exclusive: follow gosha rubchinskiy to florence
Ahead of Gosha Rubchinskiy’s Pitti presentation and the release of his most ambitious print project to date, we exclusively share the first peek inside 'The Day of My Death,' his first book to be photographed outside of Russia.
From sports halls in Moscow to galleries in London and runways in Paris to, now, an old tobacco factory in Florence, Gosha Rubchinskiy's artistic vision weaves through worlds, touches multiple mediums, and never dilutes or diverts from its authentic purpose. As a photographer, filmmaker, and fashion designer, Gosha is a rare breed — a multi-disciplinary storyteller who lifts the lid on Russia's underground to build up the picture of disaffected youth. For spring/summer 17 he's bringing his Russian Renaissance to Pitti Uomo. "I wanted to do something special," Gosha says. "A collection, a short film and a book. Three ways to explain my message." With the creative freedom that the tradeshow affords invited guest designers, Pitti is the perfect platform for the creative polymath to pull us even deeper into his universe.
Following Crimea / Kids and Youth Hotel, The Day of My Death is Gosha's third book to be published by IDEA. As both of those two titles sold out in days, any new release from him is always going to be hotly anticipated; but there is more reason than ever to line up for this one. In addition to being the first of his four books to document life outside of Russia, it's the first to be shot entirely in black and white and the first — in its neo-classical styling — to be so confidently poetic. Its cover depicts actress Renata Litvinova smoking in a men's tailored jacket; a new dawn is hinted within.
Alongside the book, Gosha's film The Day of my Death is dedicated to and inspired by the great Italian film director, poet, writer, and intellectual, P. P. Pasolini. "I wanted to pay attention to this artist now. Some of his ideas and poetry suit the moment very well," he explains. As Gosha places his lens over Florence, the resulting triptych is far from a picture postcard. Looking beyond the Ponte Vecchio, Piazzale Michelangelo, and Vasari Corridor, his chosen locations are industrial buildings and government headquarters while he uncovers aesthetic parallels between Mussolini's Italy and Soviet Russia. "The questions I am asking are: What is Europe now? Are countries together or separated? What is global and what is unique?" As ever, Gosha is pondering the pertinent questions of today.
In addition to being styled by Lotta Volkova, his longtime friend and collaborator appears as a saluting character in uniform. Elsewhere, Ivan Pogornyi and the brothers Titouan and Louison Savignoni share a similarly classical look. Before its release later this month, follow Gosha's lens and delve deep into his Florentine fancy.
"The Day of My Death
Under a linden warm with green
I shall fall into the black
of death, which the sun
and lindens will dispel.
will run in the light
that I've just left,
flying out of the schools,
curls falling onto their brows."
Pier Paolo Pasolini (English translation by Stephen Sartarelli)
Text Steve Salter
Photography Gosha Rubchinskiy