A blur of colours, ethereal, shimmering droplets of water, a model that seems less human, and more mirage. A world that seems less tangible, and more imaginative. Beauty that almost feels alienating, yet is impossible to look away from. This is the universe as seen through the lens of Elizaveta Porodina.
The Munich-based artist uses photography and visual art to invite us into her mind. Characteristic features of her work include surrealistic colours, smudged photography, and blurs of movement. All of these elements work together to create a tapestry that is dreamlike, dark, and hypnotic, yet makes the viewer feel real emotions.
Take, for instance, her collaboration with Vogue Italia, featuring the stunning Zendaya. The portraits showcase Zendaya’s beauty as the kind that seems untouchable. The fabric’s drape and shimmer appear to be part of a painting, rather than part of an image taken by a camera. Here, Porodina uses colours, lighting, and other details to stylize the image, giving it a surreal and larger-than-life feel.
The presentation of Hoyeon Jung’s corsetry, makeup, and the drape of fabric on her body gives the image a surrealistic and theatric feel, while the motion, poses, and lighting reflect Jung’s ethereal beauty.
Every image directed by Porodina feels as if it belongs in an artistic science fiction movie, or in an exhibition on the beauty of surrealism. Her work rarely, if ever, requires post-production talent to achieve its results. Instead, the images are simply a reflection of the lighting, styling, and the brilliant mind of Porodina herself. It’s easy to see why Porodina has worked with brands like Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier, Louis Vuitton, Moncler, and more.
Models with faces painted with glitter, models drawing out a sense of melancholy with theatrical tears and makeup, and dizzying, movement-centric poses that make it difficult to remember that Porodina works with photography, and not videography—all are classic elements of an Elizaveta Porodina photograph.
Each image is at once romantic and melancholic, dramatic and visceral and mysterious. The world of Elizaveta Porodina is dreamlike, intangible, and ultimately inimitable.
Simren Jaswani is an editorial intern at Liminul Magazine and a Fashion Student at Toronto Metropolitan University.