyd.

Alexander Kholopov Tribute Stamps
Alexander Kholopov Tribute Stamps

The fortieth day post mortem February 13, 2016 is of cultural significance in Russia and Natalie Lamanova is putting on an exhibition of Alexander’s work to coincide with his fortieth day.

Art Museum Blogs spot invites your artistamp contribution to Honor Sasha:  If you make a commemorative sheet or single stamp it can be added to this post. Deadline: March 31st.

Here is one of the first to honor Sasha:

Alexander Kholopov 1948 - 2016 by Steve Smith
Alexander Kholopov 1948 – 2016 by Steve Smith

 *”The art of Alexander Kholopov can be seen as an example

of the finest work emerging from Mail Art.

His many innovative projects

produced work that reflected his command of composition

& color, mirroring an active intellect and imagination.

The richness of his imagery gave us a unique vision

of the world in which he lived.

Sasha was a fine artist and a generous friend who will be

sadly missed by the International Mail Art community.”

* Written by Harley and images by Steve Smith.



in the COMMENT SECTION BELOW.  Include your location, too.

10 replies on “Alexander Kholopov – RUSSIA – 1948 to 2016 Memorial Tribute”

Dear Friends,

Today. 13 February, is a very important day for memory of Alexander Kholopov. In Russian there is the tradition: “Fortieth” day – is the day when the soul of the deceased finally left our earth. Before that during 40 days after death the soul is still wandering around us here. And today “They” will take a decision what place give to Sasha’s soul. And friends and closes are meeting again, rise the glasses and recollect all the best about Sasha. Russians believe that all that will help the soul to get the best place “There”.

Today will be the Alexander Kholopov’s exhibition, and I ask you all who love him and know him to help his soul find it’s last peaceful place – connect to us mentally and think about Sasha your best recollection of him.

I will send you photos later.


On this fortieth day after his passing, we honor Alexander Kholopov for his artistic accomplishments, worldwide outreach and his devotion to Natasha, family and friends.
Bobbi and Al Mastrangelo
Poinciana Florida USA

About Sasha: “One thing was constant. That sense of humor . Seeing and living with all the flaws of society and pointing it out with words or art.”
Anncha Briggs USA

Dear Bobbi,
Thank you very much for the Memorial blog.
It is very good, I like it.
Tomorrow evening the friend who took pictures in the exhibition will give them to me, and I’ll share with you.

¡Hola Nona!
The Memorial Tribute you made was very nice
and your friend’s artwork was very beautiful.
Hasta mañana,
Your Granddaughter
Who enjoys learning languages with you.

Sasha and I struggled in our attempts to communicate by e-mail and yet we understood each other very well. I enjoyed reading his messages and hope he enjoyed mine. I have some photos of him and Natasha taken at Easter several years ago. I guess they will have to do.

Natasha and Sasha will be included in my prayers.

Who would have thought that cast iron manhole covers would have made FRIENDS around the world?
Dan Lane
New Jersey USA

Dear Natasha,
I heard about you and Sasha from my sister, Bobbi Mastrangelo. I pray that Sasha’s soul reaches the peace and beauty that his artwork and life portrayed. May God Bless you also.
Lois Pankow

Hi there! Would you mind if I share your blog with
my facebook group? There’s a lot of people that
I think would really enjoy your content. Please let me know.
Thank you

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