Margo Ovcharenko on Portraiture

Margo Ovcharenko. Without Me, 2008.

fototazo has asked twelve photographers what makes a good portrait. This is the 8th in the series of their responses. The other responses is the series so far have come from Shen Wei, Lucas Foglia, Susan Worsham, Steve Davis, Elinor Carucci, Mark Powell and Jess T. Dugan.

Margo Ovcharenko makes portraits of young Russians of her age, her close friends, the ones who share her life and in whom she finds a little bit of herself. She was born in Krasnodar, Russia and studied at The Rodchenko Moscow School of Photography and Multimedia. She recently completed a residency at FABRICA in Treviso, Italy and is represented by The Russiatearoom Gallery in Paris. Her work has been exhibited internationally in solo and group shows including in Switzerland, Denmark, the United States, Russia, and France. She had a solo show at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art as part of The Seventh Moscow International Festival: Fashion and Style in Photography 2011. She was selected for the traveling group show "reGeneration2 - Tomorrow's Photographers Today" by the curators of the Musée de l'Elysée. She currently is part of the group show "Hope" at the New York Photo Festival 2011.

Margo Ovcharenko: I guess photographing a person not always results in a portrait, even if you're asking them to pose for you. For me it is very important to talk or to have some kind of relationship with a person whom I am photographing. I like it when a person in a photograph looks very fragile, while not being fragile actually, when a look in the eyes in a photograph makes one wants to cry and to smile simultaneously. In the end a good portrait is not about a person, it's about the history on their shoulders and the resulting image is a concentration of the emotions and beauty of the experience of a human being. And of course it's the biggest catch when one image weds to a series of others, creating not a dry catalogue of faces but a poem on time, age, feelings and desire.