Behind the lenses

Marat Muhonkin - one of the most well-known photographers in Moscow, - works not only with beauty and fashion stories for glossy magazines, but also shoots portraits of stars and creative advertising as well as completely non-profit art projects.

An exhibition of Marat Muhonkin have recently opened In Smolensky Passage, in the space of Bosco Donna. Marat is known in the glossy industry since the late 90's. Plastic "nude", black-and-white portraits of Sophie Marceau and Ornella Muti, aggressive shadows in beauty shootings and gentle pastel fashion photos. Combining studs with silk, gold with rough natural forms – Muhonkin is really extraordinary photographer that is never going out of fashion.

How did you get the idea of personal exhibition?
- Spontaneously. We have been discussing a possibility of such cooperation with Bosco di Ciliegi for a few months. And then, finally, come to some common denominator. I am very pleased that they chose me, and that they show deep understanding of the subtleties of colors in my works. Despite 14 years of work in gloss, I still sincerely rejoice when understood by viewers.

What area now is most comfortable for you to work at?
- I love shooting nu calendars. Because it's always a trip to a beautiful place with beautiful women and a team of stylists and makeup artists. This is not just a job, but also creative communication. I like to make shootings with celebrities that I know personally for a long time, because they trust me, I work freely, and in the end we always get something extraordinary. Recently I shot Christina Orbakaite for the new collection of Lena Suprun, I work with her not for the first time. This shooting was comfortable and easy. When there is proper contact with the model, I get a real buzz from working. I am very comfortable working with a team of Instyle, because every time it's a real Hollywood swing on the court, and you feel as if it is written in your chair, "Spielberg." I love Allure, because they have a heading in which they publish photographers portfolio.

You do not want to be limited to one genre and works with reports, fashion and beauty?
- Yes, but it's always special periods of enthusiasm. Some time ago I was obsessed with beauty-shots, because it seemed to me that in our magazines beauty images are too emasculated, symmetrical. They lacked the element of chaos. Often photographers use during a beauty shooting artificial light and monochrome, not textured backgrounds. I wanted to challenge myself and take beauty-history with "highlight", a little hooliganism.

I realize this dream and reassured. Then I learned cross-genre of shooting when shooting synthesis beauty, fashion and celebrity shooting in Instyle. This is interesting when you have in one shoot an intersection of portrait shooting, make-up close-ups and full-height shoots. Now the fashion and beauty - this is the sphere where I feel more than confident. But "nude" for me is a field for experimentation. I cooperate with the European magazine NIF Magazine, which was very inspiring for me, and try to achieve perfection in discovering all the possibilities of the human body. By the way, there is a new topic of conversation among journalists, photographers and models - a ban on Facebook. Every time I face the fact that my works that hang on the walls of galleries and published in international journals, is removed from our favorite social network. Appeared censorship of social networks - is a completely new phenomenon, and it is also possible to beat in working with "nude".

You're a constant participant of a World Press Photo exhibition and generally exhibit often. Have some ideas for the next project?
- There are two stories that I really want to embody. The first - an exhibition devoted to women over 40. I'd like to show the beauty of age. The second project is social. Bosco once invited me to shoot a portrait of a very attractive girl with cerebral palsy. Of course, I have not even had the idea to give the contrary, I was very pleased. I came to the shooting, and from that moment my life changed.


I realized that before I did not properly understand the beauty and nature of human being. Communicating with the model on the shoot, I realized that beauty  that is locked in any human body always finds a way out. I think that we do very few to help people with different diseases to integrate to our society, that we pay attention to them only when we have desire to do something charitable, or to feel good. When I processed the photo of her, I generally had a spiritual revolution. Photography was such artistry, they opened with the beauty of a completely different angle, will escape the philosophical depth of the concept. I realized that I need to do a big project, dedicated to people with disabilities in our society it is necessary. I want as many people as possible to came to the exhibition and realized what I have realized.

Words by: Photographs by: Marat Muhounkin