Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Russian Female Photography Reacquaints An Old Friend

Russian female photography mines the rich wealth of feminine Russian artistry. From authors to sculptors to painters and photographers, the women of Russia have withstood the hard winters, harsh political climate and inhospitable social oppression with unbroken wings. Freed of their jesses, these brilliant artists let their creativity soar through art like Russian female photography.

The work of award-winning Ljalja Kuznetsova stands in testament to freedom and free will. Her photograph Like a Baby's First Words was taken in black and white. The starkness of black and white film is the perfect medium to present the simply, but elegant message. The sky is a mixture of thick clouds tumbling through as though a precursor to a storm. Two boys play in the grassy field still sporting some snow. One child is in full shadow, running and the other crouches to the earth, gazing up with a mixture of shock and awe. Rising just above him is a bird rapidly escaping the cold earth.

Kuznetsova's work is a metaphor for the inner freedom and expression found in Russian female photography. Like many other photographers, choosing photography as a career was not something that happened lightly. She took up photography in 1977 following the death of her husband to leukemia. Her chosen path struck like a bolt of lightening and she has journeyed across Russia with Gypsy nomads. The boys in Like a Baby's First Words were Liuli Gypsies.

Russian female photography is a profound look at the inner cultures that comprise the great country. Despite worldview of the former Iron Curtain nation, the day-to-day lives of a complicated and beautiful people is not clearly understood. Like so many other countries, Russia contains a mixed citizenry with different cultures, ideas and traditions. The freedom to express those differences came at the end of suppression by Stalinist doctrines. Sweeping away the dust of oppression reveals beautiful souls at work, at play and while expressing joy or sadness. Russian female photography is peeling away the shroud to reveal the inner Russia to a world fascinated by getting reacquainted.