Vladislav Turanskiy sent me some photos some weeks ago, and I was instantly stunned. At first I thought he was the photographer, but it turns out he is the fantastic model (who also owns most of the ideas) and the pictures are taken by the great Asya Ignatkina. I love his views on art and all pictures I’ve seen so far and I can’t wait to see more of it.
KALTBLUT: What inspired you to become a photographer?
Vladislav: Well, I’m not a photographer actually, but it’s really easy for people to get confused, because most of the ideas of the photoshoots that I send to different magazines just arise in my mind and then I ask my very close friend Asya Ignatkina, who actually is a photographer, to develop those and transfer my thoughts into pictures. I believe she’s a really talented photographer and the pictures that I finally get always have exactly the mood that I tried to convey. I know Asya not so long, but we really are like Bonny andClydeof modern photography, trying to develop rebel ideas in a small Russian town.
KALTBLUT: What do you feel is the role of an artist in modern society?
Vladislav: This is the question that bothers me a lot, and it is really difficult to give a clear answer. You know, I believe, art is not just the work of a person who creates, but it’s like the communication between, let’s say, the photo and the audience. Of course, people should be educated enough to get properly what an artist wants to say. In that case, his role is great, because he becomes a kind of ambassador, who can broadcast some thoughts or point out important social issues through his works. Hence, the society gets so-called food for thought, and some individuals can make valuable conclusions and change something in their mind. On the other hand, there is a huge crowd in the world, who, for different reasons, just cannot comprehend what this or that is about. For instance, none of the Russian magazines agreed to publish my last photoshoot dedicated to the law against gay ‘propaganda’, which has passed inSt. Petersburg. The reason is simple. In those pictures people just see a gay guy who is dancing in the middle of theRed Square, sucking his lollypop and all that it tells to them is a crazy guy tries to attract attention showing off. They don’t want to look deeper and see true motives that prompted the author to create this photoshoot. So here, there is no interconnection between the artist and the audience and the role of art becomes equal to zero. I guess a lot of artists around the world face this problem and to overcome it, we have to be more tolerant and perceptive and then we could glimpse great power of art, which, to my mind, is a device that makes the world go round.
KALTBLUT: How do you come up with an idea and then develop it?
Vladislav: There is a widely spread belief that a model is just a beautiful face and skinny (or athletic) body with no soul and nothing in the head, and I should say this is soooo wrong! I wanted to become a model since I remember myself and I always thought that modeling is just a way, which can help me speak out. Different ideas may attack me everywhere, but usually that happens while I’m jogging. In the woods near my house when there are no people and I have an opportunity to concentrate on my inner world. I don’t force myself to create anything and I don’t usually think about something definite. It depends on my mood and the environment, so any idea may just arise unexpectedly and then I come home I instantly text my friend Asya, who is sometimes yelling at me like she has a lot of weddings in production and some requests for other photoshoots and she doesn’t have time you know, but several minutes later she says how much she loves the idea and we start to think of clothing the light and all that stuff, and usually we set up the shoot in couple days and voila.
KALTBLUT: Tell me about your shoot inspired by the anti-gay law! What is this law about? how does it affect people? What do you wanna achieve with your statement?
Vladislav: Okay, this is one of the shoots that I didn’t create. The original idea belongs to my friend Olga Zenkina, I just suggested dedicating the whole thing to that ridiculous law. One day she hang out on a Red Square and saw a man selling those Kremlin-shaped lollypops and she bought one and sent me the picture of it right away. You know, the candy looks like… I’m not gonna say it aloud… but you know, it’s red and big so she just thought that I may suck it right on the Red Square showing my distrust and sarcasm to authorities who allowed this law to pass. I didn’t even think whether to agree or not, because I know the pain of people who have to overcome bullying all the time and everywhere. I didn’t really try to make a statement; I just want people to pay attention to that issue. If such a law passes in a rather big city likeSt. Petersburgso what can we expect from small towns? I believe that all leads to violence and as we all know, the mission of art always was and I hope always will be to help people avoid violence and find ways to solve problems on an even keel.
Interview by Amanda M. Jansson
Photography by Asya Ignatkina facebook.com/asya.ignatkina
Modelling by Vladislav Turanski facebook.com/
Photography by Olga Surikova facebook.com/olgalioka