Nikolay Buyko and Daria Kolosova, a photographer and a stylist from Nizhny Novgorod, western Russia, collaborated to create the story НЕСВЯТЫЕ / UNHOLY. Two creative minds collide to drop all conventions and rediscover aesthetics and life of underground clubs. Characters, somewhat familiar are taken to the extreme though touching the real atmosphere of the underground scene.
Experimenting all the way from styling to directing and shooting the models we are brought into the nightlife of extravagant, consciously self-defined, driven by the creation of distinct personalities youth. This self-definition is a critical part of strong, not-forgiving intruders to the one’s freedom generation.
"The lost Jesus blessing the crowd for a rave, a drag queen from the house next door, a renounced hiki with a bag on her head, an always charged to party and for wild dances girl".
— Daria Kolosova
What is the main narrative of the story НЕСВЯТЫЕ (UNHOLY)? Who are the characters?
Daria: We created the concept for this collab with Nikolay the day before the shooting, in a bar. Our tastes in the visual sphere often coincide, so we invented a story in which the characters are people who hang out at the eternal party. You saw them yourself more than once: the lost Jesus blessing the crowd for a rave, a drag queen from the house next door, a renounced hiki with a bag on her head, an always charged to party and for wild dances girl. The thing is that these guys are not interested in the big world - they like the familiar underground. They are НЕСВЯТЫЕ / UNHOLY, but are not sinners. They are simply characters caught in a loop in the coordinates of one club, which has no way out, as well as no way in.
What was the inspiration for the stylistic decisions for this story like heavy chains, painted on glasses, the smeared makeup?
Daria: All those people I have often seen at parties, I think the most important thing for them is to experience this high from the process of creating their character. That's why, I didn't use very complex stylistic techniques and decided to go absolutely experimental during the shooting, a lot was created spontaneously. All the looks were made from my things, a couple of designer clothes, some items I found in the local secondhand, and custom-made details. For instance, the white fishnet top on Yulia are redesigned tights, which I bought in the eighth grade, chains I found in the OBI, and for Zhenya's makeup, I bought the cheapest lipstick in Magnet Cosmetic. In fact, for this shooting, I didn’t work on references, rather I just brought several bags with the coolest things I found, and we improvised during the whole process.
"I didn't use very complex stylistic techniques and decided to go absolutely experimental during the shooting, a lot was created spontaneously".
— Daria Kolosova
From the technical perspective tell about working with the flash and the aesthetic it enables you to achieve?
Nikolay: I shot with the built-in flash to achieve the feeling of an analog amateur picture, as this is something I will always like in contrast to the overprocessed glossy photos that look unnatural. My precept in photography is - the minimum of technical difficulties and investment, like a studio, rental of expensive equipment, artificial light, and so on. I like to create a rad photo from what is at hand with the help of emotions, models, poses, style, rather than investment in technology, because, in my opinion, this is the real mastery of the photographer.
Where did you shoot?
Daria: We shot in the Cargo Cult bar, which is located in the epicenter of the local underground scene on the location of the former Pochayna winery. Its interior has a lot of strange custom-made furniture and unordinary color decisions. Typically, Cargo is fully crowded, often holding marginal parties and secret hipster concerts, after which many forgotten items remain. Some of those I even used in styling - a cap with rings and a TELE 2 bag.
"My precept in photography is - the minimum of technical difficulties and investment".
— Nikolay Buyko
What is unique about the scene of artists and photographers in Nizhny Novgorod?
Daria: Personally, I almost never cooperate with local photographers, our vision and understanding of modern photography often don't correspond. The collaboration with Kolya is an incredible experience; when I work with him, I never worry about the end product. Probably, the thing is in knowledge, and we also speak the same visual language. Basically, local culture is well developed in Nizhny, it has a powerful potential that will become much stronger if merged with global trends. First of all, it has to do with fashion photography.