My favorite photographers

IGOR MUKHIN

Igor Mukhin was born in Moscow in 1960. He is one of the most talented followers of both the classic American «street photography» of the 1960s, and the Russian school of photo reportage, which bloomed in the editorial offices of Nedelya  and Ogonyok. He uses exclusively classic-type black and white materials and Leica rangefinder cameras. He works with architecture  subjects much like as with people: his main self-assignment seems to be preservation of the historical and ethnic  memory combined with reportage style of shooting.

EDUARD  LEVEN

Landscape is one of the most difficult photography genres. Absence of stated subject defines the embodied form as the content, so the talent of a landscape photographer is the art of finding such a natural picture that transfers  first and foremost into a photograph a sensation of the place, its spirit — Genius Loci. Many years ago, when Eduard Leven began to shoot Altai, works of Ansel Adams  became the starting point of his style. The very creativity of his subject — Altai — corrected Leven’s creativity in a natural way. Mysticism, mysteriousness, juxtaposition of natural forms — when stones and boulders looking like heads of ancient giants, feeling like existing an another world, almost in another planet — gave the key to creating his own photographic space based upon the real territory of the Altai mountains. Eduard Leven  disregards computer innovation, the classic language of photography is rich and sufficient for him. High quality hand-printing, with gives fine tonal gradation, enforces the expressiveness of his landscapes. A main feature of these pictures is «power of simplicity». There are compositional accuracy, absence of ‘visual noise’ , concentration on a special — formal, tonal or energetic — dominant in this capacious author’s definition. But there are also majesty of Nature, its severity, mysteriousness, tenderness and power as a direct alternative to the confusion of urban life. An interval silence of the images tunes viewers for contemplation, quiet observation and absorption of the frozen miracle.

ALEXEI BRODOVITCH

This photographer  he moved to New York  in the early 30-s, where he would work  for the next two decades, founding his «Design Laboratory» and filling the post of the Art Director at the prestigious periodical Harper’s Bazzar. Wherever he went he left an indelible mark, as he  attempted to enrich his adopted homeland  with the essence of European culture just as that very culture was withering overseas. A master of style and taste , Brodovitch  worked on the basis of extremely simple concepts, the understanding of which nonetheless required great visual concentration and sociological prowess. He was the first to recognize the importance  of and make use of vast open spaces in the layout of a magazine. His art was founded not so much on intuition as on painstaking, mathematical research, on technique, on the use of scientific methods whose sole aim was that of transmitting emotion. Brodovitch’s creativity was stimulated by obsessive curiosity, by openness, by evidence and the lack thereof.

FEDERICO FELLINI

Federico Fellini grew to become Itaiy’s best-loved postwar directory over the course of a forty year period stretching from the early 50-s through to the late 80s, during which time he made over twenty  films, each considered to be, to a greater or lesser  degree, a masterpiece. All of his works are extremely intimate, all are to a certain degree autobiographical and filmed in a deviously hermetic key. Fellini attached no  message to his films, no confession, no meaning that  is not associated with the representation of mood, situations, and  episodes freed from all constraints of social context and location. His settings  are always  indefinite somewhat surreal, vaguely dreamlike and act as backdrops to characters that are slightly off-key caricatured and vaguely ambiguous. The description of surroundings appears to be an end in itself rather than  a development in the narration. Each, scene, each character, each situation mirrors the entire Fellinian spirit and exist independently  of the rest of the film. Each sequence is a shot story, an aspect of the complex personality of the director.His bright colored  pastel sketches were his most useful scripts, the images generated by his unconscious in all their overblown, baroque, grotesque artfulness, crammed with symbolism and allusions. Cultured and sophisticated, Fellini carefully selected his images, the framing, the shots and the relationships between the various parts, the visual language and the formal equilibrium, even at the expense of a straight narrative line, to which he was never a willing slave. His ideal film was composed of a series of impressions, at times simply colors, a blend  of memories, of supposition, of apparently poetic operation. Making a film was an act of love, of which he never wanted no know or to make known the whys or hows of it.

