Denis Ignatov: Leerraum – when inner emptiness fills empty spaces
Lately, Denis Ignatov has been fascinated by the spaces we live in and the voids we leave behind, as well as the void that can manifest within us. His current exhibition in Düsseldorf, his native hometown, is titled "Leerraum – wenn innere Leere Räume füllt" loosely translated this means "empty space – when inner void fills rooms". Ignatov, who has a curiosity for the curious, went about dressing up empty, non-descript rooms and even corridor spaces, to such a degree that look and feel as though they have been there for decades. The personas he portrays amidst these deeply intense and characteristic sets, although fictitious are highly believable and have become so alive you can no longer imagine the space without them. Indeed it’s as if they can’t exist without the 4 walls around them, which they have filled with all these expressions of their personality, as if they have externalised every single aspect of themselves into a materialistic extension of their character and being. Is this clutter on the outside a symptom of some kind of void on the inside?
Go see for yourselves.
Denis Ignatov: In Wonderland with Mickey Rourke's girl
You can tell, that Denis Ignatov is really in his element when he gets to build elaborate almost cinematic trailer trash sets where he can shoot beautiful women to his hearts delight! This time he had the opportunity to shoot the elegantly chiseled model Anastassija Makarenko for HUF magazine. Anastassija also happens to be Mickey Rourke’s girlfriend of more than just 9 ½ weeks. They now live in Germany together, and apparently she has tamed him - well, with a sickle like that, I think pretty much any man would (have to) behave! Entitled “Wonderland”, we find her musing about in a neon lit twilight zone caught somewhere between the theatrical underworld and death’s favourite playground where he hangs out on his day off. Lavishly trashy, with dark and mysterious undertones, this is one gorgeous shoot, thanks also to the excellent styling by Rolf Buck. With brilliant lighting and stunning set design, Denis really has triumphed here and got the very best out of himself and his team. Next up – Vogue!
Denis Ignatov: ic! Berlin Designer in Eyewear Mag
Denis Ignatov, true to his style, continues his run of high impact portraits, this time with a commission for Eyewear Magazine to photograph Ralph Anderl, eyewear designer and founder of ic! Berlin. In the interview, we discover that this man is full of contrasts and extremes, who chooses to live his life to the full and be a minimalist at the same time. From headstands, to long cold showers and inspiration from Bach to salad, he appears as complex and simultaneously straightforward as his portraits do. Anyone with a room full of tatami mats at home has got to be philosophically inclined..! I can’t help but think what a befitting choice Denis was to shoot this story, and wonder if he too stands on his head sometimes to see the world from a different perspective.
Denis Ignatov: Backstage at Circus Traber
Germany based portrait photographer Denis Ignatov went off to do his own project and visited Circus Traber, a long standing, traditional family circus which travels all over Germany with 40 people and 70 animals. In this sneak preview, Denis demonstrates his gritty film noir style here in these shots of two Traber brothers who sure know how to juggle and balance a chair on their chin. As you do. Other performances include an impressive dressage show with horses, daring trapeze artistry and hula-hoops with little Angelie, just 5 years old. You'd think work is all fun n games for the artists and acrobats in the circus, but the Traber kids still have school to attend and exams to write - in a virtual classroom! But then again, that's kinda cool isn't it?
Denis Ignatov: Y – conductor portrait
Denis Ignatov who is known for his intense and iconic portraits, was recently invited by the Konzerthaus Dortmund to photograph Yannick Nézet-Séguin (also known as “Y”) for their print campaign promoting this highly talented young conductor.
The campaign celebrates the French-Canadian artist from Montreal’s residency with the Konzerthaus Dortmund, where he will be based exclusively for 3 years.
Denis created something rather unusual for this genre, dramatizing the portrait with a more modern transcendental touch, to reflect Y’s unique style and talent in a field otherwise dominated by an older generation. Not all conductors look like mad professors.
Denis Ignatov: WELLA Trends 2013
Wella and Denis Ignatov had set themselves a rather elaborate task when shooting the newest lookbook of hairstyle trends for 2013. The trends first had to be developed in collaboration with Wella’s top hairstylists, for Denis and the agency to then work on the creative concept together, for each new trend. From cut to colour, tone to texture, everything has been considered, even style variations per trend and the set design to go with it. There’s Echo, the edgy yet minimal statement trend which is quite short and sharp for those too cool for school; Decibel, the short or long cut with plum highlights that can appear soft and feminine or be styled up for that night out to a rock concert; Allegra, the classic elegant look which can be fiery at the same time – Which dress darling? Just go as you are! - and last but not least Fusion, the Asian inspired bobbed cut, with gorgeous blends of fuchsia and smokey colours. Shot in Düsseldorf, with 7 stylists on the go, and 9 models to pamper to, Denis wrapped it all up professionally to set the Wella trends for 2013 with his immaculate attention to detail and his perfect glossy finish. Can I have a make-over, too, please..?!
Denis Ignatov: PR photos for techno rappers Die Atzen
Denis Ignatov photographed PR material for ‘techno rappers’ DIE ATZEN, whose provocative dance tracks have sold millions worldwide. The duo consists of German rappers Frauenarzt and Manny Marc who seem to enjoy poking fun at the stereotypical bad-boy image. The series comes across as if it were shot on a typical night out with Die Atzen. First he joins them for a freestyle rap in the back of a graffiti-covered toilet. No party is complete without a bubble machine of course! Then it's straight to the neon-lit bunkers for some more freestyle snappin' and rappin'. The whole series feels like there's a party and we’re all invited.
Denis Ignatov: Lifestyle campaign for streetwear brand Sidestep
Shoe company Runners Point commissioned photographer Denis Ignatov to shoot the following image campaign for their subsidiary streetwear brand Sidestep. It shows four fresh-faced teens hanging out, drinking coffee and looking beautiful.
The focus of Ignatov's campaign is not primarily on the sneakers but rather the lifestyle that the brand embodies. There is a camaraderie that runs through the series, almost as if Ignatov is just another one of their friends. One who just happens to have a camera and an irresistible urge to capture their cool allure.