The Inverted Night Sky


Feared for his life, Mikhail fled his home country in Africa due to persecution of albino. It is very thought-provoking to think how whiteness is celebrated in the West, but cursed in Africa. We painted Mikhail’s pale albinistic skin with black ashes and smoke pattern, a symbolism for death. When the images are inverted, he magically transcends into a personification of the night sky radiated with galaxies and constellations. Inversion is a tribute to color negative film. Moreover, it is an embodiment of the multiple visual, symbolic and philosophical dualities in this editorial; a metaphor for the contradicting beauty standards in Africa and the West.


The night sky is rich and multi-layered in symbolism. From astrology to astronomy, human's praise, reverence and intrigue towards its beauty, vastness and mystery have united humanity across all cultures and throughout all history. Despite the deep spiritual connection, we still learned to focus on our difference and segregate each other based on color. Through this portrait series, we want to tell the suffering African albino population how beautiful and precious you are, and we want to plead against segregation based on color.


Subject: Mikhail Ogochi

MUA: Anja Dimitrijevic

Glass Jar 2

(ongoing)


When shooting through a beautiful polished glass jar, you see an incredibly distorted world.


This is an abstract body of work that depicts daily personal struggle. The inspiration behind the work is Picasso's painting Guernica, in which distorted forms are painted to stimulate the viewers' imagination and encourage the viewers to picture together the war scene. His work is implicative and mysterious, which I admire. To create the distorted and abstract human form, I shot through several different glass jars. I found glass jars quite symbolic. It projects rainbows under the sun, but when looking through it in the dark, without too much glare on its surface, you see through it a distorted world. It reminds me of the Wounded series I previously worked on, in which my focus is on the further marginalized LGBTQ community members within the already marginalized community, who live through a lot of pains under the superficial "rainbows". 

 

Model: Ernesto Mendez

Glass Jar 1


When shooting through a beautiful polished glass jar, you see an incredibly distorted world.


Model: Michael Sapienza

Using Format