Weekend Takeover: Vlad Mitrichev
Our Instagram takeover this past weekend was Russian conceptual photographer Vlad Mitrichev, who pushes people to strive for something beyond consumption. Studying originally to become a film director his creative approach resides somewhere between that of a director and that of a fine artist. He creates his images using a creative process that mimics commercial fashion photos, a language very familiar to most people, and instills them with new meaning.
Interview by Tyler Austin
When setting up for one of your shoots, how do you choose your models and what they wear? What factors come into play? In some pictures they seem to wear nothing but body paint, what inspires this?
My wife Kate and I choose every costume and every location together, she's my friend in art. She's a photographer as well and together we create ideas and the concepts for our pictures. After we find our concept, we start thinking about how we're going to go about fully realizing the concept. First is the idea and the second is the form, which comes from the meaning. It's not easy to find a model who feels your idea. I prefer people from real life (rarely pro models) who have their own character. It is very important for the model to have the same temperament and sense of humor as the artist.
You mention that people are too obsessed with this ‘wow’ factor. Is there anything more crucial to be concerned with?
I think the important thing is anything that helps develop our human civilization. That moves us from this animal being to a future of human beings. As an entity that is able to create together instead of win, victory in competition.
What has been your favorite location to shoot, thus far? Why?
I love places that give me feelings of space and future. It's like the moment from the film "Knocking on Heaven's Door" when they arrive to the sea.
You’ve mentioned Rene Magritte, Hieronymus Bosch and Ilya Repin as some of the artists that inspire you. Whose art do you admire?
Yes sure, Anton Corbijn is the only photographer. I often find inspiration in music, Pink Floyd with their great music clips and films, dramatic Nick Cave and his music stories, David Fincher and Chuck Palahniuk with their Fight Club film, and other film directors who makes movies with meaning...Jim Jarmusch, for example.
Your series ‘Industrial Art’ is the only one of its kind on your website. What are some challenges that you faced while shooting?
I think it's interesting to work in that industrial minimalism style, but the meaning of such photography is more commercial than philosophical conceptual photography. It would be interesting for me to try and mix commercial photography with conceptual philosophy. Playing with contexts very interesting.