Alexander Khokhlov and Valeriya Kutsan worked together to create a stunning series called “Weird Beauty”. Weird Beauty is a collaboration between a make up artist and a photographer to capture an optical illusion by painting familiar shapes on the models face. While Alexander and Valeriya focused mainly on black and white photography, they did include some color in their series. The photographs with color take on an entire ally different aspect from the black and white photos. Valeriya focused on shapes and abstract lines rather than every day designs. She created stunning paintings on the models faces that Alexander captured brilliantly. In and interview with molempire.com Alexander stated that “we decided to deny any color except black and white to make more accent on forms and volume.” He also mentioned how the models faces in this project are not just canvases for the face-arts – they play their own role in each photo with different parts.
The combined work of Alexander and Valeriya’s work has been labeled startling, illusory, and complicated. Viewers are captured by the start contrast of black and white, as well as the soft shapes of the human face. The painting is so crisp and clear it is almost hard to tell the difference between the curves of the face and the lines of the paint. The two merge so well that there is a fine line between distinguishing the two. Writeedge.com stated that Alexander “cleverly ignored traditional perceptions of make-up, so that there is a truly stunning contrast created.” When taxing upon the photographs one can agree with this statement. Alexander and Valeriya truly created something very new and different in the art world, as well as expanded the boundaries of what one can do with a camera and some make up.
My inspiration came from the combined talent of Alexander khokhlov and Valeriya Kutsan. There stunning work titled “Weird Beauty” really captivated me and pushed me to try my own hand at creating such photography. I found that the painting of my models was much more difficult than Valeriya made it seem. Acrylic paint was too thick, and metallic paint burned the skin. But through all the challenges that came with this project, I learned a lot about photographing an illusion and a face. I want my viewers to not only see the model behind the paint, but to also see the painting itself. How the faces curves accents certain parts of the painting and how the painting folds itself on the models face. I would certainly like to explore this area of photography more in the future, but maybe with a different painting medium like actual make up. Alexander’s work truly inspired me to reach out of my comfort zone and create more complex pieces. While Alexander did create some simple black and white photos, I found it much more fun and challenging to try and really create something different and recognizable. I didn’t want to stay within the boarders of lines and simple shapes. I feel that while i didn’t capture all of Alexanders talent and style behind weird beauty, I did get much farther than expected and created something unique in its own way. I definitely intent to continue pushing the boundaries in painting and photography and combining the two is perfect practice.
Alexander Khokhlov is a renowned photographer who works along side painter Veronica Ershova. They take unconventional approaches to photography and since 2013 have started a new series called Table Stories. What drew me towards khokhlov’s was the color and how the photos are placed. I was struck by the colors and amazing painting work by Veronica Ershova, she gave the models a whole new life with her paintings. And paired with Khokhlov’s photography, a very different kind of art is created.
When it comes to selfies and portraits of people I try to bring out their personalities and fun side. I tried to bring out both the light and dark within everyone. To highlight the ghosts of our past. I created these photos to inspire fun and to bring out the emotions in people. I want people to laugh or cringe depending on the photo. To see the sleeping cat with all her colors and be awed by the simplistic beauty. Or to laugh at the big orange boy who was camera shy. My goal was to change the boring old selfless and portraits we see everyday, into something deeper and more personal. We all have our demons and hide behind masks as we traverse the day. Some people are camera shy, while others are only photogenic when they are asleep. Some people just naturally work in front of the camera, not due to there looks or editing, but due to their fun expressions and happy nature. I tried to capture different aspects of people, to show both there good and bad. I feel that these photos will bring out a range of emotions in the viewers, and as the photographer, that was the goal. I had loads of fun capturing the silliness in these photos and I am glad i can share it with the viewers. I hope to bring a change into the photography world.