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This Artist’s Surreal Photos Have Earned Her Nearly 5 Million Instagram Followers

Girl with Colorful Liquid Pouring from Her Mouth

Russian artist Ellen Sheidlin is a force of nature. Not only does she create oil paintings and performance art, but her neverending creativity also translates into some incredible fine art photography. Her eye-catching, surreal images are instantly recognizable and have earned her nearly five million followers on Instagram.

Sheidlin's initial interest in photography was sparked by a photo session with a professional photographer. But it wasn't until she met her future husband in college that something changed. “He showed me that photography can be more difficult, it can be art,” she tells My Modern Met.

Now, she lets her imagination run wild and get carried away in fantasy. There are no limits to her work, whether it's using simple items like colorful yarn or complex makeup to get her point across. Sheidlin allows herself to fully explore an idea and not let it go until her vision is completed.

Surprisingly, the actual photoshoot itself is brief and often takes about ten minutes. Much more time goes into the preparation, where she can spend up to a week gathering all the props she'll need. After a day of post-production, the photo is ready to be shared with her avid followers.

Sheidlin hopes that her work can provide strength and inspiration to her followers by allowing them to “stop being afraid of being different and improve their mood.”

If you are also interested in Sheidlin's artwork, you can check out her Instagram dedicated to her paintings.

Russian artist Ellen Sheidlin is known for her surreal fine art photography.

Woman Fused as Part of a ChairSurreal Photography by Ellen SheidlinWoman Upside Down in Front of ProductsSurreal Photo of Girl Being Carried in a SuitcaseSurreal Photography by Ellen Sheidlin

She lets her imagination run wild and the results are breathtaking.

Surreal Photography by Ellen SheidlinWoman Covered in PlantsWoman Removing Part of FaceDigital Art by Ellen SheidlinGirl Wearing a Suit Made of MirrorsFine Art Photo of Girl Posing as an Sea Creature on the Beach

With nearly five million followers on Instagram, the public can't get enough of her work.

Surreal Photo of Girl with Colorful Yarn Coming from Her MouthGirl Dressed Like a Bouquet of FlowersGirl with Flowers Covering her FaceSocial Commentary of Need for Facebook LikesGirl with Body Paint Mimicking the St. Basil's Cathedral in MoscowWoman Made of Puzzle PiecesSurreal Photography by Ellen SheidlinSurreal Photography by Ellen SheidlinEllen Sheidlin: Instagram | Facebook | YouTube

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Ellen Sheidlin.

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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