EKATERINA BUBNOVA

Ekaterina Bubnova began her career as a historian of art respectfully studying the heritage of creators of the past. Her work has been presented at the largest photography forums:exhibited at FotoBild in Berlin and FotoFest in Houston, in the days of the Bratislava Month of Photography, there were exhibitions in Moscow, Las Vegas, Kaunas, Siegen…Her images are travels, like wandering in dreams. The author has even defined the first series of her work as Dreams about Cities. There is symbolism in them, which language is known to her, ornamentality and cellular setup composition, as in ancient and in the most advanced architecture; aspiration to place time inside of space, to lay a path for spectators inside the amber of collage, giving a chance to spend minutes of joyful learning  and knowledge inside a harmonious world of great cities.  Ekaterina considers herself as an artist, using this world in its English sense, ‘artist’ (the Russian word has a strong  touch of ‘painter’ in its meaning); in this case, ‘photographer’ is the definition of the sphere of her artist work. It is very interesting to take pictures of the cities for Ekaterina. She thinks that the cities are spaces where the creative genius of people displays itself. The first collages were visual, graphic records of long impressions of her stays in cities. It is a little for her one frame space she would like to capture  the time which she spent there. To capture more impressions and she says that the first collages (about Paris) were very subjective, there was  too much «I»in them, her impressions, sensations, reflections. The city is the combination of the colors, says Ekaterina.  For example, Paris is the combination of gray and pink of Parisian streets. Architecture is frozen music. Music is a temporal art: thus an architect  records time and the photographer, too. The architecture is determinative for setting up her work. In the history of art we say that architecture is a style forming construction of any style; while inside those other art forms are created:painting, applied, fashion. …Her imagination is crystallized by architecture.

ELENA FROLOVA-TRUFANOVA «The Russian Twins Project».

The idea of shooting twins came suddenly. Once in the underground she saw two wonderful women as like as two peas. She came to them asking for a shooting session saying there was a project about twins in her works. But these women never called her but the idea of project  of the twins appeared. Ant that time she was invited to celebrate the birthday of her friends, twins Katya and Nastya Maslova. They decided to do it together added to the idea creation of a twins database for cinema and TV. So the project began. She is studying  passionately the phenomenon of twins pairs, Amazing external likeness is not always proven  by true similarity of internal qualities. She tries again and again to catch  the difference in characters through details and looks, to succeed in reflecting the state of their inner world. But now having worked with a hundred twin pairs, you understand that work  with a natural miracle. The story gets ethical character  and has the full right  to serve as a story about the modern Russian society personified by twins. There are not ordinary people among them, everyone has a unique  story. Most often they  go through life together , and only a small part lives separated from each other. They majority chose creative careers. All of them are extremely purposeful personalities and realize themselves perfectly. They are proud of their unity, having in each other a constant support. They are our compatriots, and the story about them can become a narration about Russia as a country generous  with talents at all times. The Twins confirm it twice.

BORIS KOSSOY

In 1929, Russian correspondent Boris Yaroslavtsev reported news in the Review of Photography, International for the first time not from Moscow, but from Buenos Aires. In the first third of the 20th century he was not only one taken so far away. There was no surprise in going in a «Russian photographer studio». Years passed. Democratic  regimes in Brazil, Argentina were replaced by military juntas,  those who  have  survived juntas know personally:the regime influences culture, society becomes passive, it is disgusting to live in, and there is no chance to break away. Even if there is the comfort, and tourist business is developing. Boris Kossoy  is a doctor and professor, he teaches the history of the world photography to students at the Sao Paulo University. He has published a lot of books, and new ones continue to appear. He is a son of those who come from Russia to South America well before the  WWII and  took their new residences as the new motherland. Doctor Kossoy does not speak Russian. But he is a photographer. An ambassador of culture, uniting in his messages geography of the culture world of the whole Earth. His popularity stepped over national Brazilian borders long ago,all continent knows him. One of the most known series of Boris is Anti-cards, such greeting from nowhere, where nothing occurs, and a military junta rules everything. All a quiet, and owners of the country  are interested in tourists, but they do not wish to come to a country where people disappear- this is known to all though  not spoken about. These anti-tourist views are impregnated with suspenseб black-and-white shadows are frozen waiting for what can happen every minute. And because of that, you feel being afraid and sad simultaneously.

The skills  of photographer Kossoy in operating impressions of spectators are certainly connected with traditions of the European art, surrealism, metaphysical realism of De Chirico. Kossoy is in dialogue with tradition of the Latin American literature, novels-dreams and novels-parables, of Cartazar and Marquez.

