Sunday, June 15, 2014

Petr Lovigin (b.1981) is a Russian photographer

« A shock of artfully-disheveled blonde hair, hands full of heavy silver rings with skulls and snakes, an irreverent blue-eyed glance and a smile that betrays an almost adolescent shyness, Petr Lovigin never thought he would become a photographer.

Born in '81 in Yaroslavl - a city 250 km northwest of Moscow - he got his degree in architecture, but before finding a job, he found a camera. "A shot some photos just for fun, I thought of it as a hobby. But now it's my profession", he confesses in a broken French, which his gallerist, Anna-Patricia Kahn, helps to translate.

Yes, I think it's my profession, but I think life in general is full of doubts. Today photography is my drug, it's like an obsession I just can't seem to quit". Lovigin is a "serial photographer" in the sense that every one of his works is part of a series.

Obviously, every photo can also be de-contextualized and looked at alone, but it is through seeing the whole series that the viewer can understand the intensity, creativity and poetic force of Lovigin. For example, 
one of his first works is structured like a wedding album: "I went to the wedding of two of my good friends and made them this gift". Black and white images, joyous and strange, with portraits of the couple in almost surreal situations - a love story outside of the context of time, entitled Fall in Love.

Another series that started out as a game to become a real beauty is Takeshi Kitano and Other Icons. Here Lovigin plays with a series of famous personalities in an anonymous context. "I started with Kitano because I'm a big fan and I was intrigued by the idea of putting him in the spotlight along with people that don't even know who he is", tells Petr.

So here's a class photo of some alumni wearing masks with Kitano's face, a group of friends at the movies with the enigmatic smile of the Dalai Lama, and some worker women in front of sewing machines with the iconic face of Audrey Hepburn. These days Petr has taken to color photography with a new series taken in the four corners of the world, on exhibit at the gallery °Clair in Monaco, Bavaria (which holds exclusive representation of the photographer's works).
At the same time, the editor Kehrer is publishing a book entitled Planet Lovigin, co-curated by Anna-Patricia Kahn, who, as part of the introduction, gives parts of her phone conversations with Petr. Poetic exchanges, at the limits of the surreal, suspended in time. Like Lovigin's work. » by Maria Grazia Meda

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