10 Favorite Photographs: Ivan Nebesnyk
Ukrainian photographer. Was born and lives in Uzhgorod. Graduated from A. Erdeli College of the Arts in Uzhgorod and Lviv National Academy of the Arts. Lectures at the Transcarpathian Arts Academy. Member of Mug Esmarch art group.
I first became interested in photography when I discovered the works of William Eggleston. Turns out that many famous, and not so famous, photographers started their careers based on their ideas of his work. Today, he is considered the godfather of color photography.
I am an artist and a teacher. I turned to photography at the point when I felt I lacked the instruments. Painting seemed somewhat closed and limited to me. A small, close group of painters mostly interact inside their own environment and do not have any contact with the outside world.
At first, I continued to do with photography what I used to do in painting. I juxtaposed planes, searched for textures and forms — I was purely formalistic. Later, under the influence of my photographer friends, I shifted my focus onto humans, and documenting as a goal in itself. Because whatever you shoot, you deal with reality. This is not the world of abstract ideas and senses that the fine arts have — photography deals with the facts.
I still think that a cool photographer is a photographer who does nudes. But I have a barrier — which might come from my upbringing — that prevents me from working in this genre. Despite this fact, I think that this nude is not bad, although I recaptured it from a billboard.
Road Sign Tree
No matter how much you try to soothe the beast, he still likes weird things. Weird things have something in them that makes us artists. Things without purpose or benefit — they bring pleasure from looking at them. The object in this photograph was created for a functional purpose — but it is still art in all senses.
Mukachevska Street, Uzhgorod
I am most interested in Uzhgorod streets, especially the ones that are disintegrating in front of us. I like the absurd combination of kitsch shops, cafes, and the remains of the Austro-Hungarian architecture of the 19th century. Such districts are not attractive to tourists, but may attract researchers who have wider interests. The atmosphere here is entirely different from what the Soviet people are used to seeing. It is like a different world here, where everything happens according to the laws of the Tarantino genre. You should always be ready to witness a street scandal in places like this.
Uzh River, Winter
The main element in Uzhgorod’s landscape is the Uzh River, which goes through drastic reincarnations throughout the year. I most like Uzh in the winter, when it gains the form that reminds me of pictures of landscapes taken from space. Frozen water looks like camouflage on the continents.
Marveling at the river is a special kind of Uzhgorod pleasure.
Kiosks, building extensions, booths, and improvised balconies, are all a unique part of the culture of people in Ukraine. It is driven by the natural need for comfort and profit, which leads people to ignoring the accepted cultural norms.
I first felt free with a camera in my hands in the streets of Istanbul. People were reacting in a natural and non-aggressive way. Each person in this photograph continued to do their thing, and the end result depended on how pushy the photographer was. After Istanbul, I realized that it was generally not difficult to shoot people.
The most interesting details in a photograph are usually revealed when you look at it at home, so I try to resist the temptation of clearing my memory card immediately. When you are at home, you can see amazing coincidences in the details of an unsightly photograph: people in the underground who look as though they are posing for a weird scene, are taking part in a strange performance or ritual.
Kostya Smolyaninov says that the Roma issues have been fully covered by the work of the genius Josef Koudelka — but it’s hard to remain uninvolved when these hooligan characters are playing a personalized performance for you. These children are idolizing the movie heroes from old action movies. They aim for six-pack torsos and serious looks, although it is obvious that this photograph is contrary to a classic Schwarzenegger look.