“To be or not to be, that is the question,” exclaimed the character Hamlet from the Shakespeare play of the same title, Hamlet. Russian Alexander Khokov on the other hand, muses with his photos, 2D or Not 2D, which is a totally different thing. Since the time he got a lot of attention for his monochromatic face-paint photography series Weird Beauty, Khokhlov does it again with another out-of-this-world concept, not to mention a whole lot more color.
Working once more with Valeriya Kutsan, one of the finest make-up artists in Russia, they produced a new series called 2D or Not 2D. In that collection they both transform the faces of models into bizarre 2-dimensional paintings. They employ a variety of techniques such as cartoon outlines, pixelation, collage, in addition to colorful shading. The result is absolutely amazing. The only evidence that these pictures are even photographs is the occasional models’ eyes that you get to see.
The close-up images are completely dazzling and it’s difficult to imagine that Khokhlov just began photography in 2007. In a year’s time he came to the realization that fashion and beauty photography was his passion. While it is far less popular and stressed in Russian schools of photography, Khokhlov nonetheless was undeterred about following his dream.
In an interview, Khokhlov shared some advice he felt was invaluable in his development as a modern Russian artist. He said, “Believe that you’re cool!” Obviously that philosophy has served him well, being written about in publications all over the globe.
He spoke more about his passion in the ‘about’ section on his website and we quote:
“I discovered photography in 2007 and the first thing I had been impressed was live photography. In the end of 2008 everything changed when I became interested in fashion and beauty photo. It was the time of studies – courses and master classes, coming up with own ideas and organizing my first shootings. I like to work with people but not only for their entity. Everybody is a field for experiments and I don’t know what would be next. My lovely wife Veronica always gives me inspiration for the new ideas and projects.”
See the visually stunning 2D or Not 2D here.