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Mikhail Batrak

Born in 1984 in provincial town of southern Ukraine, graduated nautical college and carved out successful career as a merchant navy officer, but at a certain point I started to disappoint in one-size-fits-all concept of modern life. In pursuit of answers I turned to photography, learned quickly and developed my own methods and approaches. Since 2011 I concentrate entirely on photomanipulations.

Surrealism language is similar to any foreign language with one major difference - nobody can teach you to speak it, every surrealism is personal.

As merchant navy officer I used to shoot travels and landscapes until I realized one day that all the time I spent chasing the beauty around me, the beauty itself has never existed outside my mind. For most living creatures there is no major difference between the most fascinating scenery as we see it and complete mess unless it gives shelter, food or water to drink. Everything we see is not the real word but it`s model rendered inside our brain based on poor signals taken from the eye and individual experience. Even the colors we perceive is just the rendering of specific light wave frequency captured by the retina and noone can be sure that other creatures see it the same way or that the real world is in color. From certain moment I seized chasing the ghosts and started searching for beauty across my mind.

I use my own photography only. Post processing is the major element in my artworks. Even with very clear idea I would like to have full control over the objects in my image, ability to change, move, reshape and repaint at any given stage to obtain the image that would tell a lot. On the other hand I always strive to obtain collage as realistic as a photograph to believe in it. This process is much closer to painting than to traditional photography, but certainly gives much more satisfaction and room for creativity.

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