VLADIMIR MUSAELYAN

The name of this photographer is involuntarily associated, first of all, with the name of the Secretary General of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Leonid Brezhnev whose personal photographer Musaelyan was for many years. But this beautiful photographer went down to history  as the last photographer of Great Soviet empire ands its leaders. This photographer founded genre of «political portrait with a human face». But the main thing is that for all these long years he has always remained a normal person deprived even of the slightest traces of arrogance.

Especially «human» images are characteristic for Musaelyan creativity of Brezhnev time, where Leonid Ilyich  appears not statue-like «bronze» leader with Politburo-style visage, but a personality to whom anything  human is not alien, with a charming , yet majestic man’s stateliness . What is necessary  to note is that Vladimir Musaelyan has never betrayed the name of his patron, even during the most severe  criticism of so-called Breznev-time «stagnation», never speculated with his trust, has not transformed his  his photographs, especially exclusive ones, into hard coin.  Even during hard time of perestroika when he needed much money for a complex surgery. The most important, Vladimir Musaelyan is a superb press photographer, a remarkable genre photographer, a master of portrait….He admits modestly:»Sometimes I succeed in shooting, probably, because I like faces of people very much». On July, 2016 Vladimir Musaelyan celebrated his 77 years. A big and bright life of sincere and talented service of photography is behind him. His merits are marked with a number of medals, awards and titles, including orders of the Labour Red Banner. It is fair. Ahead are meditations about the past and memoirs ob the future. «Each of us is a person of his or her epoch irrespective of his or her being a subject or an object of photographing», believes Vladimir Musaelyan. It would be good to proceed to business from words and to write a book. Because the outstanding photo journalist and Kremlin VIP-photographer has something to tell us.

SHANNON PLUMMER

The photographer like much animals. She was the kid who always chased lizards and insects, She was absolutely mesmerized by their polarity to herself. And now she still feels overwhelming delight  when in the presence of animals. They calm  her, as if they’re part of her being, defining who she is and without them she is left with a part of her that is empty.She grew up on  a farm surrounded by various domesticated animals. Her family always had a least one dog and cat. For her eighth birthday she was given a German Shepherd puppy. It was a natural part of growing up for her, but she also believes that some people are born with a connection to animals. With so much diversity the people are able to learn about  and from fauna that are incredibly similar to humans, such as community, family bonds and problem solving. We can also learn tolerance and diversity from animals that are so very different to us. She does not  think that she could fully trust a person that did not  like animals.

She is a graphic design. but she has always been creatively inclined. She thinks that there is a subconscious choice when composing and editing  her color images. She seeks strong , vivid colors because it feels more finished and has greater impact. The works she admires the most from other photographers depict vivid colors or graphic  impact and she strives for that in her work. She has a preference for «dark» monochromatic photos. She likes depth and strength to come through even when the subject is a koala. Shannon Plummer was very fortunate to be commissioned to photograph Australian Koala Foundation CEO, Deborah Tabart OAM. After shooting Shannon gave  Deborah  her card, which had «Elephant Mirror» photo on it. She loved it and suggested  to collaborate on a series of Australian animal portraits and so the idea was born for Native Australian Portraits. During two years she took photos of the wildlife and she created this series. She selected over 14 images in this series. The goal of this  series is to help raise much needed funds and awareness. Half of all profits from sales of the series go to the Australian Koala Foundation. She loves reptiles and she would continue to photograph  them. She wanted to grow  her archive into a comprehensive collection of Australian reptile images in her own unique style. She enjoys traveling. And she wants to explore other areas of photography but she always sees animals as her main focus.

