Before I reached a conscious age, I never bothered with details or looked deeply into the subjects I found interesting. I judged quickly and superficially, basing my opinion on a simple ‘like/dislike’ concept. I thought of photographers as the embodiment of mediocrity, and charlatans. My way of thinking was that there is nothing easier than pressing a button, and any so-called ‘photographer’ is simply a slacker fancying himself as a creative persona. Now of course I find that thought amusing, but still think that there is some truth in it. I never have thought that I’d become a photographer. To be honest, even now I wouldn’t call myself one. I simply use the instrument of a photographic camera to realise my creative ideas. A photo camera is just like a paintbrush for me. Before I took to the subject, I shaped the main idea and the concept of my creativity, and then began searching for a way to express it.
I have always loved geometry and dimensional compositions, which is why I became an architect; it was my destiny. The main attraction to architecture for me is the idea of creating functional and, at the same time, aesthetically pleasing objects; the ability to play with the concept of space, and the interaction of the space with the object; the ways of self expression and the search for new shapes — the re-thinking of the spacial awareness. These exact ideas became the starting point for the concept behind my creative work. I was excited to look for the perfect way to express my thoughts. I rejected computer programs at the very beginning as at that point in life for me ‘creation’ could only be true if it was made without shortcuts, with a lot of manual effort, and was time consuming. You wouldn’t trust a computer with creation of true art. Besides, I had had enough of working with these programs in my main line of work. That’s why in 2012 I decided to have a proper look into photography. I researched the subject thoroughly and realised that photography could be very different. In my mind I split photography into 4 groups:
● Domestic – photo capturing of places and people,
● Documentary – history of actions and events,
● Genre – studio and commercial photography,
● Creative – photography as art.
Only the last one was of interest for me, and it became the path to my creative realisation.
In photography the hardest challenge is finding your own style, because the subject of the art is the world around us, and the only point of play is your own subjectivity of it. While studying the history of photography I was fascinated the most by the discoveries made at the very beginning of the invention itself in the 19th century: analogue photography. I decided that I wanted to use old-fashioned film cameras and develop the pictures myself.
Once I familiarised myself with the steps involved in the process I decided that I wanted to learn the magic of classic photography — I saw it clearly that digital photography is not for me. The technical opportunities offered by old-fashioned filming are so wide, and still not fully discovered. I also realised that the more I get involved in the actual process, the more control I’d have over every picture. With every step – preparation of the film, filming, developing, fixing, polishing, printing – you could add a bit of yourself; you could play with the conditions to express your ideas and receive something completely unusual as a result. I experimented with film a lot. I tried all sort of things: boiling, frying, cooling to extreme temperatures, treating with different chemicals, even burying it underground for a couple of years. I tried different types of films and ways of developing them by soaking in alcohol, potassium permanganate or soapy water. I tried developing it in coffee, fixed it with vinegar… All I wanted was to explore the abilities of the film and to find my own recipe that would suit my ideas.
At the moment I mostly use 35mm film. Technically I settled on multiple display of a scene in the same film frame. I see a lot of potential in this technique, it ticked all the boxes for me and helped me to bring my ideas to life. I like to film series and link them in diptychs or triptychs by the dynamics and composition they share. I only film architecture and always use film. I have been doing it for 5 years and by now I believe I have developed my own unique style in architectural abstraction. During these years I gathered a lot of experience, perfected my skills in this very specific field of photography and also worked out my own rules of filming. Despite the recent rise of interest in the style of multidisplay in photography, I believe I managed to develop my own unique style. It displays my passion for architectural shapes along with my individual character and desire for new beginnings.
I don’t like it when my art is summarised as Lomography — I see it as an insult. My style is closer to pictorial photography because the aim of my art is to dissolve the border between photography and drawing. I don’t see my pictures as the final art product. For me, well developed film is an incomplete product. After selecting the frames that I find most captivating, I print them manually using the contact method developed in the 1860s on large canvas. Photography is only a tool in creating an abstract painting. I don’t use computer graphic programs in my works — all effects are achieved via a multi displaying technique, and experimenting with film developing process. I reject computer tampering in my art, I like to create interesting things using old technologies. I like to get involved in the manual process, I like printing by hand, baths with chemicals, manual developing, photographic enlarger, red room and so on. I see a lot more art in this than in digital photography and Photoshop. I found my own style in photography and now use it to create all of my art works, from drawings to concept architectural projects.