Although better known as one of our esteemed MetArt artists, Albert Varin is also a regular contributor here at The Life Erotic, with an unerring eye for fresh new talent and female sensuality. Varin loves to tell a visual story with his work, such as the recent black and white photoset “Sweet Reminisce” or the movie “Erotic Inspiration,” starring lovely Ultima A. He enjoys interacting with members and discussing his work, so I thought it would be interesting to learn more about what inspires him…
Albert, where are you from?
AV: My great-grandfather lived in Germany, he was quite a wealthy person and a traveler. He enjoyed hunting and he kept a diary with illustrations. I guess because of his curious nature he came to Russia, where he got married and had eight daughters; one of them was my grandmother. Since then my family has lived in Russia. I was born in Moscow and I travel a lot. I think it’s in my genes from my great-grandfather.
What is your background in photography?
AV: Another passion of mine, aside from traveling, is painting and modern arts and crafts. I love new materials and technologies. One day I discovered digital photography. Before the digital era I shot on film and it didn’t excite me, it was more documentary-style shots. But with digital technology everything was taken to another level and I began to experiment, first with themes, then with color. I had a lot of models who wanted to see themselves outside the frames of their everyday life. Slowly my photographs became more and more erotic, so it happened quite gradually.
How long have you been creating erotic photographs, and what inspired you to start?
AV: During one of my trips to Prague I visited Saudek’s exhibition. I think it was in 2006, and back then I felt like Prague was full of electric erotic impulses. I brought back a lot of albums of erotic photography from that trip, as well as publications from Taschen with daguerreotypes, photos of Playboy models, Helmut Newton’s album, I studied them all.
Are you influenced by mainstream art, film and photography?
AV: I like elements of cinema in photographs, I like Fellini’s absurd, Tarkovsky’s frames. I also like open eroticism with notes of humor, like we see in Tinto Brass’ work. I was also quite inspired, like many others, by Zalman King’s ‘Wild Orchid.’ As for books, I read constantly, I like Borges, books with a mysterious storyline, philosophical literature. But philosophy, if you read it at night, is also a good sleeping pill. In painting, I love color and expression; in some of my photo shoots with models I have used my own paintings as the background.
You have been shooting for the MetArt Network since 2010; how do you think your work has evolved?
AV: As much as I can judge my own work – in 2010 it was a hobby, but now it grabs me almost completely. I try to capture the feeling of the present moment, immediacy, as if the viewer can reach out and touch the model’s shoulder.
Is there a photoset you are particularly proud of?
AV: It’s hard for me to say. In all honesty, I like all my photosets, especially those that haven’t been published yet.
You have shot many of our new MetArt models in their ‘presenting’ photoset. What makes a good model?
AV: I love working with debutantes. It has a certain drive, it’s like opening a new book of poetry, or coming to a new city, where you’ve never been before. I pay attention to the temperament of the model, her grace, her movements, her sweet face. Her smile is very important for me. A good model has all these qualities. Another important thing is the model’s desire to present herself at her best: her excitement, her mood, her young spirit. This is what, in my opinion, makes the model interesting for the viewer.
Is there a model who inspires you the most?
AV: This is another difficult question. Of course there are models with whom I work very comfortably and we have fun. Not all girls are the same, some are quite chatty, laughing a lot, some are quite dreamy. For example Veselin is very lively and fun and it shows in her pictures, and Sigrid is more shy. But of course I love to work with them both. There are models that have become my friends, such as Subil A, who first posed for me and then decided to continue her career as a model.
Do you plan your shoots in great detail, or see how it evolves on the day?
AV: I plan my shoots, I try to think all the details through. I think that’s what makes the work easy. It doesn’t always turn out as I plan; sometimes shoots get cancelled, sometimes the weather interferes, or accidents happen – that’s life.
How about shooting movies?
AV: Most often I work with debutantes – non-professional models – and working with a video requires a model who has more self-control than for a photo shoot. Moreover, often models get shy in front of the video camera. But I do shoot videos when I meet models who enjoy it.
What are your ambitions for your work with the MetArt Network?
AV: My ambition is to continue being at the top, to bring a lot of exciting new models, and to publish on Errotica Archives. Perhaps I would like to release an album with Taschen or Goliath. I would also like to do a photo exhibition, perhaps with other artists from MetArt, I think it’s an interesting idea.
What do you hope the viewers get from your photos?
AV: I want to give the audience the intimate world that surrounds our favorite models. I am happy if I can convey their beauty, youth and playfulness.
Is there anything else you would like to tell us?
AV: I like that the audience is very large and each participant can look at my work.I always read the comments and I like controversy, I like the fact that my work pleases subscribers. Being popular is a damn good feeling. I particularly pay attention to the negative comments, and I am grateful for reasoning and specifications, because if I know the specific flaws, I can fix them in the future. We live in a big world, in different countries, with different traditions. Love of beauty, passion and inspiration for life – that’s what is understood by all: men and women, in the north and in the south, that’s what unites us. Let’s love, that’s what makes us happy.