Sergey Kharlamov/ Ukraine


Release! Geometry Incognito Aspiration Sphynx


When/Where were you born?

In 1971 in the city of Donetsk in Ukraine.

Where did you spend your childhood?

All my childhood has passed in Donetsk where I absorbed in myself spirit of " industrial romanticism " Donbass - the main industrial region of Ukraine.

Where did you study?

After the termination of high school and training to drawing at art school, has acted in Donetsk maximum art school.

Did any experience in your childhood make you decide to take photographs?

First time has taken in hands the camera in ten years - it was interesting to me to study mysterious process of shooting and a press of the facsimile. But it was only hobby - I was involved more with the fine arts.

Does any vision from childhood persist in your photos?

I sometimes consider, what exactly of that pure, not noted by adult problems, the children's sensation of the world, often does not suffice me now. In the childhood I was the dreamer, and now became the philosopher. This same is possible …

You’ve had quite a unique life, you passed through many adventures and many crafts… Tell me more about it. How did this help you in becoming what you are?

All our life - one big adventure... Each new day brings interesting opening. And crafts in which I had to be engaged in a life, a part of such opening. With each new craft, it seemed to me, that the life during this moment has the greatest importance … So was both with a sculpture, and with jeweller art, and with moulding bronze, and with development of ceramics. Well and such craft as the engraving on a stone, remains with me for my whole life.

How did you start being a photograph?

For more than 10 years I was not engaged in creative activities. Heavy times for the country after disintegration of Soviet Union … it was necessary to work much somehow to survive … I began to feel a painful feeling of lack as something that could give me harmony in a life … Any material benefits were unable fill this emptiness. As time to be engaged in creativity still was not enough, I bought a camera.

I took my great interest in photo seriously and I realized - my life without creativity is inconceivable. Cheering up, there came a turning-point in my destiny! Though I also do not consider myself a photographer - the photo has inhaled in me missing harmony.

There-lives-family-one Time Inks

How do you describe your artistic evolution?

I think, my artistic development began in the womb of my mother. Certainly, children's fantastic imagination had a crucial importance. Still, I have a senior brother, who drew a  lot in his childhood and I repeated everything after him. Then I attended an art school.

Was it simple, linear?

With the childhood simplicity has left behind...

And linearity in creativity does not happen, in general! All occurs on the verge of deep reassessments, emotional splashes and fading. My creativity is impulsive. The only thing, I try to encourage myself: in the shower I always speak to myself - you can!!!

Did you discover your own style immediately?

The problem of a the personal style never interested me … I am more excited by themes: the style, probably, appears as consequence.

How would you define your style?

The style is defined by critics … I never thought of it, moreover, I consider that the artist doomed on submission to the certain style - is deprived in his development. The search of new forms of realization of ideas, innovative spirit is more important than the style, that should be seen as an ideological substrate of the majority of an artist's works.

Do you have a personal vision in photography? Describe it.

It is impossible to create something absolutely new. The only thing that I wish to tell - inside of me there are two components that live in a competition - yesterday's self and today's self.

Is creativity more important to you than education?

Creative potential - it is unequivocal! Formation - a necessary stage in becoming an artist, but only at a  technological level. True creativity can "doze" in the most distant corners of our soul and to wake up together with the ripened person, the spirituality and the ability to estimate beauty. The artist ripens when he feels the urge to express ideas, attitudes and to share them with the others.

During the Middle Ages, scholars believed that creativity was “divine inspiration”. In the 19th century, they believed it was a cognitive process. What do you think?

I think that people from of the Middle Ages were closer to the truth …

What means to you to be creative?

For myself in creativity I accept only sincerity. The true artist is capable to use the force of his talent and  find harmony in his soul. All rest - work on the public demanding shows and as a rule, is not true art. Unfortunately, very few people are able to save themselves from this temptation, including myself …

Did you ever try to paint?

From my childhood.

Are your photographs a sort of painting?

Yes, I consider my works as painting! I work in Photoshop 7.0, I use all accessible tools, filters I do not use, preferring all to create itself. Photographing I spend under concrete idea and ready sketches. There is a laborious work in Photoshop Further. Perhaps, creativity comes to an end during that moment when I draw last sketch, fixing idea on a paper … the Moment from the beginning of formation of idea and before its registration on a paper - can consist of one - two days, and final work in a computer, often lasts some months …

In general, for me there is no differentiation between painting, photo art or computer painting - for me there is a concept self-realization and creativity. And when some artists start to argue on the priority of genres in art - they are in deep error! This my opinion.

