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Misha Gordin is a superb talented photographer based in Riga, Latvia. He was born in 1946, the first year after the World War II. Gordin’s parents just survived hardships of evacuation and returned back home to Riga, then under Soviet occupation. Growing up among the Russian speaking population of Latvia, Russian became Gordin’s root culture.

He graduated from the technical college as an aviation engineer but never worked as such, instead Misha joined Riga Motion Studios as a designer of equipment for special effects. At this time social realism was an official culture of the country and having little formal knowledge about art, Gordin did not care about it too much.

Misha Gordin started photography when he was nineteen, driven by desire to create his own personal style and vision. He was involved in portraiture and did some documentary shots, but soon realized the results did not satisfy him. So Misha put his camera aside and concentrated on reading (Dostoevsky, Bulgakov) and cinematography (Tarkovsky, Parajanov).

Do I point my camera outwards to the existing world or turn it inward towards my soul.

Am I taking photographs of existing reality, or creating my own world, so real but non existent.

Results from this two opposite approaches are notably different and, in my opinion, conceptual.

Photography is a higher form of artistic expression that places photography on the level of painting, poetry, music and sculpture. It employs the special talent of intuitive vision. By translating the personal concepts into the language of photography, it reflects the possible answers to major questions of being: birth, death and life.

Creating an idea and transforming it into reality is an essential process of conceptual photography.

Today’s conventional approach, with a few exceptions, completely dominates Art Photography. But introduction of digital photography can change this balance. The ease of producing altered realities, will bring a new wave of talented artists, who will use it to express their special world of visions, with all its meanings, symbols and mystery.

Misha Gordin