Still-life photography where hands grasp objects, items are intermingled between each other and cats are super-imposed, this is the current content of a quintessential Sasha Favorov piece.
The artist behind the ASTRODOG Tumblr suggests his work is simply the reinterpretation of the everyday meeting of objects, rearranged in a way he finds personal meaning.
“Life itself is rather inspirational with its variety of accidental mis en scenes, you just need to keep your eyes open to catch them or to memorise and then recreate it in some personal way,” Favorov reveals. This approach is reflected in his aesthetic, which places juxtaposed images into perfect unison within his images.
He explains, “When it comes to photography, my vision of the world is fairly ironical and versatile. I capture the things that don’t just attract me but also represent different illusions, associations and memories. By placing them together I seek to show various dispositions of everyday objects, natural or artificial still lives, the performance of light, geometry and combinations of textures.”
And how does he choose these objects?
“It depends on the situation, mostly accidentally, but then I strictly filter them by using lots of criteria when I begin to shoot. I really like my photos to look deceptively simple and clean. Usually I proceed from a rather wide and vague idea of what I would like to place in the frame. I don’t always know how my objects are going to interact when I put them together with different light so initial plans can be changed to the bone, creating an entirely different end result.”
“Usually I simply seek a shape and choose my objects mainly driven by sense of intuition and curiosity, feelings that tend to be predominant in my creative work. I choose from an enormous range of man-made objects – everyday devices, gadgets, clothes or other random stuff. Their basic functions become unimportant, as I investigate their potential ability to be something else.”
Although Favorov’s more recent work utilises inanimate objects, he has also worked with living models and says that in general he likes to mix his approaches and doesn’t have a preference.
“I like the idea of not merely taking pictures, but designing them, making not just a photo but some kind of installation. In general I prefer to mix different approaches to photography and style. I use my wife’s hands which you can see doing some actions or handling some things. This provides a feeling of an unrepeatable accident. In the future I’d like to evolve the way I mix still life objects with the human body, whether it represents somebody or acts just like a symbol or a form.”
The appeal of Favorov’s work is his ability to create images with so much going on and yet embody that simple and clean aesthetic. A characteristic he says is developed with his choice of colours, specifically pastels.
“Such colours provide a feeling of a light game between the objects and the consciousness of a viewer. There is a lack of pastel tints in real life, I’m just interested in these colours and their effects; tone nuances, neat lines. My pictures aim to reduce the spectrum of the real world to minimalism, to white and pastel colours. They equate beauty and simplicity,” he explains.
Despite having a firm understanding of the creation and meaning behind his images he explains there isn’t any specific connotations that can be drawn from them, simply stating, "The thing is to make the appeal for each person as something personal and vague,” and adds, “I allow the viewers to question themselves whether these are truly subjects with their own background or accidental objects without any connotations. I strive to portray an image that remains a sensation.”
Thus Favorov’s work focuses on the relationships between subjects, their colours and shapes that blend, interfere and consequently give birth to uncertain and suspended scenes with a piece of irony and playfulness. Although he leaves me with this final note, and I am ever more intrigued for what’s to come; “I'd like to add that I managed to find only a personal direction, general search is still in process, therefore I admit the possibility of changing style completely”.
Words / Jamie-Maree Shipton