Mikhail Batrak is a talented 32-year-old self-taught photographer and digital artist currently based in Kherson, Ukraine. His work examines the relationship between perception, surrealism and empiricism. Mikhail takes photographs with a digital camera and manipulates the results using computer software, combining disparate elements to create unexpected hybrid images. Drawing on techniques such as photomontage, digital drawing and collage, he updates the tropes of Surrealism for the digital age, utilising the visual language and style of the movement to pursue his own vision.
His aesthetic language is inspired in part by his experiences in the navy. Images of water appear in many forms throughout his work: swelling as the sea, frozen as ice and vapourised as cloud. His images are often characterised by fragmentation, distortion and deconstruction, and this also echoes the artist`s creative process. He takes an active role in each stage of production, only using photographs he has taken himself which often incorporate macro objects or items he has sculpted. However, the main emphasis of his practice is not shooting images but the process of manipulating them digitally, exercising total control over the final image.