Talk to Kuchma Alexey

Talk to Kuchma Alexey

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The glow that illuminates the fabulous portraits of Kuchma Alexey comes from an equally interesting story.

I was born in April 1992 in the city of Dnipro, Ukraine.
In our city there were heavy industry, the legacy of the imperial period, the legacy of the status of a closed city, the construction of rockets and the shortest metro in the world.
As a child, I was involved in music, theatrical art and scouting. My first passion was painting, when I was 15 years old, when I thought I’d get into painting college. I hold the camera in my hands when I was 13. At 16, I started training as a cameraman in Kiev and I’ve shot a lot during the program. Then, I started making more films, and then returned to photography.

Traveling for me is an opportunity in a new environment with new people, in a new culture and language to look at myself from the outside.

I do not hesitate to take portraits of people as I communicate with them, and I always adjust the resonance of perception, mood and speed at the moment. The sculptural position of the pose in which there is an internal movement and also a sense of touch is important to me. I used to shoot where it works at home or at the models, a little on the street in secret courtyards, then I opened my own studio, I’ve been working in it for a year and a half.
My new studio is an ideal mixture of open and closed space, it is a rather large ledge in the building on the seventeenth floor, with windows through and natural cyclorama. The building was built in the style of London brutalism, the architect was inspired by the work of Golfinger. I am very proud to have seen this treasure in the center of Kiev and to have founded a studio there. This is the most convenient place to work with the best natural light you can imagine.
I love the neck, fingers, joints, jaw, eyes, buttocks, I love the mechanics of the human body, its elasticity and weight.
I almost do not see the difference between working with a man and a woman, with the first it’s easier because they are not shy, but a woman sometimes gives a deeper resonance of feelings and experiences.
I was popularly inspired by the works of Penn and Avedon and early Leibovitz, a year ago I discovered Aldo Palazzolo, I am attracted to the combination of technical perfection and depth of perception and humanity.
I sincerely admire when I see a similar mixture of qualities in my familiar photographers and follow their progress.
Of the classic artists I love, Wyatt, Turner, Vrubel. I am pleased to buy the work of familiar Kiev graphic artists and printers.
I traveled abroad a little, I went to Moscow to shoot and to concerts, I went in Turkey, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Italy, Malta. I tried to hitchhike in my early youth, I drove a lot in the car during the filming of movies. My two main travels are Italy in 2013 (Milan-Florence-Rome-Benevento-Amalfi-Sorento-Positano-Venice) and Sicily (Syracuse – Catania), then Malta in 2019.
Traveling for me is an opportunity in a new environment with new people, in a new culture and language to look at myself from the outside. For 15 years of leisurely taking photographs, it amazes me how my own approach changes, the moments of realization that you saw differently before and felt different are amazing, and you have documentary evidence of this.
Over the past two years, I have significantly advanced in the ability to find contact with a person and I love the moment of resonance when you solve a person. It all starts with emptiness, then the rhythm appears, then the movement, then the emotion.

I worked in films as 1AC and cameraman, shot commercials, feature films, documentaries, short and full-length films. Experience in the cinema taught me to work with natural and artificial light, to work with people, to see the story in the image, to teach me not to be nervous and think ahead, to learn to feel the material and to select it. I am inspired by the talented work of the cameraman, gaffer, filmmaker, colorist.
After several years of work in the cinema, I realized that I was striving for freedom of creativity and greater control of production. In photography you are a director and producer, a stylist and a cameraman, an editor and a colorist, and if the work was successful then it is entirely your merit, if not, it’s your fault.

In Chianti, I was in the art residence of Ducho Trasinelli, it inspired me a lot. I really want to save enough money and create the same in Ukraine. My father is the director of a small children’s cinema center, and my mother is also a teacher. In the future, I would also add teaching practice to my life.

Kuchma Alexey
Kyiv based Photographer & Cinematographer

Alessandra Del Vecchio
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