As Sacha Gusov embarks on a new era he is moving into the role of the observer and, as he puts it, manipulator. Extensive travelling and commissions from publications such as the Telegraph and Conde Nast Traveller have meant that he has photographed some of the most famous people in the world in the best locations. After spending the last 18 years photographing celebrities ranging from Jude Law to Luciano Pavarotti, Sacha was looking for something more.
“I have travelled all around the world photographing everything that I thought was interesting but I needed a project for myself. Then I came up with the idea of an album that would pull together the concept of mass mentality - photographs which examine the way people eat, the tourist eternally behind the camera, the obsession with consumerism. It became an anthropological investigation of contemporary man – who we are, who we have become and how absurd we can be at times”
“Locusts” has a Biblical theme and is an album divided into 10 parts, following the number of Biblical punishments that, according to the scripture, the Lord visited on the people of Egypt. “Last Resorts” is about recreations, “Dreamless Nightmares” is about people sleeping in subways, “Satanic Meals” is about the scientific and technological revolution and the elimination of the spiritual component of man and “Consumer Passion” is about the modern mania for consumption – all presented in the form of a catalogue of human weakness but with a spirit of humour and irony.
Sacha continues “I wanted to make people laugh but also to think a little. Whilst the theme of the book is the behaviour of the masses, people transformed into a herd, there are serious and funny scenes in the shots. People have been approached with a sense of humour and regarded not as sinful and vicious but weak. If I was seeking to represent people and their vices then I would have gone to the slums and shot the terrible conditions of life there and who wants to see that? I wanted to show ordinary people with their weaknesses”.
It took five years of observation to gather all the brief snatches and moments that make up “Locusts” – making it a true representation of what humanity does when it thinks that no one is looking. Sacha particularly wanted to emphasise the theme of advertising and its subliminal effect on our lives. “This is the age of consumption” he continues. “Strings of endless hoardings with advertisements, crowds of tourists buying and the endless selling; my photographs seek to show them all. Some are angry, some are more humorous, some are tragic but they all demonstrate how money has replaced spirituality”.
Sacha’s story and his journey from Russia in the 1980’s is a testimony to his passion and determination to succeed – with some luck thrown in. “I arrived in the UK in 1988 having fled a Russia that was going through great change during the Gorbachev era. I arrived in Heathrow Airport drunk with one camera and one lens. I cleaned house for Alan Herdm who introduced me to the fashion photographer Andrew MacPherson and the printer Roy Snell who liked my work. I started developing and printing fashion photographs and in 1992 I met Yuri Grigorovich, who was then the Director of the Bolshoi Ballet and told him that I was a well-known Russian photographer. He let me shoot the ballet for almost a month. The British Journal of Photography put my shots into a centre-fold and it all began from there. Skill, luck and self belief have got me where I am so far but I belief that “Locusts” is the start of a new era for Sacha!”
Sacha Gusov (gusov.com) currently lives in London. His photography can be viewed and purchased on-line. His latest project - “Locusts” is the study of mass culture and observations of mass behaviour.
More about Sacha Gusov and his photographs can be found online. Sacha is looking for sponsors for his latest project “Locusts” and is available for interview. He can also be contacted via Christine Holmes on 07768 548619 or Christine[.]uptone.co.uk.
Keywords used in this release: Launch, news, Photographer, photography, Russian, sacha, gusov, human, Biblical, anthropological, contemporary, locusts, mass culture, observation, sponsors, publication, celebrity, Bolshoi, Ballet, Italian carousel, Andrei Navrozov, London, British Journal of Photography, Daily Telegraph