Natalya Nova is a Russian photographer who exchanged her studies in German Linguistics at the Orenburg University in Russia for a life in New York and her passion for photography. Influenced by surrealist artists like Andre Kertesz, Hans Bellmer, Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso, her work deals with self-discovery and identity search. Check out the interview below and visit her website www.natalyanova.com for more of Nova’s somberly sensual images.
Whom do you look up to
My biggest inspirations come from the surrealists. Andre Kertesz, Pierre Molinier, not to mention The Genius Salvador Dali. Music inspires me. Artists like Sade, Depeche Mode, Massive Attack are definitely on the top of my list. I also love classical music. Chopin, for example, Bethoven or Bize Shedrin will never leave me untouched. Since I started about the Music, I can not not mention Film. Lately I have been fascinated by Japanese directors, like Takashi Miike and Kar Wai Wong.
Are there any personalities that have contributed to your successful career path?
I was honored to know and work with my friend and inspiring artist, photographer, art director and Grammy Award winner Ian Cuttler for the period of 6 years before he passed in February, 2014 (www.iancuttler.com
). He taught me everything he knew and I will be forever grateful for our beautiful friendship. One of Ian’s favorite sayings, which is also one of my favorites, is :”The best ideas are the ones that you actually do.” My favorite teacher at ICP, International Center of Photography, Allen Frame, influenced and guided my work. His insightful mind inspired many. He helped me see the details as well as the bigger picture. One of his favorite sayings :”You know what turns me on the most? Intelligence.”
How would you describe yourselve in one sentence?
Today is a good day to be a great day.
How did your photographic career start?
As a kid I loved working with my hands, sowing toys and drawing outfits for the paperdolls I was playing with. I don’t know if it had something to do with the fact that I grew up in Russia in the late 80s and 90s and it was not the easiest time for my parents, therefore I didn’t have that many toys. Ever since I got a hold of a camera I knew that toy was special. Looking back at my 18 year old videos I always have a feeling that TIME did not exist then. It’s funny to watch them from the perspective I have today, it seemed that that was the way I was supposed to look at the world. I came to New York in 2005. I really wanted to find myself, to know who I was. I kept photographing still not taking it seriously until time showed that I had to make a decision about my education. I did not attend the 3rd Semester of German Linguistics at the Orenburg State University because I moved to the States. I was 19. I knew I loved to create, but I thought there was plenty of artists and photographers out there, the world has enough. But I didn’t want to study anything I was not interested in anymore. International Center of Photography sounded like a lot of fun and it was. I learned then that I have a stong unique voice, vision. And I am determined to explore it to the Maximum.
Quotes and Wisdoms
How do you define creativity?
Flow. Ease. Freedom. Goosebumps. Breath. Emotion. Relationship. Vision.
Do you have a favourite quote that describes what you truly believe in?
Открылась бездна звёзд полна,
Звездам числа нет, бездне – дна.
Opened an abyss full of stars,
The stars are countless, the abyss has no bottom.
What do you know now that you wish you knew at 21?
The law of attraction.
If you had one advice for someone seeking to live a creative life, what would you tell him?
Is there anything for which you would be ready to give up your passion for photography?
I am not a Photographer. I am an Artist. Photography is a certain way of expressing myself and my view of the world, but I don’t think it’s the only way. It’s like one color amongst the palette of colors, you can either look at it as a separate color or you can use all the colors of the palette. I believe I need all the colors to create my paintings, therefore photography stays. I won’t give it up.