Some artists are naturally reticent, happy to let their work speak for itself. It’s understandable – in fact in an art world teeming with verbose explanations of otherwise incomprehensible pieces it’s more than that – it’s welcome. But sometimes it’s hard to fight the urge to know more, and faced with Ira Bordo’s serene photographic studies, questions are almost inevitable – although answers are not.
‘I don't know how to talk about myself’ insists Ira. So let’s start with the facts: a Russian photographer whose work is divided between art projects and freelance work for the fashion and advertising industries, Ira graduated from the Moscow Public Art School, where she studied drawing and painting but decided to switch to photography when she saw its ‘endless possibilities’. It is worth noting, she adds, ‘that pictures interested me since childhood. I used to make up fairy tales whilst looking at art books.’
Today inspiration is all around; her ‘No Rush’ portrait series was inspired by the ‘amazing faces of people who I met on my way’. A palette of pale skin tones paired with draped and twisted cloth, these studies have a simple, ethereal air. Unabashed but somehow unyielding, they are difficult to mould into more than that. Ira’s images have in common a stillness; even when her model is leaping through the air, time stands still. Like Keats' Grecian Urn these men and women – marble men and maidens – are paused in a moment of unfading beauty…
You can read this article by Beth Smith in full in Selvedge issue 55.