Sergey Hrustalev was born on August 29, 1958 in Moscow. The parents of the future artist lived in a house that once belonged to Olga Suvirova, the first wife of the landscape painter Byalynitsky-Birulya. The child was growing in an environment of classical music and poetry readings with people from the artistic community of Moscow often visiting their house.
"My paternal grandmother, Nadezhda Osipovskaya, was a doctor by profession, but a true lady by her life-style: a kind, intelligent and decent person and a piano virtuoso. I remember an old woman’s hands brilliantly performing complex pieces of music. My Aunt, Tatyana Osipovskaya, a geologist at Russian State Geological Prospecting University, also played the piano, was a good singer and studied at the ballet school. It was she, who often took me to the theater and museums, so I had been growing up in an atmosphere of high art. My grandmother’s close friend, an actor Konstantin Vakhterov wonderfully recited Lermontov, Pushkin, Mayakovsky, Gumilev, Selvinsky to the amusement of our family whenever he visited us. Very often, there were people of Art – pianists, musicians, landscape painters, actors – coming to our house and I think that triggered my desire to join this world by drawing".
From 1979 to 1982 Sergey Hrustalev studied at the industrial-pedagogical department of the Moscow State Regional University. From 1982 to 1984 he worked as a graphic designer at the Bauman Garden of Culture and Recreation. Simultaneously he was taking a course of painting under the guidance of Nicholai Rotanov at the Distance Learning People's University of Arts. From 1984 to 1985 he worked as an executive-illustrator in the sculpture studio of Andrei Moiseev and Valeria Sadkova (Rosmonumentiskusstvo). From 1985 to 1987 he had been a freelance illustrator in Glavkooptorgreklama (Chief Cooperative Trade Advertising Agency), designing etiquettes, posters and booklets.
"Thanks to my wife, the talented writer Olga, I developed into an artist. It was she who saw something in my works and supported my desire to learn and grow. I should also give credit to Olga’s parents who supported us in the most difficult period and never prevented us from searching for creative ways. At every job I've met this kind of mentors and teachers; Nikolai Rotanov at the Distance Learning People's University of Arts was the first among them. Then there was a sculpture studio of Andrei Moiseev and Valeria Sadkova and so on. At the Izmailovo Gallery I met an artist N. Martynov. This clever, sensitive and talented man took me under his wing; his lessons gave me knowledge and understanding of painting. Later fate brought me together with a whole cohort of artists, among whom there were Alexander Nemkovsky Vladimir Smakhtin Yuri Yezhov, Alexander Golubev and other talented people."
In 1987, Sergey Hrustalev participated in the Youth exhibition at the VDNKh, where he first presented his painting. Since 1988, he has been a regular participant of Izmailovo Vernissage. In 1991 he took part in the jubilee exhibition "Little Georgia in the Moscow Manege." From 1991 to 1992 he exhibited in the Central art salon on the Ukrainian Boulevard.
The first solo exhibition of Sergey Hrustalev took place in 1992 at the Ostozhenka gallery, and in the end of 2008 the paintings of the artist were exhibited as part of an art fair "Art Manege". In 2014 paintings of Sergey Hrustalev were auctioned twice, many of his works can be found at public galleries and private collections.