Dominika sporting, 10x15cm, © of the artist
His name is Vladimir but people call him Vlad. He’s Lebanese but he grew up in Paris, France, and spent most of his adult life in Montréal, Canada before moving to Beirut in the summer of 2017.
His work is image-based, but he considers himself first and foremost a storyteller. He’s been traveling the world for the past eight years looking for stories to tell. He has learned that the most compelling ones come from everyday people.
He believes in our modern world, too many people are afraid of sharing themselves with others. He uses the lens of his camera to tell their stories by breaking down those barriers and allowing people to be their honest, authentic selves.
For his series, The Guardians, he traveled across Europe, the Middle East and America, photographing shopkeepers or “Guardians.” These Guardians are keepers of what he terms “urban temples,” unique spaces which, in an age of cookie-cutter, corporate shops, hearken back to an earlier time and mode of urban life. He creates visually arresting portraits of the Guardians in their urban temples that make the viewer
connect to the beauty of these often forgotten spaces.
He believes that these temples are the heart and soul of every city; they are what give the urban centre its uniqueness in time and place. There is also a duty of memory associated with these spaces. As so many of them are closing, it falls to artists such himself to preserve their memory. The Guardians was released as a book in the spring of 2019. He is currently working on his new series, Pilgrimage.