JUNE 2, 2019


Max Borozna is a complete artist based in Moscow, both a photographer, stylist, graphic designer and architecture student, who brings youth and freshness to fashion photography. We talked with him about his work, his vision, the complex relationships that can exist between all these creative fields, his way of working and his sources of inspiration.

What does Moscow bring to you work? I think that Moscow has given so much to me. I started spending more time in Moscow to study, party, work and more. It motivated me, and I started working a lot. Because it's the rhythm of this city and the rules of the industry - you have to work every time if you want something, if you want to do cool things.

Secondly, people, friends, lovers, random encounters, all this gives me so much inspiration for my projects. But Moscow is such a contrasting city that it gives you many negative emotions and toxic encounters. I think it is also important to go to the regions near Moscow. You can see real life, with real people, but who are not so nice either, and many times you discover neighbourhoods where the style is not good, nor the design etc.. Anyone can give you inspiration and support, while others can only give you negative.

In Moscow, if you work so much, you can get feedback from your work, it's a good place to start I think, for me it has been. But I really don't want to get attached to one place, I want to travel a lot and try to live and work in another country.

What connects fashion and architecture?
This question is so difficult for me, because I have tried to answer it several times and I always get different results. When I started answering it for the interview, I was editing material for a magazine about the Milan Design Week, where fashion brands collaborate with architects, and I exchanged thoughts on the link between fashion and architecture. Of course, there is so much in common between fashion and architecture. Starting with the basic things like line, point, colour, light and shadows, shape, space, volume, etc. Finishing factors such as ergonomics, materials and other technical requirements. I also think that architecture and fashion have the same basic objective - to make a product for people, and that generates a lot of money. We must never forget that architecture and fashion are industries, and that it is all about business and design - if it doesn't sell, if people don't wear it or just don't need it, especially now, when environmental problems are so real.

Thus, at the moment, there are so many collaborations between architects and fashion brands (such as the installation at Milan's Design Week, the collections of the major home fashion brands). There are so many people who have changed the way they work with architecture for fashion, or people who work in fashion and start doing architectural things (Virgil Abloh, or Hedi Slimane who designs and decorates the Celine store). This confirms that the objective is similar, architects and fashion designers try to create a vision, and rely on materials and many requirements. It's like freedom under strict rules. I think it's cool, because in the absence of guidelines, it's difficult to focus on specific issues.

But architecture and fashion have many differences between them. Fashion can be more impressive and can show many details about people's lifestyles, feelings or cultural characteristics. Architects can do it too, but it's often kitsch and not functional for people. And then you have building projects where there are production parameters that prevent you from making art objects. Secondly, architecture is about space, less about volume - fashion, I think it's more about volume and impressions.

After all, I am delighted to see how many creative jobs connect with each other, because they open the door to new ways of doing interesting things. Nowadays, you can try any creative job, it's so easy in our lives. Then you will choose the one that best allows you to express your vision.

Where does this force that drives you to create from?
There are so many things around me. It is all the information and impressions that cross my mind. It is the people around me who inspire me, their lifestyle. They may be works of people I admire. You look at it, you analyze it and then you try to transcribe it with your own vision, or it can lead to finding themes that are close to the basic concept.

There are many moments in my life, for example when I come home at night and it is so beautiful - hot and a little cold in winter, you listen to the music and imagine things for the shooting the same day, with similar emotions. Music is so important to me, because I always imagine images, videos, projects according to the mood of the music I hear. So I try to listen to different types of music in order to find new ideas.

Contemporary art is also a great source of inspiration for me, especially the visual part, such as minimalist installations in glass, steel or stone. Right now, I look at a lot of fashion archives from the 90s and 00s, such as Prada's campaigns, Tom Ford's works for Gucci, MMM and McQueen's shows and clothes, and try to combine them with my ideas. Finally, many things inspire me for my work such as architecture, fashion shows, etc.

Tell us about your creative process? There is no special process. Each project starts from an idea and an inspiration. So I know what I want to see in the pictures, the concept is clear, and I start looking for any visual material for my project. It could be anything, someone else's shooting, some graphic work, architecture, archive images - all this together creates a moodboard.

If I do a shoot, I start finding the location, the models - or the customer does it by consulting me - find references for the style or make-up. When I do a project for myself, I try to control all the details and I really want to be artistic director, photographer, stylist for my shot, because the main idea has to be followed from the beginning of the project to the end. Sometimes, after shooting, I take care of retrieving the files and start post-production. If I know what I want to do, I'll be able to realize it.

Also, when I do architectural projects or collages there are many drawings, many design phases. One thing unites all types of work - at each phase I need to show the main concept of my project, because just like post-production, style, design planning or shapes of paper must work together for only one goal.

Is there any improvisation in your work?
Yes, of course. Most improvisation occurs during post-production, especially when it is a project for which you do not have strict guidelines. Then, when I make collages or art shootings, it's 70% improvisation, because I have a freedom and I can make many versions and choose what I prefer. I make many drawings, I print pictures a lot, I try to combine all the images into one, which should explain my visual concept and preferences. I think improvisation is so important for the creative process, because without it, the project will be literal and boring.

Is it violence when you cut, twist, distort the images?
Maybe, I don't position myself as a classic photographer. I do something between photography and graphic design. It's a kind of visual search, I try to find new shapes, new qualities to bring new things. For me it is very important to keep the balance between ugly design, visual destruction, cliche and my minimalist style. This destruction is not easy to achieve - I can distort the image several times to give the right result. I think it's very relevant, we live in the digital age, it's a big part of our lives, and I felt the need to express it. The fact that I am young is important, I am looking to make a small riot, but always with a reasonable idea and a good quality result. Revolt only for revolt has nothing to do with me.

Give us three young artist you want us to know.
It is so difficult for me to mark the border between artists and non-artists. I like some work or some characteristics of different people, and it is difficult to choose only 3 among all the "followings". You can visit cculdesac.com, it's a good young media that displays many interesting people including artists. You can also find new faces in my followings or in the followings of the person you love - I always do.

Any projects in progress?
Yes! I have many ideas for different things like shootings, zines, etc. But unfortunately, I don't have enough free time to do everything I would like. About shootings, I want to focus on real life, on the people around me. Something simple, real, actual and contemporary. But these are just thoughts, maybe I'll find a new way for visual destruction and continue this theme for a while.