PETR LOVYGIN

He was born exactly between the Moscow Olympic games and Brezhnev’s death  in the city on Volga, which had already presented to the world Valentina Tereshkova and football club «Shinnik». He received  architectural education.  But he did not work  and  in 2005 he moved  with his first camera  to «Costarica». Having  received architectural education and  in 2005 he moved with his first camera to «Costarica». He said:»Nobody  is waiting from me in Photography, and I do not  owe anything to anybody in it; that is why  chronically not etting  in frame I shoot my life simply, with everything that rises before my eyes and fills it…

Mosque Suleymaniye  in Istanbul stuck  in maples, «Besa me mucho» in Barcelona street, Takeshi Kitano and Boris Grebenschikov, my Ingenious Dog and the Wolf-Emerald-Heart, giraffes and church of the Intercession of the Holy Virgin upon Nerl, girls and star fever….For me, it is a great pleasure to give people gratuitously what I do». Once He drew his idea on a sheet of paper in notebook. And one sketch turned to a whole travel. He says: «I remember I managed to get for a 8 Euros this Jamaican flag from some Hindus in a Barcelonian shop. Well, just there was no flag of my native land «Costarica» in this shop. But Robertino Loretti came to my rescue.  I remember, a girl rode on the bicycle with this Jamaican flag inserted into the saddle, through upper Volga plains to the very reggae-bank, and I simply followed her, and young Robertino sang from my recorder on all loudness: «Jamaaaaaaica…». I remember, I simply shot what I had once considered beautiful.»

LUCIA GANIEVA,

Her story in photography is like the story of Cinderella. Her Cinderella  as it is necessary for the protagonist of a fairy tail, should be hardworking, careful, till a time obedient, and still should believe in her predestination. For many years Lucia Ganieva  was engaged  in fashion. And now looking at the harmonous woman in a cocktail  dress showing photos from a huge folder, one could  conclude she is a gallery owner, but not a photographer — to such an extent her image does not correspond to our habitual representations about a nervy type showing opposition to the socially accepted norms with all his or her appearance.Especially if «a typical photographer» is engaged in documentary photography, shoots «the typology of society» as Lucia does. One of her friends brought her to a photographic school; the friend herself did not study up. And Lucia stand  and defended her diploma in two years, which, as well as her first projects investigated the image of a contemporary human being in the religions of the modern world. Lucia lives in a small Ditch town where about 10 faiths peacefully coexist, including different branches of christianity, Islam and Buddhism. Then there was a research (which is not completed yet) of conformity of old inspectors in the halls of Hermitage to images they protected, their silent dialogue and mutual influence — similar to that which happens among the people who live married for many years. She is interested in repeating conditions, things, situations, in which she finds features of dissimilarity, individuality, and in recurrence of which she tries to see the uniform world order..Behind her work there are years of search of that who is spoken about by the prince messengers. The main thing she has to continue to be engaged in what  is necessary to Cinderellas: their typical work, revealing the intonation of our time in the eternity of simple subject. Quite a worthy thing to do, if we recollect that since the 17th century «small Dutches» and their apprentices did the same across all Europe.

SLAVA ZAITSEV Y PHOTOGRAPHY.

«For many, many years I have been seriously engaged  in photography. At first it was a purely technical necessity — to create a photo archive of my professional work. Then, early in the Eighties, this passion found a new content. Being a painter I understood I could not paint like Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo Buonarroti or Raphael, yet I’d like to approach them in conditions of light saturation on depth of light sensing. I studied Caravaggio’s pictures carefully and I learned that one light source  made an astounding impression of volume, contrast increased drama, etc. With poor means I made a background in my studio, took a lamp in hands, having posed  my models in composition that came to me subconsciously  right then, having somebody dressed and somebody undressed, having done hairstyle and make-up, and started to shoot with the help of my assistant photographers.At first not everything turned out OK, but in the course of time it got powerful sound and style. And until now I am in constant creative search, perfecting my searches for composition, enjoying  my involvement. For me photography is the last instance of my creativity, the instant which remains in history. I practice photography almost every day contrary to opportunities. Earlier I drew every day, and now I photograph. I do not shoot personally, do not press the button myself. I need somebody close to me who understands equipment, as equipment is not my world, I am absolutely deprived of technical understanding initially. But as a stylist I enthusiastically work on style, on image. I try to create in photography a special atmosphere — subject, image, composition, light: I am more excited with harmony, aesthetics, creation of inhabitancy for people…Since recent I work with body, and more often with male bodies for I have already given more than enough time to women.  I have been singing a photographic hymn to male perfection (in clothes, in fabric, in nudes), generally speaking, I do a kind of photo painting.

