Oleg Koval is a fine art film photographer living in Rotterdam, NL. He’s been taking photographs since 2011. He’s been in exhibitions in Ukraine, Russia, and the United Kingdom. Oleg started his photography career in urban and suburban documentary projects. In 2013, he self-published his first photography book, “4.2 km.” Two years later, in 2015, his photo book “Sicily” was published, and his most recent photo book, “New Story for the Place,” was published in 2016.
Oleg was drawn to photography because he is drawn to real life—not the life we bury under the social and technological façades of our accomplishments and everyday existence. His main goal in his photography is to penetrate through the façade into the raw realities of human existence—he’s interested in exploring the depth of life’s bold declarations and simplicity.
There are many aspects to how Oleg sees the world around him and what he photographs. One aspect of his work seeks to capture the dichotomy between everyday spaces devoid of human presence and those same spaces filled with the presence of light, shadow, and the materiality of objects. For instance, he may capture an empty room, bearing only chairs and a refrigerator, but filled with daylight which seems to wash out what human beings think is important, giving the photograph a strange, powerful humility that resonates with viewers.
Another aspect of his photography is the interaction between colour and composition. His style seeks to let the ordinary beauty of everyday colours and objects shine with unordinary radiance. He believes human beings go through the spaces of their existence extremely nonchalantly, often without noticing the unique colours, lines, and compositions our social world has created. His photography captures a game of colours that would otherwise go unnoticed without the camera.
The main focus of Oleg’s photography is the life around us—streets, interiors, bars, gas stations. His work isolates and frames the social materiality of human impact to bring forth vision and beauty that becomes perceptible through his camera lens.
His work isolates circumstance and moment to bring it closer to our reality so that it remains etched into the mind and heart—dreams are not able to be captured outside our minds, but his photography allows him to capture the moments of our real existence.
Oleg’s photographs capture the honesty of human existence in a paradoxical way, in the intersection of our lives as it interacts with everyday materialism. He captures the moment exactly as it’s seen and lets the photograph speak for itself—and it speaks volumes.
“The farther you go – the more you see. Deeper in the blocks, streets or harbours there is mention of the sun. Places with simplicity and permanency.” -Oleg Koval