Igor Mukhin is an absolutely unique photographer. I met him for the first time in 2003 at a rather unique event, Art-Klyazma, which was essentially an open-air art project.
By the time we met Mukhin had been making a photo report about it for several days and nights, as the event itself proceeded literally round the clock. I also had a similar task to make a photo report about Art-Klyazma at the request of my friends – poets and artists who were performing and exhibiting there.
I have always been a fan of the work Henri Cartier-Bresson and his ability to be invisible while he was making his photographs, for his penchant for the classic perspective of a 50mm lens (which I also admire) and for his perfectly calibrated images.
And one evening at Art-Klyazma, when I was introduced to Mukhin, we had a conversation about this. He then told me that “The future lies with 28mm and 35mm lenses”. And Igor Mukhin does indeed shoot using wide-angle optics and a Leica camera.
But from my perception, his photos still look as if they had been made with a classic 50mm lens. And in order for it to be so, you need to stay very, very close to the epicenter of the story while remaining “invisible”, which is very hard to do.
And Igor Mukhin knows how to achieve it! It happens sometimes that you come to some event, for instance, an opposition rally, take pictures there, thinking only about the frame, the story, and the composition.
And then you develop the film, look at the result and find out that on some photographs you have caught Igor Mukhin on camera while he was doing his job. He is always at the epicenter of events, inconspicuous with his Leica camera.