I found this theme back in the Eighties, and it was very close  and clear to me, though at that time it was something absolutely new, they said it was on the edge of porno, they said…10-15 years later they run a huge article  about  me in America, delightfully talked of the images  as of the best samples of photo painting. The biggest photographers from France came to shoot  reportages about me and having seen the results of my experiments gave homage with respect and admiration. Well, as for Russia, It is a pure pleasure to see photographs of people who work now in the world of art photography, advertising photography….I know it is very difficult to compete with people who do it for a very long time. and the West does it for a long time. We try to catch up with them, but they have gone much farther ahead.However, contrary to everything we force  them sometimes to speak good of us. Though the source was out best photographers of the 20s, whose images are on sale now as unique works of art. Starting from Rodchenko  who shot unique photographs, simple as the truth, laconic clear, but always creative both by their form and content!For me, photography is the highest world of art, which is interfaced to my life. I do not see myself without photography at all. I have worked with a lots of photographers. It always happens so that I was with the young. Then they grow up, and I release them openheartedly so that they could earn money on their own , and I am always pleased to notice their successes- Vlad Loktev, Petr Anikin, Ivan Golov, Yury Zheladev, all are remarkable photographers. …..And I consider capturing an instant to be the greatest happiness for a photographer….»

SVETLAMA MAKOVETSKAYA

Thus photographer is very interesting and amazing. Her pictures are photographers-paintings. This photographer is drawing with light. I like her pictures a lot. There are beautiful women, their dresses, their secret sights, women, wonderful women in the pictures. Svetlana Makovetskaya, the master of pictorial photography. She is a strange artist, and sometimes a mysterious one, a real one. A professional journalist, she never thought of shooting. She was not interested in photo reportage, seeking after the events. The vanity of life, the dry foliage of daily routine seemed her insignificant. She has always been fond  of painting, especially impressionists. She visited exhibitions, collected albums of Degas, Monet, Renoir. She traveled, brought up her children and looked around. And the took her first camera in hands, She was 44. This was an unpretentious point-and-shoot camera, but with a good Zeiss lens. Svetlena started to shoot her daughters, knowing nothing about shutter speed and aperture, going to her predestination step by step, exclusively intuitively, and thus  promptly. Her secret aspiration to perfection was noticed in a small hand printing studio she brought her films in for processing. The printer adored working with her. Some of her pictures were exposed in the studio show-window.A special small room was allocated in the studio for Svenlana and her inventions, only for her, and she went to the local theatre and hired there some dresses, hats, details of life of different time. Getting as a present  new camera Nikon gave  good capabilities for shooting.

Her first personal exhibition opened in less than a year. Some months later eight large Makovetskaya’s works were presented at the well-known  exhibition «Women about Women» in the Moscow Manege. There her works were noticed by the great master of Russian pictorial photography Georgy Kolosov. This photographer grinded lenses himself, manually, making «monocles» for himself , surprising lenses with hardly displaced  focus that created miracles with light, releasing images from importunate and unnecessary details. Kolosov made such a lens especially for her, and then he gave her one more. Makovetskaya participated in several international projects, photographed and exhibited in Berlin, in Japan. It was very interesting time for her, of course, for her creation. Then there were was a large exhibition in Moscow, in the Museum of East with a Japanese  artist, Makina Mieko. Later they made with Svetlana a photo session of Maya Plisetskaya for magazine Magic Lantern. Once a young woman came to Svetlana’s studio  and asked for her to make a portfolio. She had not money, but she wished to be shot in movies. She liked portraits by Makoverskaya, and she dreamt of being photographed by Svetlana. Well, Svetlana photographed her. In some days there was a phone call: «Svetlana, they liked your  pictures more than me. » She worked in Mosfilm studio. And she acted in the movie herself. In a big episode in a cabaret< in a Russian Moulin-Rouge. There should be a lady with fate, a bright, though voiceless character. With her understanding of that time, Makovetskaya thought up immediately. She was made up, had her hair dressed in Toulouse-Lautrec style, was dressed up a crinoline  dress. Svetlana photographed only during breaks between episodes which lasted for several days, she shot under jealous looks of the staff photographer. She shot when she and other actors felt relaxed, natural, when they chatted about things, dozed, eyes half shut, had a rest from the tiresome cine lights. At the same time remaining in their make-ups, in their roles.

