Published for INSPADES Magazine, “Issue Tre”
BY ANISSA R. STAMBOULI
To view the work of Russian photographer Daria Amaranth, is to taste a chocolate so dark, that it brings your palate to the brink of bitter aftertaste. Engaging the senses in contradicting ways, the unconventional appeal of Amaranth’s creative flare will leave you moved.
“For me photography is an incredibly magical way to create a new world,” Amaranth disclosed to INSPADES Magazine, “An imaginary reality in which the symbols, mystery and some abstraction are synchronized.”
In pairing soft beauties with snails slugging across the skin, or insects resting on the eyes and lips of resigned girls, Amaranth’s portraiture allows a sense of calm to reign after the initial squeamish response dissolves.
“When an animal or insect is a part of a picture alongside with a model, a photograph breathes and becomes more deep to me,” Amaranth explained. Her use of live insects and animals, such as owls and iguanas, certainly brings shock value and an air of the untamed to otherwise traditional visual narratives.
The signature of Amaranth’s style is notable in her gentle use of lighting, and morose shades of grey or faded teal as the backdrop. The subjects of her portraiture tend to be adolescent girls or young women, pale with dark hair and clothing, posed in limp postures that convey a sense of insouciance or calm acceptance.
“The best shots ever are always full of mysteries,” asserted Amaranth, whose visual narratives make curious the viewer; the ambiguous, expressionless subjects reveal nothing through their gaze. While they emit no signal of scorn or approval, each subject seems to absorb and observe all that is within the viewer.
Residing in Saint Petersburg, Amaranth specialized in foreign languages for her studies and currently spends her days translating English and Swedish. To discover her ambitions began only two years ago is indeed a surprise. With over a hundred photographs published by Vogue Italia’s “PhotoVogue” site, and countless shoots of profound imagery, Amaranth engages the viewer through her photography like a veteran of the art form.
Despite taking a few photography courses in the past, Amaranth claims to be mostly self-taught. Armed to shoot with her Canon 1000D—of which she says the photographer’s skill is more important than the make of the tool—Amaranth aims to outline a puzzle in each of her images. Initially, her interest in photography sprang from her need to “create something meaningful and different.”
That’s something she can definitely check off her list.
Next, Amaranth plans to explore cinematography. “This sphere seems to me to be so magical and special,” she added. In fact, much of her inspiration comes from the world of cinema.
Drawing on the melancholic tones of filmmakers like Sophie Coppola and Lars von Trier, colours palettes from Renaissance painters, and literature with psychoanalytic themes, Amaranth achieves a fragile elegance in her work. Coaxing the grotesque and the beautiful into unconventional harmony, her visual artistry will haunt the eye and mind long after the page is turned.