i-ntroducing Tatiana Leshkina
Choosing to raise questions rather than present conclusions Tatiana Leshkina is the young and complex photographer who understands the relevance of strength in captured moments of fleeting weakness.
Endeavouring to capture beauty at its most natural and raw, sourcing locations and individuals that captivate and command her attention, this 21-year-old Chelsea BA art student was raised in Russia and now lives between LA and London. Expressing the dark, unravelling elements of her own character that she’s struggled to accept through her young adult life, Tatiana’s stark, washed-out scenes depict isolation in its most graphic form. Working with international contemporary designers and experimenting with styles and techniques, Tatiana’s aesthetic is progressive and highly original. In the same brutally honest vein as Corinne Day’s work, each subject photographed means something to the photographer beyond their physical presence, the images communicate Tatiana’s understanding of the body as a vessel for the soul. Now, just months away from graduating, Tatiana is preparing to embark on a creative journey which is sure to take her to great heights. This is an artist with an inquisitive mind and an exquisite eye, i-D Online slowed down and took ten with Tatiana.
What is beauty? An elusive idea in our minds, a matter of perception. Imagine you’re in love with someone and it feels like the puzzle in your head has been completed, but then if you’re not anymore you start missing parts of it and even the smell of the one you once loved loses its beauty and allure to you and seems strange.
You spend your time living between LA and London, where are your top places to hang out in each city? In LA it’s Arcana for rare art books, Wasteland for designer vintage bargains, Maxfield Bleu, an outlet of LA’s oldest concept store for runway pieces from a few seasons ago. Chinatown for gallery openings and Peking Duck. The thing I miss about London when I’m there is being able to walk to places, parks, my friends and Turkish food at Mangal 2.
Which artists do you admire? Monika Sosnowska, Gregor Schneider, Douglas Gordon, Jenny Holzer, Bruce Nauman, Félix González-Torres and Absalon.
What reactions or emotions do you hope to provoke with your work? Every project is very different, but I’d like the audience to sense and experience things just the way they are, without the need to name and classify them. I like to set up questions rather than conclusions.
Tell us about your relationship with Erik Hart? He saw my work in a magazine and wrote me an email, we met a year later in London to work on a shoot together for his line ‘Factory by Erik Hart’, and have been together ever since collaborating on different projects along the way. We see each other every couple of months depending on our schedules going from Heathrow to LAX to JFK to Heathrow to LAX!
When are you at your most productive? In the morning, deadlines also help!
Describe your sense of style? It’s constantly changing, but I always stay with black, it’s the colour I feel the most comfortable in. I guess in the past year I started dressing more elegantly, I wear more dresses. I wear a lot of Acne, Comme des Garçons and Margiela, plus I pull stuff from Erik’s studio all the time. I always wear perfume, my favourite one is from the Comme des Garçons Synthetic series, it smells of tar but they don’t make it anymore.
When were you happiest? Two weeks ago climbing rocks in the Indian Canyon.
See more of Tatiana’s magnificence here.
Images courtesy of Tatiana Leshkina