Boris Bendikov was born in 1968, Moscow, USSR that time. He had been graduating Power Engineering University, but one year before getting a Master degree he decided to change his life and started to study photography. He had been getting private lessons during about 2 years by great artist, photographer, art theorist Alexander Samoilov, and then started to make his own steps as a photographer. And now he has been working as a pro for 16 years already.
Nowadays part of the time Boris works as a commercial freelance photographer, and the rest of time he spends for his own art projects and exhibiting them. Enjoy reading our fresh interview with Boris Bendikov.
AP: Your first photos. What did they look like?
BB: My very first attempts were traveling photos. I was 23 years old, and it was my 1st trip in abroad, to France. After my childhood in closed Soviet Russia that travelling experience was impressive and exciting enough to start taking photos. After my lessons with Samoilov and his really strong influences and pieces of advice to pay attention to those who is really outstanding (Robert Mapplethorp, Edward Weston, Joel-Peter Witkin and, sure, himself) I’ve found some other fields for myself in photography. The subject of my first project was (sure, with these influences) – leafs, fragments of wood, wooden mushrooms and so on in the wild nature. I was shooting them with large format camera 5 x 7, which was produced in 1896.
AP: Do you have any formal education in photography or were you self-taught?
BB: I don’t have any formal education. I wish I could have it, but on that moment formal photo education in Russia, except photojournalism, didn’t exist. I must admit this problem still exists in Russia. Besides private lessons, I took some free courses in Moscow University at the Art history faculty. And one more thing, which really helped me in the beginning is that I lived half of a year in the USA (partly – in NYC), spending all the time in libraries, book stores, going through all photo galleries, in my own searching. Later, when photography became my job, I was trying myself in some important photo genres, some trends of the past, to make them mine. It was self-studying as well.
AP: What genre are your works?
BB: I started from still-life and architecture, playing with forms and lines. After some time I started trying to extend a variety of genres by shooting people: portraits, some kind of fashion, nudes. Of course, every time when you are trying yourself in something new, you go through difficulties and risks. However, for me it’s only the way not to get bored.
I’m trying not to keep the same style or use the same theme in art projects as well. It’s not a business zone for me and I start some new project only if something really touches me, some new point of views or new intonations. So in this situation it is reasonable to change genres.
AP: How did you come up with idea about “The Private Moon”?
BB: “The Private Moon” is the project, which I made with Leonid Tishkov, pretty well known Russian artist and illustrator. In very beginning he created installation for open-air art festival in Moscow, where produced light-box in the form of “the Moon” and hang it on a tree. This installation was dedicated to Rene Magritte and his work “Le seize septembre”. I photographed it and we both saw a result, which gave as really wide field for our fantasies. We had seen absolutely “alive” object, which became alive by the shooting. We had found acting hero of our project!
Regarding the main idea…hmmm… We wouldn’t restrict imagination of viewers by some specific message. For sure it is a love story or story of unexpected meeting of trivial man in his trivial life with real magic of universe, story of meeting with love.
Regarding uniqueness of these works… let’s our viewers express their thoughts.
AP: If it’s not a secret, how many people are waiting in queue to have a photo session with your
handmade Moon and Star?
BB: After we shut these two projects we had some offers from different galleries and art foundation around the world to organize these stories it their cities. But it was no longer exciting for me, so I decided not to participate in these continuations. Leonid keeps doing in by himself, I absolutely agree with his decision.
AP: What kind of equipment and techniques do you use to create your photos?
BB: Before digital era, I worked with all formats from 135 to 5×7, depending on task. In the Moon and Star projects I used Pentax 67 II. Now most of all I work with Canon Ds 1 mark III and lenses of L-series. Sometimes I rent Hasselblad H-series with Phase One p45+ digital back. Software: Photoshop, PhotoKit by PixelGenius and DxO optics pro.
AP: Would you consider yourself as an expert in photography?
BB: I would not be too serious with analysis of myself and did not take too seriously these terms. I’m just trying to do the job with the highest possible quality for me at the moment.
AP: What is the formula for success in your activity?
BB: I think our field is very personalized and each strategy depends on specific strains. I don’t really like contests in art, but all the time I participate in pitches for commercial work. And, for sure, all the time I am trying to participate in various projects and exhibitions.
AP: Is there someone who supports you in your creativity?
BB: It’s difficult to choose someone specifically. I just really proud to collaborate with talented, energized, enthusiastic people in photography area. I am growing in such collaboration.
AP: Would you like to wish something to your readers and AstrumPeople?
Just have fun in everything what you do!
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