LOOKING INTO YOURSELF AND IN THE WORLD
Maxim Grigorenko removes mainly film cameras in the multi-exposure technique, and the process itself turns into just some kind of mystery, where the mind and consciousness are moving aside, yielding to the primacy of chance and intuition. As the author himself admits, each time the result of such work is a discovery for himself.
– Max, hello! To begin, please tell us about yourself: who are you by profession and how did you discover the world of photography?
– I am a designer, photographer, member of the Union of Photo Artists of Russia. My main professional activity is book design. I cooperate with the publishing houses “Children’s Literature” and “Russian Foundation for the Promotion of Education and Science” (Dmitry Pozharsky University), as well as with the Public Opinion Foundation and others. Basically, I design children’s books and scientific publications that require complex layouts and a thoughtful combination of texts and illustrations, as well as covers for them. My love for a good children’s book was instilled in me as a child, and my interest in scientific literature stems from a good liberal arts education (RSUH). Another area of my business is business publications.
I have been fond of photography since childhood, but really deeply artistic photography has fascinated me already in adulthood. What exactly – I will tell a little later.
Since I am used to dealing with a book spread, with the ratio of white space and printed elements, it’s natural for me in photography to work with series, with a combination of pictures on a book spread or in an exposure.
Now I regularly participate in photo exhibitions, working to systematize my experience and understanding of photography as an art and practice.
Recently, my friend, architect and photographer Yevgeny Shapkin, and I organized the Territory +7 photo gallery (www.territory7.ru). We set a goal to collect interesting shots of various modern, well-known and not very, but necessarily talented and not original authors in one place. Therefore, now I am learning new competencies: the selection of pictures, blogging and the organization of exhibitions.
– Have you studied photography yourself or professionally?
– Constantly discovering something new, in my opinion, is a necessity, the process of education never ends. New knowledge gives rise to new questions, and achievements open up new perspectives.
It can be said that I built and built my own photo-education program myself, based on the emerging issues and needs. It so happened that the decision to go on a particular course or master class, read a particular book or article, or try a particular technique arose spontaneously. Sometimes it led to stunning discoveries, sometimes it turned out to be wasted time. More often, the new step is determined by the previous one.
I studied at different courses in the photo schools of the club Foto.ru and Photoplay. I especially want to mention the course on genre photography of Artyom Zhitenev and master classes on the multi-exposition of Andrey Chezhin, both in Photoplay. Although genre photography is not my main occupation, I constantly devote time to her, as her role for each photographer is very large. Shooting on the street is useful, even if it is not a creative project, but only with studies, because genre photography trains the eye, teaches you to hear your intuition and develops many of the psychological qualities that a photographer needs.
From the books I want to mention “Photograph as …” by Alexander Lapin – in my opinion, it is obligatory for everyone to read with a camera — as well as “Camera lucida. Comment on the photo ”by Rolan Bart and“ On Photography ”by Susan Sontag, although this is quite a specific reading.
Photography is a special visual art, it differs in many ways from painting or graphics, but it also has a lot in common with them. Accordingly, knowledge and understanding of the principles of constructing the artistic works of the past and present is very important, and even more important to have a visible eye. Therefore, I try to go to museums and galleries as often as possible. And, of course, watch albums and exhibitions of photographs, classic and modern.
The Internet in our time still provides enough opportunities for information and communication. I once spent many hours on photo forums, online galleries and online publications; I spend much less time there now, but now this is a concentrated and fruitful communication on the merits. It is very important to form the right social circle for yourself.
– Which genre is most interesting to you now?
– I rent a city, it is a natural environment for me. The life of the city, the life of people in it, the life of the walls, the pavements, the things around us – all that people have created, what people use, what people live in – this is the material that I work with. Therefore, the direction of my current photographs can be determined somewhere between the urban landscape and genre photography.