Journey to oneself

The 13th edition of Masters of Photography presents Elina Kechicheva

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The upcoming 13th edition of Masters of Photography will showcase Elina Kechicheva. The first Bulgarian photographer to become part of the platform, Kechicheva had her big break in the fashion industry shooting the latest campaign of the French fashion house Dior, the organisers say.

In their view, her exhibition Lethe invites viewers to stroll through the spaces of the Square 500 (Kvadrat 500) art gallery, turn their thoughts inwards, give themselves up to a state of oblivion that relaxes the senses, and hear their inner voice.

The exhibition is curated by Anissa Touati and will open on 24 June. The large-scale images were taken on film using natural lighting in order to capture the true colours most accurately. The photos were made outdoors during the pandemic, on the side of a river in France. In that series, Elina creates life-affirming photography, taking pictures of her female friends in poses freely displaying their bodies. Her heroines resemble ancient statues, Amazons or ageless women with beautiful bodies. Kechicheva preserves their expressions of childlike innocence - eager to discover, to be fascinated and to defy what is surface-deep.

“The exhibition allows the artist to tell a philosophical tale, where nature and water symbolise spiritual rejuvenation and peace,” is the main message of Elina Kechicheva, who spent her childhood in the Black Sea town of Chernomorets. This is where we should seek the source of the river of oblivion, a symbol of the ancient wisdom embodied by the female shape.

Elina Kechicheva is a Bulgarian photographer, who has been living in Paris for 25 years. She was discovered by Patrick Remy and Michel Mallard at the De Mode et de Photographie of Hyеres festival. Kechicheva is the first Bulgarian to ever become lead photographer for the French fashion magazine Marie Claire. She has done over fifty covers for various publications, such as Vogue, L'Officiel, W, Numéro, etc. Her models include names like Nastassja Kinski, Pharrell Williams, Diane Kruger, Nick Cave, Wim Wenders, Andie MacDowell and Amy Winehouse.

Her works have been shown all over the world, including in Paris, New York, Berlin and London.

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