Mikhail Pavin: Escape to Captivity.
In the artistic annals of Primorski Territory, the name of Mikhail Pavin has been ever more frequently mentioned with modulations of hope and curiosity. True, in artistic circles this is more often than not accompanied with some irony and distrust, while, to be honest, this attitude is typical in relation to the majority of phenomena occurring in the sphere of modern art of photography.
A hundred years old history of photography has made its first and full rotation, - having taken in the many years of experience and multiple experiments, discoveries as regards capabilities of an artist and his camera, the run of oblivion and decline, and the wild outburst of interest to camera-work in the epoch of post-modernism.
Having smoothly fitted in today within the frame of actual art, Mikhail Pavin, by and large, has been already there throughout the recent years, without any open declaration of its real "place of residence": be it due to his non-striving for putting himself within some rigid boundaries, or due to lack of any clear-cut borders of the aforesaid frame.
The new series of his works, devoted to his "favorite models", essentially continues his time-infinite series of photographs where play with an object turns into grotesque, or symbol, or declarative act, or almost into physiological act.
Playfully expressing himself to his spectators in his usual "Pavin's" language, the artist almost coquettishly enumerates in his autobiography all his affections for still life, women and creamed coffee. Well, it's just a very natural human collection. While it becomes artistic only at the moment when you comprehend that "The favorite models of Mikhail Pavin" just constitute this very cloning homunculus, conglomerate of still lives, ideal girl-friends and some aesthetic idea, pleasant to taste and somewhat astringent, like coffee with cream added to your own taste - as much as you like it.
Pavin's ideal model is devoted to him as an oriental girl. This is why the artist feels free to "punish and pardon" his model and his idea, doing it purposefully and progressively. Which actually means infinitely.
M.Pavin creates the art of situation. Play with dolls turns in the artist's hands into the scenes from real life, now sensual and erotic, now merciless and sexless.
Some comfort to the spectators consists only in the fact that, by and large, this is just a mystery, change of shots and moods, of skillfully focused light and the play of half-tints. It is just for this reason, that beyond the effects brought up with unexpected fore shortenings of a doll-mask and the imaginary equivoques, the photographic works by Pavin show very serious search of the artist for the possibilities to reveal the aesthetics of an object form. Which is rather obvious and perceptible even in his series "Favorite models": now revealing itself from the foam of consciousness as an antique mask, now turning to a spectator the face of cyborg from the days to come.