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A story like an art object: Kristina Shakht’s tactile images become a collage

With the help of florist Michelle Pelletier, photographer Kristina Shakht creates images where Russian and Slavic fairy tales come to life 

Photographer: Kristina Shakht
Creative Director: Kristina Shakht and Michelle Pelletier
Team – Production: Anna Langston; Flowers: Michelle Pelletier; Hair: Timur Katz; Make up: Dmitrii Kukushkin; Hair assistant: Shakale Houchens; Make up assistant: Weronika Hawkins
Models: Yuri @Other Peoples Children, Milk, Iman @Joseph C Viola, Kokie @Casting by Margeaux, Jean @Casting by Margeaux
Collages: Catherine A LoMedico, Bren Cukier, Kristina Shakht

Kristina Shakht photoshoot for Lampoon

The idea was to shoot feminine creatures that are surrounded by flowers with focus on the body, tactility, and nature. I wanted to collaborate with Michelle Pelletier on this one, I love how she works with flowers, and we started building this idea. Michelle had references on textures, colors and general vibe that matched with what I had in mind. We worked on moodboards and shared ideas of what I and Michelle would want to see.

A lot of my work in the past six months had a dark vibe. Instead, his time I wanted to do something light and bright in terms of imagery.

I love how Michelle chose the flowers color and shape wise – it gave a lot of life and color dynamic to images that are still, with simple posing. 

The role fairy tales play in our society

I explore the same theme from different angles. I find a lot of inspiration in Russian and Slavic fairy tales and mythology, in female creatures. There is a big footprint of our civilization in fairy tales. It’s mostly dark and shows how we evolved as a society from becoming aware of existing to building complex intergroup connections.

In the twenty-first century, we are far beyond fairy tales about the human desire to get out of savagery. I think we need to use cross-cultural symbols to talk about feminism, liberation, and sisterhood. I’m still working and exploring my style. I’m experimenting and trying to see what is mine.

As a photographer, I shoot or create personal stories. I tend to talk about self-identity, isolation, femininity, and sexuality, trying to incorporate fashion and fine art.

I have been experimenting with Polaroids a lot in the past year, because of its blurry low-quality look. Also, the colors are a surprise – mostly a good surprise. I shot the story on 35mm film and Polaroid600. 

Kristina Shakht collages

I wanted to make imagery go beyond just photography. I’m interested in working with artists who make collages and enjoy the process of collaboration itself – I feel like it makes the projects stronger.

I think here the point was to make the story look like an art object. Catherine has a style that matched our images. She created sort of an art piece, making the project more edgy and tactile.

Kristina Shakht photographer

Kristina Shakht (born 1995 in Saint-Petersburg, Russia) is a New York based artist and creative director working with fashion and fine art photography and jewelry design. The main themes of her work are intimacy and self-identity.

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