Excellent body of work — every photograph speaks volumes: tenderness, humor, sadness, pure joy… basically life in all its aspects.
I dont remember if I have ever witnessed such engaging photography before. This is contemporary photography at its best, an amazing journey that takes us into a world that few of us have ever experienced nor likely ever will.
I wish I had your talents and the opportunity to attempt such an in-depth and touching documentary photography. Maybe one day… still trying to find my voice, my sanity as I attempt to process all the shit that has left us in the bleak future we all face.
Misha Maslennikov takes pictures not only in the Altai, but throughout Russia: in the villages near St. Petersburg, along the Volga, in the Don Cossack settlements, the northern lands of the Chukchi.
His method is time-consuming: he moves into the village for weeks, lives and works together with the locals, and only rarely takes out the camera.
Most pictures are extremely simple. In their focus there is one single face, figure or animal, and the rest of the image is blurred or insignificant. This figure, however, always radiates such an intense beauty that you feel: well yes, it is no stunt to capture well such a perfect face.
Probably this is what time is necessary for. The photograph must gradually discover the different kind of perfection of each face, so that when he takes out the camera, the image is already living in him. As if what we see in the picture, were not conveyed by the picture’s visual means — which seem to be almost unexisting — but directly from the figure’s personality. As a final stage of simplicity, the photo eliminates itself.