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The French writer Francoise Sagan once said “Art must take reality by surprise.” I think that applies especially to the art of photography. Photography today shares with architecture a double function: it must be both pragmatic and sublime. Buildings combine form and function. They must stand no matter how artistic and innovative they may be from an architectural point of view. Likewise, the best fashion photography of our times is innovative, surprising and stunning and at the same time very practical and flexible. It conforms to the advertising needs of each client while also staging a new invention and offering a novel surprise in each photo shoot.
Few combine the pragmatic and creative functions of photography as well as Moscow-based photographer Andrey Yakovlev and art director Lili Aleeva. World-famous for the gorgeous models, elegant fashions, inventive sets, and above all creative photo series that never fail to surprise and impress viewers, Yakovlev and Aleeva raise the bar for contemporary artistic photography.
Some of their photo series deliberately mimic the diverse styles of classical, realist, romantic, art nouveau and modernist paintings. We see echoes of Ingres, of the pre-Raphaelites, of Bougureau, of Klimt and even of Picasso’s blue period in some of their images.
In other series, they set a subversive tone, pushing the limits of our imagination. In yet others, they emphasize feminine beauty and glamour. In most of their photo series, Yakovlev and Aleeva stage a set and create a drama, through the postures, gestures and facial expressions of the models.
These expressions surprise us rather than simply imitating life in a repertoire that we’re already familiar with. The poses are not realistic; they’re dramatic and statuesque.
These images take our breath away through their stunning beauty and capture our attention through an undefinable element of surprise that characterizes the best artistic creations. You can view more of Yakovlev’s and Aleeva’s beautiful photography on the websites below:
Claudia Moscovici, postromanticism.com