Your photography focuses on exploring the inner reality in unique ways, tell us more about how you evolved to creating the rather dystopian photography your now famed for?

When 9 years ago, I became interested in photography I photographed everything that caught my eye... But I realized pretty quickly that I no longer want just to depict what I saw, instead I want to express what I felt and what I thought about. This understanding of what I wanted was my turning point to expressing my inner reality. So, with a lot of trial and error, I began to search for my own path. I drew inspiration from Renaissance painters such as: Bosch, Bruegel, Botticelli, Cranach, Jan van Eyck and then artists from later periods such as Klimt, Schiele, Lucien Freud, and more. When I saw what Jan Saudek and Joel-Peter Witkin did with photography, I learned that I also should not be afraid to experiment.

Indeed, my works reflect my subjective perception of reality and my feelings for what is happening around me. Unfortunately, what is happening in the world around is not always encouraging, but I don't think of my works as grim dystopia. They have very different moods. I do have some dark artworks that reflect my anxieties and fears. But I also have works that express love and harmony. I don't think you can consider my works comic, but irony appears quite often.

“Time to Lose and Time to Seek” - Digital Art based on Photography, 2010


What drives you to explore the line between illusion and reality in your practice?

Probably best way to answer this question is with the phrase, which is written on the main page of my web-site: "Fiction reveals truth that reality obscures". Everything that we see through the camera-lens and not only in camera-lens - all that is just an illusion, because we see, only what we want to see.

For example, what we call documentary photography - in my opinion, is no more than a quote taken out of context. Two photographers with different understanding of the situation may present the same scene in absolutely different ways, sometimes even with opposite meanings. And each of them will claim for objectivity. But I do not try to claim objectivity. I honestly say that what all you see in my works - it's a lie, an illusion, a fiction. But this fiction is absolutely honest reflection of my true feelings, thoughts, and perhaps personal delusions.

“The Age of Innocence” - Digital Art based on Photography, 2014


I’d like to talk about your series ‘Spheres of Deviance’, which explores the relationship between deviance and goodness, the use of bowl spheres placed over peoples head is really cool, not to mention quite humorous (very wes anderson), but what are you using them to say? Talk to us about their use in the series and what drove you to explore the idea?

I am glad that you've mentioned Wes Anderson. I love his "The Grand Budapest Hotel" and "Moonrise Kingdom". In general, I like films, in which there are many different layers. Such films can be watched over and over again to savour the details. Taking aesthetic pleasure of the color and composition of each frame, to find something new on each re-watch, something I didn't pay attention before.

Sometimes I say that my artwork - is a film of a single frame. I aspire that each of my works would be a finished multilayered story without chewing and with an open ending, leaving the viewer with an aftertaste and a desire to see it again and again.

My project "Spheres of Deviance"- is the first series of works in which I deliberately use the same visual element - a transparent sphere. Or simply the cap of the streetlight. It all started when studying Byzantine icons, I thought that the halos over the heads of the saints are associated with their surrounding sphere of purity and spirituality, or as we would say today with their personal aura. Then I asked myself what else these spheres could mean, except for saints and astronauts. And I came to the conclusion that with the help of a transparent sphere can convey a variety of feelings and tell different stories.

For example:

• "Elegy of autumn" - is a story of elderly couple who have lived together for many years. But were they really together or perhaps each of them fenced from the other and from the outside world with an invisible sphere?

• "Not of this world" - it is familiar to people who on our planet of men feel like strangers or aliens

• In the "Age of Innocence" we (my husband and I) photographed our baby-son, whose name Emmanuel. This name is much known in Judaism and Christianity. Birth of a child - it's a miracle. Our child was born with a birthmark on his forehead, like a Buddha. And of course, we think our child is the most extraordinary. For parents who love their child he is always the most unique. He is a little miracle who needs protection.

Although this series is started a few years ago, it is still not exhausted and far from being complete. There are a lot of ideas. I want to try to uncover the theme deeper, to express in new ways what is the norm and what is deviation. To talk about who is that "normal" person - is he good and kind or, perhaps, mediocre and indifferent? It would be interesting to make new visual stories about the genius and villainy, because both belong to deviation. It remains only to find time to implement these ideas.

One day, quite by accident, I found someone who copied my idea with transparent spheres, and did it, to put it mildly, not in the best way. At first, I felt uncomfortable, like someone has stolen my idea, but later I thought that if I have imitators, perhaps it's an indicator of success :) 

“Not of This World” - Digital Art based on Photography, 2013


The color palette in your work is so rich and cinematic, i have to ask though is it all achieved with just a camera lens or is there some digital manipulation post shoot?

For me, camera - is not a "holy cow", but a tool for collection of raw material. Rarely I have works in which postprocessing is relatively simple and resembles a digital "darkroom".  Most of my works require great and dedicated work on computer, which usually takes much more time and effort than the process of photography.

“Incomplete Symmetry” - Digital Art based on Photography, 2015


The staging and atmosphere of the photos also makes some of them look more like paintings, will you talk us through your process from initial idea to final print?

In modern photography, no matter how beautiful it may be, I always feel like something is missing. It's hard to explain what it is. Perhaps some imperfection. Such, for example, which gives the old photos warmth and charm. But I do not see any reason to go back to the old technology. On the contrary, I strive to combine the high quality of modern photographic equipment with warmth and individuality inherent in the painting. In order to work out, it is important to me to think of the end result, at what not only on the computer screen, but on the wall. In general, the whole process of the birth of a new creation resembles the process of working on a movie in the following steps:

•       Idea

•       Scenario

•       Casting (often among friends and acquaintances, I do not like to shoot professional models)

•       Location - search for a place for shooting.

•       Photo-session: Usually photography process takes place according to the scenario. The script helps to tune and focus on the production, but during this process, I'm always trying to be open to new ideas and improvisations that may come to mind and be sometimes even better than in the predefined scenario

•       Selection of footage - I do not know why, but I rarely watch the photographed material immediately after the photo-session. Perhaps this is because during the filming, I have splashed out a huge amount of emotional energy. After filming I feel desolation and exhaustion, and I need time to recover

•       Digital art with computer - a process that is difficult to describe. I do not have any standard procedures or beaten tracks. The process ends when the voice inside me says that I no longer want to change anything in the result picture.

•       Printing: among important for me factors are: paper type, fine-tuning of colors and printed picture size - because some works are born to be the miniature, and some are born to be huge and hyper-realistic.

“Fears and Hopes” - Digital Art based on Photography, 2010


You’ve also self published a book!! Tell us more about it and the experience of creating it?

This book is called “Truthful fiction”, the idea of which is the basis of my creative style. My works are often provocative and at the same time dramatic. Each is an original story, a parable, a personal philosophy about the world, as well as a strong emotional outburst and imaginative insight.

It asks where is the line between truth and falsehood? Between illusion and reality?

Like I mentioned earlier, there’s a famous phrase: "Fiction reveals truth that reality obscures".

It’s important to mention that this book is produced with hard cover, flat opening and printed on genuine photographic paper 30x30 cm. I wanted my works reproduced there to look as close as in real exhibition as possible.

“Angry Birds” - Digital Art based on Photography, 2014


FOR MORE OF DINA’S WORK VISIT www.dinabova.com/