Alexei Kozlov and Marina Khlebnikova

Much was written about the works of Alexei Kozlov and Marina Khlebnikova. This is probably the brightest photo tandem in all St. Petersburg. They have worked together since the mid-90.s, gradually their model- photographer collaboration grew into a co-authorship of two talented artists. In 1989 Alexei Kozlov.s first appearance in mass media was the result of his shining victory at the first National Erotic Photo Pageant, ironically he officially became the first and the last of the great Soviet photographers of this genera.

By 1990 Marina graduated St. Petersburg.s school of clothing design, with honors. After graduation she worked as a fashion model, participating in various shows and commercials. Her high professionalism and her strong creative potential didn.t go unnoticed. Since the late 90.s numerous St. Petersburg photographers have been inviting Marina to participate at their shoots, not only as a model, as a stylist and designer as well.

During this time Marina finds her true collaborator in Alexei Kozlov, who was developing absolutely new techniques in works with negatives. His new method of distorting the enamel of the color negatives produced unexpected and emotionally expressive effects without the use of computers. Due to the miniature size of each frame, this labor-intensive process takes up to two weeks to develop one shot. Rapid aging of the image on film limits the amount of prints and requires meticulous discipline and concentration.

The photo session is rehearsed and drawn out in advance. They create variations of hairstyles, make up, custom outfits, footwear, and accessories. The cities top models make special appearances and sometimes if necessary the fashion designers themselves take part in these photo sessions. The overhead of this work is quite high and the resulting work involved compares to that of billboard advertising. Although the high cost, this duo doesn.t put money ahead of their art. Their strategy does pay off. Every new exhibition is a shock and emotional explosion. These artists are not fond of mythological gems. You will never find corny symbolism, which is a characteristic of erotic photos of the past such as a lonely tree, which symbolizes the archaic cosmos or the apple or any other deep thought nonsense. They create using a different matter. Feelings! The instruments are color and motion. The colors allow them to conduct emotions and the partial nudity of the model makes the motion graphic. The condition of the environment permits the images to go beyond time frames. Color with plastic execution turns the images into powerful energy streams.