It’s pretty unusual for skateboarders who pick up a photo camera to shoot subjects other than their friends skating. At least that’s what we thought before we met Stas Provotorov. The Muscovite is a really good skateboarder, with sponsorship from adidas Russia, and you may remember some of his appearances in Patrik Wallner’s documentary series Meet The Stans. But when he invited us over, we couldn’t find any skate photos in Stas’ flat in Moscow. He lives there together with his girlfriend Katya and is a rising star in Russian street photography – maybe by accident, or just by walking around the city open-minded, with a good heart and a roll of black and white film.
His street photography connects us with humanity in all its forms, and in turn allows us to be and feel more human in our day-to-day lives. We sat around on his carpet drinking red wine and eating pelmenies, while Stas showed us his photo collection. Besides some conceptual series of gay Russian men in a local park shot analog on a Hasselblad, he spontaneously captures anonymous moments of beauty, absurdity, grace, and sorrow. His evocative photographs show a deeper meaning in social relations and often bring it all together in a memorable way.
These days, Stas is studying at The Rodchenko Art School in Moscow and this PLACE feature is his very first publication. He’s kind of shy, but his images tell a different story.
By Benni Markstein