Art director Gemma Fletcher examines the work of photographer Anna Pogossova, in the second installment of a series looking at new talent in photography, from recent graduates to photographers breaking into the commercial world…
Russian-born Anna Pogossova, now based in Sydney, is a conceptual still life photographer who celebrates the strange and the surreal. After graduation she bypassed assisting and went on to work in publishing, before starting to shoot professionally in late 2011, splitting her time between commercial and fine art projects.
Pictured above: ‘H’ Series
Dali dreaming for Pan and the dream x Dinosaur Designs
With a passion for surrealism, her early work was a playful, experimental slice of pop culture, attracting small editorial clients who wanted her tongue-in-cheek style for fashion stories in both Asia and Australia.
‘Natural Selection’ shot for Vogue
In the last two years, Pogossova’s portfolio has transformed. Her most recent work is more polished and cohesive, and feels like it may be the start of her signature style. A melting pot of influences from Dan Tobin Smith and Charlie Shuck to Joel Meyerowitz’s Cape Light shine through.
Elke Campaign SS14
Elke Campaign SS14
Her commercial work feels more grounded. Surrealism is still a significant influence, but overall the work is cleaner, showing more confidence and sophisticated concepts and compositions.
Pan and the dream
Pogossova also dabbles with the post-photography aesthetic – a fusion of disciplines layering photography with handcrafted elements like illustration, collage and painting, which encapsulates the rule-breaking Millennial generation’s approach to image-making.
Her recent series for the provocative Vice Magazine is an exciting example, where she reshaped hundreds of landscape images from her archive into a series of sensual Trompe-l’œil portraits.
Trompe-l’œil for Vice Magazine
Her fine art work leans more towards the cinematic and showcases her skill in set design. The series ‘H’ combines real places and model sets to explore the idea of familiarity in the fictional, inspired by the Freudian idea of the “uncanny”, resulting in a series of images that feel culturally recognisable but unsettling.
Conceptual still life has exploded in the last few years, with much of it born out of the collaboration between photographer and set designer. While this has created some incredible work, it can sometimes prove difficult for clients and agents alike to evaluate one without the other.
Although she occasionally works with set designers on larger commissions, the majority of Pogossova’s sets are designed and created by her. She spends hours scouring vintage stores and charity shops collecting abandoned objects, which build her strange and surreal narratives. This more autonomous approach makes her standout in the industry.
Pogossova is at an exciting point in her career. After much experimentation, she is starting to find her own unique point of view and gaining traction with bigger clients. Photographic talent in Australia is often overlooked, but Pogossova is one to watch.