Alexander Yakovlev

Alexander Yakovlev is a modern photographer from Moscow who Photographers dancers in motion. His work abstracts the bodies of the dancers creating striking and intriguing shapes through performance. Yakovlev’s work is all about capturing a moment in time that would other wise be lost, his images capture an exact second in time, a moment of expression through the bodies of the dancers. His images are intense yet graceful, the striking poses create shapes within the photographs making the dancers almost inhuman, in particular the images in the series, ‘Ballet Time’. The body language of the women distorts them creating abstract shapes, in all of the images in this series, the women’s faces are covered in some way, whether it be with hair, material or body parts. This adds to the dehumanising of the women, the extraction of a face makes them impersonal, unreliable, to the audience. I think that Yakovlev has done this to not only make the bodies of the dancers the focal point, but to also show how expression of emotion is not just shown through the face, but through body language too. It also adds the element of mystery to the images, the viewers don’t know who these women are, or why they are positioned in that way, or even what they have got to hide, the removal of the face creates a mask between the model and the viewer.

In the series ‘Mirages’ the images are more about capturing the decisive moment. Using an extremely fast shutter speed Yakovlev has successful captured every detail of the images, capturing a moment that would otherwise be lost in time, and impossible to capture with the naked eye. These images show dancers in motion yet still frozen in time, he has presented the beauty of the art of dance in a single image. Yakovlev describes his work as “looking at the art of dance through different angles”. The images in this series really express this, as they are a way of looking at dance in a way that could not be seen before.

The work of Alexander Yakovlev interested me because of the way that he freezes time within his images. This is something that I want to achieve in my own work, capturing a moment of expression and making it last a life time. I want to use Yakovlev’s series as inspiration for my own shoots, and captutre the decisive moment that emotion is released.

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