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Based in the outskirts of Kiev, art collective Gorsad Kiev is showing the world how to have fun. These guys try not to take themselves too seriously, revealing instead the raw energy and sexiness behind the youth of their home country. Studying together, artists Victor, Julian and Maria realized how similar their visions were and how their willingness to create something different was bringing them together. Their provocative and bold images are sexually charged yet extremely positive. Counter-culture as opposed to mainstream media – one thought crosses your mind when scrolling through Gorsad's gallery: don’t mess up with the Ukrainians.

What does Gorsad mean, in general and for you?
First of all, it is a way to join all our tools and forces and achieve common creative goals. Translating it literally, it’s an “urban garden” (a special place called City Garden, in Odessa). But in general, Gorsad is such an abstract territory and space. The three of us, we are way too similar in our tastes and preferences, so Gorsad naturally became a place where developing interesting projects, crazy ideas and so on.
What guides you when choosing the subjects for your photos? Where do the ideas come from?
Quite frankly, the ideas often come from nowhere, we get inspired by our friends or by people in the subway. In our heads there is always this image of what we want to do, and by looking through the lens at different things, new perspectives appear.
Does your work reflect your personal conflicts?
We create a sort of parallel reality formed by images taken from past experiences. But actually it’s the other way around: when working, we are trying to neutralize the excess of stuff going on in our heads.

You play often around the topic of innocent and young sexuality. Why?
It's hard to explain, it attracts on some intuitive level, there is no common logic.
Is there an influence of Soviet society and culture on the style of your work?
Yes, of course. Sometimes it slips into the aesthetics of our creative work, as the post-Soviet space still bears some impact, not only on us, but also on anything going on in Ukraine.
What impact does the current situation in Ukraine have on Gorsad?
In fact, almost none, because we are trying to disengage from the political processes. It is all very sad.

Maybe you can recall some epic moment that took place during a shoot...
In our set, something weird is happening all the time. Recently, one man burned his long white hair. Well burned! But you should have seen it, explaining it is not the same.
Have you thought about cooperating with brands, or about some commercial collaborations in the future?
We did an amazing project with Desillusion magazine last year, and now we are working on a collaboration with HBA. But we aren’t interested in the commercial stuff, you can make money working at McDonald’s. In order for this to work, the project has to be close to our spirit, we have to share beliefs – this is what matters.

An Nightingale

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