Oleksandr Boyko, a.k.a. Oleksandr McQuartz, was born on March 11th 1992; in Chervonograd (Ukraine). It was at the age of 15, that he moved to a small town called La Roda, nearby Albacete (Spain). He’s currently studying photography and arts and yet when we look at his work – it seems that he has been doing this for a long time! Now you understand why we had to tell you more about this art prodigy in the making.
Good afternoon Oleksandr and welcome to my penthouse. How is it going?
Very well, thank you.
How did you start with photography?
I simply started doing the typical photo shoots with my girlfriends. We did them mostly for fun but every now and then we managed to take a good picture.
What attracts you the most about photography?
I love signature, artistic, surreal and fashion photography. Those genres are the ones I am drawn to the most.
Tell us, which are your models in photography? Which photographers inspire you the most?
I love a lot of photographers; I am a fan of Helmut Newton. I am passionate about his photos; they surprise me every time I look at them. I also like photographers such as Annie Leibovitz, Kyle Thompson, Rebeca Cygnus and Lidia Vives. They are some of the few I follow and I find their work very curious.
When analyzing your work it can be seen that you dramatise the female figure a lot. Is there a particular reason for this?
Yes… but no. Yes because I find the female figure more aesthetic and dramatic for my pictures. I will eventually end up working with male models but to date; I can’t really say that I’ve met Mr. Right profile yet…
Could we say that your work is nearly bizarre, in the good sense of the word, in works such as “Los ojos sinceros”, “Las caras falsas”, “Rest” or “Imperfect/perfect”?
Yes, I like whatever is morbid and dark. I love getting inspired by scary things or stuff that people find ridiculous and disgusting. To me that is attractive and interesting (lol)
We can see you modelling in some of your works, why is that?
Yes, sometimes I take self portraits in which I describe and reveal myself. I love to make up characters – they help me play roles the way I imagine them to be in real life.
Do you prepare your photo sessions in advance? Is your choice of locations spontaneous or do you seek them before you shoot?
Everything is set and ready well in advance. Firstly I have the idea, which I write on my diary, and then I look for a location, although normally I come up with both the idea and the location at once. Later I think about the light and the composition. Maybe just a few pictures are made spontaneously; which is crazy and does not always turn out good enough to convince me.
Do you think good equipment is needed in order to take a good photo?
Not always. Good equipment is always better and enables you to do more things but there are also photographers who have won contests with a compact camera. Quite the contrary, it can restrict you. I cannot say that expensive equipment is a must to take a good picture.
I am always thinking about new projects, let’s see what comes-up next? Right now, I am with “SurrealReal”, which is a surreal project about interior spaces and sets in which the story is about the character and the space where it is told from. The overall idea is to turn an everyday space into a surreal one and tell a story from that point.
Could you give us some advice for someone who is starting in the world of photography?
I think about “sigue tu corazón” in Mexican –which means follow your heart. It is actually about that, do what you believe. If you believe photography is what you have to do, you must do what your heart says, no matter if people believe in you or not.
Before we finish, tell me, what is the meaning of photography?
To me it is about capturing my ideas and transmitting them through my work.
Is there something else you would like to say?
I would like to finish saying what I told people in my first exhibition that: “At first no one believed in me, so when you walk through that door I want you to know that there is at least one person who believes in you”.
Thank you very much Oleksandr, it has been a pleasure talking to you. We will continue to follow your work because we know that you have loads to offer, not to mention a great career in front of you!
Interview by: Francisco de Borja Pérez (Esquilo Estrion)
More info: OleksandrMcQuartz
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