I was born in 1978 in a deeply rural Russian village. Being brought up in an environment transforming from the soviet economy into a free one, I developed a rebel-like mindset. I often asked myself: "Why do I have to live in the architecture of established rules that trapped so many nations and led them into the abyss? And who decided upon and defined the ultimate truth anyway?"

 

Graduating from Voronezh State University Economics Department with a major in Human Resources I was always curious about people's traits, and why some were tough and others fragile. Determined to climb up a career ladder, I turned my interest into a yuppie lifestyle, which at that time was the only (lawful) way to secure a stable living in Russia. During my studies I discovered my true passion for visual art, which I was expressing at that time only by visiting museums and galleries, and flipping through some “socially diseased” magazines (but with some inspiring pictures). I remember two black and white photographs that moved me by their unbelievable emotional strength: a close-up of assassinated Indira Gandhi, and another one - a full length portrait shot of two men embracing each other and kissing passionately (titled "Outcasts")…

 

I became hungry for as much knowledge as possible in psychology and various forms of visual art, and that's when I decided to take off towards the Golden State. My friends envied but supported me, and my parents thought I was making a mistake...

 

The year 2000 started for me in California, where I was about to completely re-invent myself. I attended classes at California State University in Hayward (psychology-, business-, and art-related), met new people, and stepped up into the higher ground of my future. Photography at that time became my prime hobby. I remember how bored I got from typical family albums and snapshots of my friends. I just had to show them an alternative side of photography as an art.

 

I experienced many ups and downs, lived through my friend’s self-destruction on the hustling streets where dignity is traded for cash. I visited luxurious ambiences and dark corners of small alleys where the addicts and homeless live through their broken dreams... all of these had a huge impact on me, my art, and the next steps I had to undertake in order to rise above all...

 

After my return to the homeland (however, every place is a homeland for a natural-born nomad like me) I entered the corporate world, which enabled my higher standards of living and opened up the doors for traveling… I do assimilate with every culture I visit, vigilantly observing people, and absorbing the flavor of the time zone.

 

I started practicing photography passionately, experimenting with concepts, angles, and light. After several successful career progressions I moved to Switzerland in 2005, where with the support from my friends I dared to run my first solo photo-exhibition. For me this was a very significant step that confirmed "nothing ventured, nothing gained", and it triggered an inspiring shift in my perspective.

 

In the meantime, I graduated from the New York Institute of Photography in 2009, and decided to employ my artistic eye in full. The next chapter of my life will be written by critics…

 

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