When thinking about nudes, you might imagine that shady snap you sent your bae last week or Kim K's unapologetic mirror selfies. But these nudes by Synchrodogs take racy photos to a next level.
Synchrodogs is a Ukrainian photography duo with a knack for producing artistic and thought-provoking imagery. Forming a new commentary on nudity in the modern age, the pair blends the ethereal of nature with the licentiousness of nudity – two of life's fundamental yet contested elements.
The powerful pair, 26-year-old Tania Shcheglova and 31-year-old Roman Noven, use their background in the Post-Soviet state along with creativity to form striking, otherworldly portraits. In only two years, they've gone from zero followers to viral Tumblr-heads and even landed the cover shoot of Vogue Ukraine.
Their new series Supernatural combines the sublime feminine form with the hypnotizing natural environment to create something which can only be described as "discovering new heights of consciousness that are not physical or literal."
Leading to a long line of photographic copycats, Synchrodogs' work is capturing the attention of the internet's most thirsty visual enthusiasts, rightly so. We caught up with the pair to discuss nudity and nature, growing up in a side-lined country and how we shouldn't be ashamed of how we were created.
Konbini: Why is photography your medium of choice?
Synchrodogs: It gives us enough freedom. We can create our own reality to some extent, but we also feel a strong interest in devices of future like Virtual Reality that may give us even more possibilities. In our art we often stage our own dreams, which makes us feel the limits of photography as medium – there is a lot more our mind can imagine than the camera can shoot.
What themes do you hope to explore with Supernatural?
With Supernatural we used our own constructed images as a vehicle for erasing the line between the real and the elusive, the natural and the artificial, between the evident and the unknown. The main source of inspiration for acquiring ideas was our own meditation technique that we developed over the years.
Shooting Supernatural we went on a 4000-mile road trip to rediscover our own capacities and energy limits, the way a human can walk into darkness, go straight into unexplored, relying on intuition, go where subconscious leads, and feel safe in the World of the Unknown.
How did growing up in Ukraine influence your art?
Indeed, it gave us some lessons on what beauty is as our vision is sometimes raw, even aboriginal, irrational, still we always strive to perfection in some sense.
I’ve read that you met on the internet – is the world wide web crucial for young artists in the modern day?
For us, it was crucial as that was the window between Ukraine and the rest of the world. Now when we work with many magazines, brands, galleries, it is easier to be demanded but we still appreciate all the attention we get from online mass media. For any artist, it is important to get noticed. The internet does a good thing – it erases borders so we all have a chance to become something big.
You’ve amassed a hefty internet following – how did social media help you gain attention?
Social media is a wonderful thing, it makes people much closer to artists they like. We personally take care of our Facebook group which has more than 130,000 followers and we've just started our Instagram account, we always write the news happening, read comments, reply.
It's an important part of maintaining a popular social media account – communicate with people, be yourself, supply harmony and inspiration. We even have our own charity shop called Crystaltania where we sell unique jewellery pieces made by Tania and spend all money to help people who are in urgent need.
Obviously, nudity is a core part of your work. What does the body in its natural state mean to you?
Humans only represent something abstract in our work, something that exists in context of the natural world around, that is inevitably interconnected with endless landscapes of the planet we are all living .
What are your thoughts on the censorship of nudity and the “taboo” nature of the female form?
If people are putting up borders, they are not free, and if they are not free, they are not happy. That doesn't mean we all have to walk naked, but we have to accept the fact that there is nothing wrong with it. Nudity is preconditioned by nature, we shouldn't be ashamed of the way we were created.