Disco balls glint in sky blue mirrors. Rainbow figures recline against rugged landscapes. Bodies lie on top of stacked red chairs. Fruit, flowers and pollen cover faces. These are the works of Julia Buruleva, a Russian-born, Barcelona-based photographer and art director. Her bright, bold and unusual images combine performance and installation – filled with a spirit of improvisation and play.
One of Buruleva’s favourite ways to create is to invite models via an open call. Before the shoot, she doesn’t know how many participants will come. She has no information about their appearance, personalities or how they will interact with each other. There is no final image in mind; the photographer simply “invites people and lets things happen.” The results are strange, thought-provoking and uncanny.
Featured here are shots from several series, including Beach is a New Theatre – made on Barcelona coastlines. Buruleva’s staged scenes play out against the backdrop of sand and sea. She describes her process as a “creative game”, experimenting with nature, objects, light and decoration to evoke surrealism. Despite the crisp aesthetic, the artist does not use digital postproduction, only basic retouching.
Represented by art gallery InsideOut, Belgium, and Begemot Gallery, Barcelona, Buruleva specialises in conceptual, fashion, advertising photography and video. She has produced editorial and commercial work for magazines including SICKY, L’Officiel, InSTYLE, PAP, Solstice, HUF, Rolling Stone and more.
1 & 4. From Beach is a New Theatre. Concept, Photography & Art direction by Julia Buruleva. Models: @sarahwalker_off, @krasavinatania, @violettakoval_. Retouch: @vitaliifidyk_retouch.
2. From Beach is a New Theatre. Concept, Photography & Art direction by Julia Buruleva. Models: @sarahwalker_off, @mtx002. MUAH: @nastia.mua. Retouch: @vitaliifidyk_retouch
3. From BePartofArt, courtesy Julia Buruleva.
5. From Beach is a New Theatre. Concept, Photography & Art direction by Julia Buruleva. Model: @krasavinatania. MUAH & Body Art: Anastasiia Babii, @nastia.mua.
6. Conceptual beauty series SPRING, published in Sicky magazine. Concept, Photography & Art Direction: Julia Buruleva. Model: @alima.fd, @fifthmodels. MUAH: @nastia.mua. Retouch: @vitaliifidyk_retouch.