CHAIKA

In 1977 — 1982 he studied graphic design at «Stroganovka» — the Moscow Higher Art-Industrial College (established by count S. Stroganov in 1825). He became famous pretty soon, in mid-80s. He received awards in national and international competitions of the poster and graphic design one after another, and in 1996 won the State Prize of Russia. For young designers who followed him closely into the profession, Chaika became the leader` of «the new wave», an icon of the design itself. It is important that the became  a  bridge between the old Soviet school of applied drawing and the new generation of graphic designers. Exaggerating a little, one can say hat it was he who gave birth to this new generation, having  shown the road to glory to his young comrades who aspired to imitate him in everything

The personal theme of photographer is «HEstory». The stories about «him». «HE»is a character ofm four hyphens, the short strokes which form a schematic face. Chayka started to draw these hyphens, find them  in the environment, shoot and turn into posters or covers of magazines in the end of 80-s, discovering any theme with their help. Who is this mysterious «HE»? The personal sing of Chayka? A game, or a way of comprehension the Essence?A uniquitous Guardian angel? Or the soul of all things? If you see these hyphens in the subway of New York or in the Himalayas, in a noisy Moscow  street or in Namibian  desert, know:HE was here.

MIKHAIL DASHEVSKIY

Milhail Dashevskiy was born in 1935 in Moscow. In 1953 he entered the hydraulic engineering faculty of MISI and graduated in 1958.  In those years he started photography. His photographic biography began in the Moscow photoclub  »Novator»in 1969. Sensation of photography as an art developed in the photoclub under impression of discussions led by  the club’s administrations A.Khlebnikov and N. Soshalskiy. In 1994 Mikhail Golosovsliy arranged  Mikhail Dashevskiy’s exhibition «The Sunken Time» in Krasnogorsk. 2000 — a selection from the project «By Old House’s EYES». An album with 25 pictures from the project was published in 2000 (includes 67 works altogether).In 2002  Dashevskiy  published article «Photography as an Art». In 2003  Persona magazine published interview «about life», illustrated by images from the cycle «By Old House’s Eyes». In 2004 there was a exhibition «The Sunken Time. Russia. The 20th Century.1962-1992″, consisting 155 b/w works, which reflected daily life of people  in the  former USSR perceived through  a prism of artistic photography. This perception pays attention to details, faces, situations,in which «the spirit of time» is reflected not instructive, not importunately and literary, but figuratively and photographically, allowing to understand how all of us lived these years. To the exhibition , there was published a bilingual album «The Sunken Time. Russia. The 20th Century. 1962-1992″, including photographs, critical articles, comments to pictures. It is very interesting the ideas of Milhail Dashevskiy about the Genre in Photography. «In my opinion, the  genre in a broad sense of the word is everything connected with life of people outside of official circumstances, that is in the daily round of life. If we shoot, supposedly, life of animals (dogs, cats, a zoo, ect.)it is genre, too, to the extent we feel these pictures as a certain similarity to human life — by a situation, by their attitude to each other. A flock of birds is not genre, fertilisation of ants is not either, and sad eyes of the dog, certainly, is. And a cityscape without psychological personal part os not genre, as there is no individual psychological painting of event in it, not from the point of view of the author , but from the point of  view of the cityscape participants. Official shooting of sports, a meeting, or a performance, certainly, is not genre. as these are not daily events, but predetermined in advance ones. And if in the same  framework the event is not predetermined by its logic, then it can be a pure genre, for example,  situations behind the scenes , sportsmen after competition, etc.

After such allocation of genre photography I would like to allocate from in the type of pictures which is especially close to me. For myself  I have defined this type as images not of events, of «action» , but of  inwardness of people or the world surrounding them. In my opinion, an event cannot remain with the spectator for a long time. Well, you have looked, well, you have gone through and worried enough about it, but it is not interesting to look every day how someone has looked back, fallen, jumped, kissed, etc. What make you to hang up a photograph on a wall and to live with it — this condition is the subject of genre for me. It is not the psychological genre, there can be no such psychology in the picture , but then it should be in the author or in the spectator. It is important for me this is the psychological influence that makes the moment of realization of a picture the decisive one. …» 

