Ira Chernova is a Moscow-born model and photographer based in New York with an impressive portfolio both behind and in front of the camera. The beautifully tattooed artist has a huge following on Instagram and it’s easy to see why: snippets of city life, tranquil beauty spots and her kick ass art make up a cool, care free account.
Chernova is a multidisciplined artist who works across illustration, painting and photography. Her polaroids are sensual, intimate portraits that feel suspended in an unidentified time or place – photos that could have been taken yesterday or 20 years ago. We catch up with Ira to discuss inspiration and life after Polaroid.
To see more of her photography and drawings, visit: Website / Instagram / Tumblr
What was it like being raised in Russia? How does living in New York compare?
I don’t remember much of my childhood, I always like moving ahead (as much as I can) and maybe thats why my memory has slightly erased everything. I’m born and raised in Moscow, which is a massive city, and there is not much difference between all big cities – it makes you street wise. However, only over past years I have started feeling the tendency to like quiet nature spots way better – it brings me needed balance. I want to travel cross-country on motorcycle soon. And to discover all the land of Russia and post USSR countries actually. That would be a car journey though! Haha
Your landscapes are almost eerie and displaced. Is that a result of travelling around so much?
No, it was never done on purpose. I see more beauty in unusual point of view. There are many photos in great weather conditions which are well lit and visible, I don’t need to add mine to the same criteria.
What are the biggest influences for your work?
None, its all my moods. It comes from deep in the mind, the force that makes you feel so hearty and glowing, when you’re in a process of making new stuff. It always comes in waves though, then there are no driving force stages. Through all last year I didn’t feel like photographing actually, so that got me started drawing a little.
If you could photograph anyone, who would it be?
Jack White. Years go on and I’d still work with him in a heartbeat. I admire his creative vision, and how selective he is towards people he works with too.
Polaroids are so sensual in colour and emotion. How did you react when you found out Fuji was stopping production? How does it affect your work?
Of course it made me sad. I was mostly using expired original polaroid though but Fuji 3000 was generally so good, as grainy as I love it. No need to talk about it much, I think gonna get sad all over again!
I mostly shoot film and polaroid, too. Do you think it still has a place in a very digital landscape? Or we just nostalgic?
It’s a healthy mix. I’m actually starting to shoot more digital lately, I realised at some point that I was taking way less and less images, trying to have only certain shots on film but it caused me to not take any.