In her whimsical body of work, photographer Alexandra Bochkareva explores the eye-catching beauty of red hair. To accentuate the splendid color of her subjects’ locks, she often pairs her redheaded muses with ginger animals, including Alice, a photographic fox that stole the show in 2016. Now, Bochkareva is back with an all-new color-coordinated cast of characters, ranging from a rescued lynx to majestic Maine Coon cats.
Each duo in these fairytale-esque photographs has been personally paired by Bochkareva, who strives for matches that are “very similar, both in an external and internal way.” As a result of this careful consideration, each photograph captures the chemistry of the unique pairs—and, most evidently, illustrates Bochkareva’s passion for incorporating animals into her work.
“Within the last two years I’ve been lucky to work with other animals,” she tells My Modern Met. “There are huskies, rabbits, raccoons, owls, Maine Coons, snakes, foxes, horses, and lynx.” In each case, the creatures are deeply symbolic, enabling them to bring Bochkareva’s thoughts and ideas to life and illustrate her belief that having red hair is more than a genetic trait.
“Red hair color is very special for me,” she reveals to us, “and I think, it’s not only about a bright color; it’s about a state of mind.”
My Modern Met recently had the chance to speak with Bochkareva about her new work. Here, she gives us an exclusive glimpse into some of her recent series, revealing what her animal subjects represent.
Alexandra Bochkareva loves pairing red headed humans and animals together for her fairytale photographs. Read on for her insight on the meaning behind each animal choice.
“There are two series of photographs with owls. The first one was organized on water and is dedicated to our failures. All of us have mistakes we try to forget. This is a crushing weight, but it is our power at the same time. The ship always needs an open sea. The girl sitting on the chair in the waters represents the human with anchored mind, and the owl represents the freedom of soul.”
“And the second owl series with Paralympic sportswoman Svetlana is dedicated to the power of mind and body.”
“In the series with Maine Coons, I showed real-life friends. The cats are the pets of these girls. The main thing I adore in this photoshoot is the way that they look alike. It’s really cute to see.”
“This portrait features amazing beauties Irina, Sherlock, and Lumen, who have heterochromia (yes, it’s real and not a composite). Sherlock and Lumen are members of a big husky family that consists mostly of rejected dogs. I photographed them together to show how similar people and animals are.”
“Also, I like to work with nature to emphasize the unique beauty of my redheaded muses—I love shooting in flowers, grass, on the trees, and love to work with natural light and shootings under the rain. I really can’t wait to start summer projects sooner!”
“Here is Elena, Ivan, Sasha and Geralt. Geralt is the lynx rescued from a fur farm. He is now healthy and tamed, living his wealthy life as a beloved pet. Among others rescued from improper conditions, he is now a muse for art projects praising the beauty of interactions between animals, people, and nature.”