Maxim Ivanov

Maxim Ivanov (born in Cheboksary). Graduated from the Faculty of Photography at the University of Hertfordshire (UK). His practice is defined by such concepts as the “formation” of Heraclitus of Ephesus, “borderline” Edmund Burke and “will to power” Friedrich Nietzsche. In his work, Maxim is looking for answers to the question of what it means to “become” in a changeable world. Lives and works in Moscow.

  • 2018 – Residence Casa do Artista Jamie Isidoro (Vila Nova de Cerveira, Portugal)
  • 2018 – Honorary Jury Mention in Photobookfest Dummy Award
  • 2017 – Creative Review Photography Annual Winner
  • 2017 – Photobookfest Dummy Award Shortlisted
  • 2016 – Winner of the D&AD New Blood Awards
  • 2015 – Winner of the D&AD New Blood Awards

Personal exhibitions:

  • 2019 – This is a trap. EKATERINA Cultural Foundation. Moscow, Russia.
  • 2019 – “Winners”. Space Pavilion, VDNKh. Moscow, Russia.
  • 2019 – “Winners”. Gallery “Tug”. Lipetsk, Russia.

Group exhibitions:

  • 2020 – Imago Lisboa Photo Festival. Lisbon, Portugal.
  • 2020 – AE Collection gallery. Moscow, Russia.
  • 2019 – BA (Hons) Photography Alumni Show. BVShD. Moscow, Russia.
  • 2018 – XX Bienal de Cerveira, Main and Special Program. Vila Nova di Cerveira, Portugal.
  • 2018 – “Contrast-Construct”. 6th Moscow International Biennale for Young Art. CSI Mars. Moscow, Russia.
  • 2018 – Photobookfest. Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography. Moscow, Russia.
  • 2017 – Creative Review Photography Annual. The Siding. London, Great Britain.
  • 2017 – “Reveal”. BVShD. Moscow, Russia.
  • 2017 – Photobookfest. Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography. Moscow, Russia.
  • 2017 – “Surface”. Gallery “Art-Box”. Moscow, Russia.
  • 2016 – “City to Artists, Artists to the City”. Moscow City Museum. Moscow, Russia.
  • 2016 – “Turning Point”. Center for Creative Industries “Fabrika”. Moscow, Russia.
  • 2015 – D&AD New Blood Exhibition. Old Spitalfields Market. London, Great Britain.
  • 2015 – “Behind Closed Doors”. 31 Days Photo Festival. Artplay. Moscow, Russia.
  • 2014 – FAD Exhibition. BVShD. Moscow, Russia.
  • 2010 – “Youth of Russia for Peace and Mutual Understanding”. Photo Festival of the Union of Photo Artists of Russia. Vladimir, Russia.

All author's works

Grails Series

The traditional idea of photography presupposes a direct connection with reality: an image of an object directly belonging to reality and specific moment in time, is fixed on a light-sensitive surface. An important myth of the twentieth century, the objectivity and “transparency” of photographic optics, was finally destroyed by the introduction of digital technology, but image realism still remains the basic principle. Maxim Ivanov plays with this clichéd idea: in his series “Grails” he demonstrates how photography can be used to create magical illusions and realistic mirages. The objects he captures were created on a traditional potter’s wheel and documented with a camera. But these jugs, bottles and cups have never been seen in person; they exist only in photographs. The reason is that instead of clay, he used light from a bent phosphor stick, instead of water he used time, or rather long exposure, and the light-fixing properties of photographic film as a hardening fire. The result is a collection of bodiless forms existing solely in the perception of the viewer, called illusions.

Intentions Serias

“Straight Intentions” is actually a performance, but its full-fledged aesthetic perception is only possible through photo documentation. The author projects the beam of a construction laser on forest vegetation, contrasting the statics of the tool against the free and wild growing grass. Ivanov himself calls his performance “artistic intervention”. This is how he describes his concept: “Twilight falls. Maxim enters the forest. All around him there is a blaze of life, which can hardly be described in a coherent way. It is a space of wild, willful and diverse nature. Armed with a precise construction tool, the artist rips through innumerable barriers blocking his way with his laser light. The work is in fact a performance art piece. But the photographic documentation of this intervention proves more revealing than its direct observation. The long exposure reveals the contrast between the irrepressible dynamics of the living forest and the statics of the laser dividing it into straight, rational and counter-natural quadrants formed by strictly horizontal and vertical lines. A simple clear form creates a virtual horizon, and the world in the perception of the viewer is divided into small pieces.”