Russian photography artist Oleg Dou debuted in gallery Le Simoun in Paris when he was 23. In 2007 he received an International Photography Color Award, and attracted worldwide interest to his works. The border between art and photography vanishes in his work, exposing the breathless creatures likely made from porcelain.
Dou’s body of work includes the cover for the Adobe CS6 Photoshop box and splash screen in 2012:
Vesnin sat down with Dou to discuss his career, work and process.
I’m an artist, but sometimes, some people call me a photographer. It’s not true. I’m an artist who uses photography as a medium for my works.
AV: What was your path to doing what you’re doing now?
OD: It started as a hobby when I was a kid. My mother used to be an artist , so I was introduced to art very early. I also have a younger brother, who I think was a more talented kid. I was comparing myself to him and felt upset. But this feeling pushed me to learn. A was doing everything from drawing and making some objects to filming and 3d animation. I also worked as a graphics designer and 3d modeller when I was a student. During the work I realised that doing my own ideas is much more satisfying to me. In 2005 I bought my first camera and started to learn photography. Last 15 years I have been developing my style.
AV: Did you have an “Aha!” moment when you knew that photography art was what you wanted to do?
OD: I can’t say that photography is what I always wanted to do, I would call myself an artist who uses photography as the medium. I started using Photoshop when I was 13, I never thought about photography. Later, working as a graphics designer, I was retouching photographs made by other people. Then I realized photography is a perfect basis for my own photoshop works. At the beginning I was not focused on any particular theme. I was shooting landscapes, still lifes, portraits and so on. Now I mostly focus on portraits. Using Photoshop I can fix and retouch some unperfect details, but I can’t change face expressions and so on , so shooting good photography at the beginning is very important.
AV: You glided on your own style for a while but then decided to evolve more and change. Was it a breaking point in your career? How does it influence your way of doing work now?
OD: If I look at my works from childhood till now, It is very easy to notice that the style of the works was always changing with the time. Then I had success with a big porcelain like skin portraits. This Is what people usually recognize as a style of my work. But It was just a step in my path.
At the same time, the market prefers artists…
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