Black-and-White photo
Calendars shooting
About author

Over the edition of «The Multinational Moscow» L. Lazarev had been working more than two years. He had a difficult task to accomplish. The unusual conception and form of this fundamental folio is in many respects rested on the photographic methods of influence on the reader and first of all on the emotional side of the matter.

In the book containing about a thousand photographs and constructed of four volumes interrelated as a single whole the part «Religions» takes a special place. The six world religions «Buddhism», «Evangelical-Lutheran church», «Islam», «Judaism», «Catholicism», «Orthodoxy» and «Traditional ancient believes» — such is the giant historical layer which the photo-artist found essential to penetrate.

The irregularity of the approach to the material was dictated also by the fact that it was created according to cinematographic principal that can be expressed by the formula: script — production — shooting period — cutting.

It is essential to mark that the photo-artist was absorbed into the multi-confessional sphere, where the hierarchs of each religion closely observed the shooting process.

The many years’ experience and the unique skill of the photo-artist let him break the ice of distrust and get into contact with the clergymen and the believer.

This made it possible to set the atmosphere of creative work, which without delay affected the result of that very difficult (on the subconscious level) work. In a number of cases the man with a camera was allowed to penetrate to such places where shooting had never been conducted before. The sense of the highest responsibility and the brilliant style of L.Lazarev gave birth to the whole string of works of the modern photo-art.

The were created two masterpieces which, I dare to say, will take their place in the world artistic photography. These are «The Praying Moslem» and «The Prayer to Shabad».

The masterly using of light and optics, the magnificent compositions, unusual color decisions induce not only to watch the L. Lazarev?s photo-canvases, but also to feel the sublimity of what is going on and in the long run penetrate deeper in fact that these are religious traditions which differ, but the God is one for the whole mankind.

It?s essential to tell about the work over the part «The Traditional Applied Art» in particular. Seeming at first sight to be a technical problem, the shooting of works of folk arts became for the photo-artist the task of empathy towards the creative work of master-representatives of 137 nations. All the subjects of the applied art (and there were about 300 of them) for the first time left the museum store-rooms in order to appear before the audience through the individual feelings of the photo-master.

Each of the works made of metal or tissues, stone or down has found an excellent interpretation, where the plasticity of light and color is displaying their originality. Having a look at these strict, not flashy with motley colors photographs, one unintentionally feels the eternity of the true art and a mental trembling from the contact with the beautiful.

The titanic by volume and the outstanding by result work of Leonid Lazarev is immortalized in the book and will for many years exert influence upon the hearts and the minds of people, making them better and purer, bringing up immateriality and enthusiastic attitude to the beautiful.

Leonid Reznikov — The editor-in-chief of the edition of «The Multinational Moscow»