Andrei

Where are you from? How did you get into photography?
I was born in St.Petersburg, Russia. In my younger days I started to get involved in the design industry as a stylist, but I am a bit control freak; hence it is a bit problematic to collaborate with me if you are a photographer - I used to make corrections and give advice all the time.

Since I’ve started doing fashion design, it’s also pleasant to do photoshoots with my own design pieces by myself. Moreover my mothers’s film making background influenced my interests and I can consider a possibility of having some innermost zeal to photography from the very beginning.

Can you explain the series of images you sent over to us?
Frankly speaking, I am always quite critical of myself and get bored of my own projects super quickly, for that reason I’ve chosen pictures which still possess vivid and vigorous vibes.

Where did the inspiration come from?
I think there is no need to go far to get the inspiration — the majority of my portrait series derived inspiration from the person I am working with. Talking about still-life series — it is simply my current mood and emotions I am experiencing in this particular moment.

Occasionally the source of the inspiration is presented by random vintage photos from flea markets — they can imbue me with a great energy.

With colour photography being the norm, as a result of digital technology, why did you revert back to film and include some black and white?
One of my favourite photographer of all time is definitely Man Ray, pure master of black and white . Surely it is not a groundbreaking opinion, but I love the mix of documentary message and personal creative idea in his pictures and the fact that all that was done in very beginning in the history of the photography gives me the cold shivers. Undoubtedly I can call his portrait of Serge Lifar, Russian ballet dancer, standing on the knees (Les Matelots series, 1925 ) a pure perfection to me.

In colour photography sphere, La Chapelle is certainly a genius to me; also I am really obsessed with Newton’s polaroid of Eva Herzigova in Monaco with a rubber doll.

There’s a clear relationship with yourself, the camera and people. Almost romantic, verging on voyeur. How did you get into that style and what attracts you to it?
Voyeur sounds nice to me. This new puritan mood nowadays worries me a lot. Censorship in social media really seems like a beginning of a new big world crisis, unfortunately.

Who are the people in the images? How do they feel being showcased in your photography?
People who I believe in. Hopefully, they are fine...I noticed, that people sometimes wish to have a glossier look to the detriment of the shoots where they can look odd, but where you can feel the spirit of creativity and artistry.

Have you ever put yourself in the work you do?
I can apply this to my future plans…or maybe not.

What’s your relationship with sex and sexuality?
Sometime I feel like La Cicciolina, sometimes like a frigid looser with a sorrow that is not going to leave me.

Any new work on the horizon we should look out for?
I’d like to focus on self-portraits (while I am still young and beautiful), some random shots from the crowd or random people bring a lot of interest for me too.

What inspires you?
Well, I guess I can just list some names; surely a massive part of my inspiration goes from a basic set of queer icons like Tillmans & Mogutin, Herve Guibert, Geri HalliwellMorrissey, Jean Genet (Querelle). Maybe it’s also important to mention something about Russian contemporary culture which I believe in and which, in my opinion, is still blooming; Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe, Albina Sexova and the most tremendous and crucial influencer — Marusya Klimova, writer from St.Petersburg. 

You can discover more of Andrei by visiting their Instagram at @smnskph