Few contemporary black and white photographers have been endowed with such a God-given gift of seeing light the way Aleksey Myakishev does. His characters are shrouded in luminosity and glow from within as if their very souls are exhibited in the photographs. The secret is simple: it is the author's gaze, woven by love and compassion for the people who by chance fall into the frame. All of the works by Vyatka-Moscow photographer Aleksey Myakishev are permeated by them. He left his hometown long ago but his relationship with it did not break, it remains in his heart and soul.
It will take a little more time before the Vyatka of 1990's will be judged by the photos of Aleksey, which when gathered together in one album create an epic poem of Vyatka and of all the Vyatka and Kirov region. I am sure we will look closely into the faces and study the clothing and household items in order to imagine or understand how people lived at the turn of the century.
For almost twenty years Aleksey has been photographing the everyday life of ordinary people; life in all its manifestations and simple subjects. But in almost every photograph there is something left unspoken, there is intrigue and nerve, and a particular Vyatka intonation filled with irony. There is drama and details that speak, referring the viewer to the paintings of the great chroniclers, the Old Masters of the Golden Age of Dutch painting, Jan Vermeer and Pieter Bruegel the Elder.
We Vyatka guys are sharp, we do not fall off the floor. We are brave people, seven for one, do not fear anyone. Witty fellows they drag the cow to the bath hut where the roof sprouts with grass as they just do not feel like mowing it. In Vyatka we do it our way. Vyatka country, the mother of all bounty, these and similar proverbs and sayings by the people of Vyatka are recalled when looking at Aleksey Myakishev's pictures.
These are unpretentious, simple subjects, and their truth and authenticity are highlighted by strictly informational captions, consisting only of the place and year the photograph was taken. The author does not impose anything on the viewer. He just shows life as it is.
Alexey Myakishev 43 years old, born in Kirov (Vyatka) professional photojournalist since 1991.
From 1991 to 1999 I worked in various city of Kirov newspapers.
Since 1999 based in Moscow, became a freelance photographer.
I cooperate with Russian and foreign publications among them “Russian Newsweek”, “Kommersant”, “Helsingin Sanomat”, “APU”, “Talouselama” (Finland), and many others.
Currently working on several documentary projects on provincial Russia.
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