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About the Photographer Vladimir Arkhipov

You could say that Vladimir Arkhipov is one of the most versatile figures in Russian photography today, whose diversity of styles and genres never ceases to amaze. His preference for the classical frame composition and lighting often earns his pieces comparisons to Dutch painters’ artwork. Russians rightfully call him Russia’s Helmut Newton, a master of the scandalous who spares neither his health nor his equipment to incarnate his fearless vision in all sorts of extreme locations and weather conditions. He is one of the few contemporary photographers who manage to be both respected by old school legends and admired by accomplished young masters.


Arkhipov’s art has been closely tied to an artful erotic plein-air photography, where he is one of the few undisputed front-runners. Even Soviet art critics and gallery owners dubbed him as Russia’s Helmut Newton; in today’s press, Vladimir Arkhipov’s name stands in the grand company of Peter Lindbergh, David Hamilton and Jan Saudek. In the 1990s, the Russian photographic community awarded him a diploma for being the most scandalous photographer – a title he has deftly retained. These days, Arkhipov’s style remains synonymous with the Russian word epatazh (эпатаж, from the French épatage – amazement, outrage). 

No, Arkhipov is not just a trendy photographer. He is an experienced and wise practitioner of the arcane art of painting with light. He can bare his subject without undressing, reveal everything yet show nothing. A keeper of the traditions of production photography, he can easily convince the audience of the documentary authenticity of his shots, evoking a feeling of ‘that’s how it really was’ – a gift shared by Brassai and Peter Lindbergh. He is, without a doubt, the public’s favourite, cherished for his sincerity and hated for his bluntness. Vladimir lives every day thanking God for his talent, for the opportunity to complement God’s gift daily with painstaking labour. But he never works at someone’s pleasure, he just does his photography. Photography by Vladimir Arkhipov.

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