SVETLANA POZHARSKAYA

Svetlana Pozharskaya is a «deserved culture worker of the Russian Federation», a participant and prize-winner of numerous exhibitions and festivals, a leading Russian photographer using scanography. Despite of external simplicity, scanography demands faultless taste, sense of composition and ability to put a new, often paradoxical content in a combination of the most usual subjects. Svetlana has the most important properties for an artist:an  infinite thirst of knowledge and a faultless sense of harmony. In her still-lifes things seem to show their true essence; they force spectators to stop and peer closely — as closely as if standing before nice Dutch paintings that offer not only external beauty, but also a deep philosophical content. And Svetlana often says she finds creative ideas rather in painting than in photography.Sometimes she even creates works after Petrov-Vodkin or Shterenberg. But the very different things can serve as a source of inspiration — fallen leaves, flowers, kitchen utensils, old shoes, an old iron. On walls of showrooms Pozharskaya’s scanograms are like «windows» into some other world — the world where there is no necessary to hurry up anywhere, where things live their own life, storing in themselves traces of characters of former and future owners. The composition is constructed so irreproachably that becomes unnoticeable and seems to be something self-understandable: colour is perceived as an integral part of the emotional content.

NATALIA BERKUTOVA

Natalia Berkutova’s vision is aimed at the phenomenon of collective actions, at the dialogue between people connected by join profession or interests. But in its «rituals» the photographer always experiences deeply personal conditions turning from a witness into a direct participant. Ballet, sports, excursions in museums, children’s holidays —  in all scenes of these traditional happening Natalia Berkutova shows attention to details, to a context of the visual situation, to dramatic nature of plastic dialogue. It is interesting series «Circus» . Compositions of this series bear in themselves early avantguarde culture, its close-ups, its large plains, where strategy  of Picasso meets that of Rodchenko — mutual relations of the heavy and the easy, the fragile and the solid, the comic and the dramatic, connected by a nonlinear balance.  In her works she shows us sense of a human unification, creative consent and mutual support. The photographer opens new dimensions in figurativeness of the «wardering gymnasts», bringing in classical subjects independent counterpoints, conflicts and plastic solutions of those.

PAVEL SMERTIN

Pavel Smertin was born in Kirov in 1969, and he lived there before moving to Moscow in 1998. Early in the 1990-s he worked as a press photographer for local mass-media. So he did not need to go a long way to appear among participants of the procession, though  he was not immediately aware of such  a remarkable, as he says, event  that took place in his native land (the religious procession was officially restored in 1990). The religious procession with cross and banners from Vyatka  to Velikoretskoye village and back is 150 km long. Being about 600 years old, it is one of the oldest religious procession in the world. These days, both inhabitants of Vyatka (Kirov) and vicinities, and pilgrims coming from all Russia and the whole world come to this place — 1000 km away from Moscow- to participate in the procession in the beginning of summer, from June, 3 till June, 8. We think that the humen life goes in 12-years cycles, vital stages. The 12 religious processions he participated and photographed — not as editorial missions, but for himself, for his soul — became such a stage for him. This series that has been created and ripened for 12 years, opens to us Pavel Smertin nor as a professional press photographer, but as an artist, contemplating, capable to see human beings and the world with a special gaze…And to transfer us the seen. These pictures show us the great feeling of our people, his power and irresistible desire  to live and to fight for his own life. We see a hope, a love, a faith in the eyes of everyone, the desire  helping to the others.The human life is short, and a lot of people visiting this procession have got his own inspiration and the desire to live after seeing the moral support each other, on seeing the power of this support. The Russian soul is a great and not always apprehensible feeling of the powerful dignity.But the pictures of this author show us this feeling.

PAVEL ANTONOV.

He is a man with a great heart always opened for friendship and love, He is an artist with an inexhaustible stock of energy and creativity. He says that he has not considered himself to be a photographer for a long time. He has enjoyed to shoot. And when he was 38 he decided to put all his efforts in what could support him, according to friends, what he succeeded at  - in photography.He changed his portfolio. He decided to make a gallery of portraits of the Russian artists, musicians, actors, writers. Then he thought that to work with creative people is always more interesting, than with politicians. He set to himself one goal which he has been following until now: it is important not who is shot, but how he or she is shot. Thus have appeared some portraits «Portrait with Two Unknown Persons», «Afrika in a Servant Suit», Sasha Zakharov running through Times Square in a dog fur coat… These photographs were interesting to think out, not less interesting to realize, and dialogue with such people was simply invaluable.