Igor Menaker

WHO AM I?

I am who my mind thinks I am, no more, no less. I am enough.

WHAT AM I?

I am an artist. My medium of expression is photography. I create pictures and I write stories. I am on a journey to discover myself and the world around me. I want to share my journey with you. I hope it will touch your soul. I hope to make a connection.

WHERE AM I FROM?

I spent the first half of my life in Siberia, Russia. I was a traveler, a geologist, a scientist. Then life brought me to a career in a gloomy world of corporate IT management in Chicago. It almost killed my soul but I have been born again as a photographer.

For the last 14 years I have been travelling, photographing and making a living selling my prints at art festivals all over the country. I have seen everything and everybody in this wonderful subculture of artists and misfits.

I met and talked to hundreds of people trying to understand how they feel looking at my pictures. Their words guided me through my journey. It made me understand who I am and what I am. This experience has changed my life and my mindset.

My life is an artist's journey now.

WHAT IS IT ABOUT?

My current body of work is called “FOUND OBJECTS”. I search scrap yards, old garages and antique stores looking for things that are lost, abandoned and unwanted. They lived their lives full of meaning and purpose. But they are no longer needed. And I give them another chance, another life.

I set up found objects on a small table in my studio. This is a stage where they become actors in a play I am producing. They dance and walk, they laugh and cry. And they talk all the time. Finally they arrange themselves into the story I want them to tell.

Then the magic begins. The lights are off and it is completely dark. I set up my camera for a long exposure and use a small flashlight to light the scene. I am literally painting with light. It is an intuitive and slow process.

The final result, the pictures you see are in fact the glimpses of drama brought out of the darkness into the light. These objects have lived life, have been lost, found and once again they disappear into oblivion when the play is over.

Just like you and me. These are the stories of our lives.

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One of the sets I built in my studio:

The camera viewpoint:

The final result:

 Another set I built:

The camera viewpoint:

One of the camera captures after painting with small flashlight:

The final result: