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The photography of Evgeny Mokhorev is largely unknown in the USA. No books of his works are available, although you can find some of his work on some websites. He takes pictures of children and adolescents, often nude or partially clothed; his models are mainly from poor families, or even homeless. This documentary by Christian Klinger shows Mokhoreva at work in St. Petersburg, Russia, both on the streets and in the home of a family who model for him, along with gallery curators and photography collectors talking about the virtues of his work.
Mokhorev's work is dramatic and occasionally whimsical, introducing unexpected elements: we see him work with one girl putting angel wings behind her, for example. But he is very serious himself, and approaches with work with solemnity even. We hear him talking about his work and his influences, mentioning some Russian photographers that most will have never heard of, and we read the subtitles while seeing the view from the car they are driving in. Much of the rest of the DVD seems like random scenes shot with a hand-held cam put together. The most interesting parts of the work are those that show Mokhorev's photography and show him interacting with his models. We also get some sense of the current discontent of the Russian people regarding their political situation.
On the whole then, this DVD is a disappointment, because of its low production values and its failure to explain much about who Mokhorev is. We know that his work is admired by some and that he likes to take artistic pictures of beautiful young people who are in poverty, and we can see that he establishes a rapport with his models and their families. But we don't get much further than that, and much of the DVD seems beside the point -- it is like watching the home videos of someone's trip to Russia. Nevertheless, for those interested in the work of photographers such as Jock Sturges or Sally Mann, this DVD could hold interest, and some of the photography shoots by Mokhorev are gripping scenes.
· Amadelio.com page for Fragile
· Nailya Alexander Gallery
© 2010 Christian Perring
Christian Perring, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Dowling College, New York
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