Tell me about the esoteric components of your photography. Why do you try to transform reality?

It is difficult to answer your question … I think I search for harmony.

What is reality to you?

What reality for me … Is fair? … Severe. For all time of existence of a life for the Earth, its invaluable inhabitants exercise the wit the friend before the friend in cruelty, each time finding justifications to the acts and naming them with " regulation of natural balance "… Certainly, is much and light around - the life in itself is fine! The difficulties it tempers, gives to wisdom to people, only all here depends on everyone. Everyone, coming to this Earth, has equal odds, and here leaves - who with what …

The dream-like images are very important to you.


What do you prefer, black-and-white photos, or colored photos? What means color to you?

It is more interesting to me to express the ideas in colour …

What are your favorite themes?

Life, people and their uneasy relations.

What is the human body for you?

As I am born on this planet, I do not know anything more perfect than the human body.

What do you discover in it?


How do you choose your models?

I never work with agencies, I try to work with nonprofessionals.

Describe the process that gives birth to your images.

My works are not photos in the pure state. A photo I use as necessary " a building material " for realization of the ideas. The basic work occurs on a paper, as sketches and in a computer, using Photoshop. In the beginning I create sketches, having chosen the best, I transfer it to a computer. Then I spend shooting and the scanned photos I use under the sketch, creating the final image.

What does it mean to you to use digital techniques?

Now, all that is connected with postprocessing photos in a computer and a press in digital laboratory, it is accepted to name digital methods. Though in case of with me, this a little bit incorrect definition as I film exclusively and I can not while to accept quality of digital cameras …

What does the modern techniques mean to you?

Modern methods for me is all that is connected with a computer. The computer for me as to the artist, has replaced both an easel, a canvas …

What camera do you use?

I use an average and wide format (6х6cm., 4x5inch) as I consider that it's giving the highest quality of the image. My chambers: KIEV-60TTL (6х6cm); FATIF (4x5inch).

What lens do you use? 

I use different types depending on the subject, but more often I prefer to give a lung with a wide corner to an objective.

What Photoshop do you use? 

Photoshop 7.0, in other programs I do not work, did not study.

Is there a Russian component of your photography? Maybe the mysticism?

Russian component is in my soul, so and in my works.

How do you explain your apocalyptic vision on the world? Is it a kind of escaping the reality?

I do not consider, that I have an apocalyptic vision on the world. I it name differently … the World is doomed to eternal struggle of good against evil. People all over the world with absolutely different social foundations, loose spirituality - the main thing for the sake of what we come on this ground and as reasonable race we are obliged to keep and transfer to our descendants. By my works I try to tell to people - look at yourself, look at your acts and their fatal consequences. It is not necessary to argue about it… History of mankind, itself speaks for itself.

In Romania, it is quite difficult to be a photographer (and an artist, in general). What is the situation in Ukraine?

It was always possible to earn one's living from photography. The only difference is that some people, by virtue of their business abilities, succeed more than others…

But to earn your living in Ukraine as an artist having a non-standard perspective on art, it is practically impossible. You have to organize promotions, exhibitions, search for sponsors, which is very much distractive and leads to exhaustion an inconsistency. Here you are recognized as an artist only after the recognized abroad, but as they say, the train has left from a long time ago… So a situation not consolatory, but personally it does not upset me, as such position was at all times and I knew on what I go …

Barcelona Cosmo

What artists do you admire?

I am afraid I cannot give names. For me the works are more talented than the names of their authors … Sometimes work of the unknown beginning artist can be very important, very inspirational … I look a lot  on the site Deviantart, I communicate with some authors - there are many talented people all over the world and that pleases me.

What was your biggest success until now?

As the main success for myself personally, I consider those creative successes to which has come during creative growth and reasonings on meaning of the life. That means, I have knowingly lived these years!

For official records: the main success for today - a victory in the international photocompetition "Trierenberg Super Circuit 2005" and a nomination " Digital World".

What future plans do you have?

The future plans one million!!! But the main things, one - to continue to create, for the good of living.


Thanks you for your interesting questions!

Interview by Alina Savin

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