Valus Sonov, Ukraine

The personality of the photographer never leaves our sights when we view photographs. For this adds the depth to images that may mean nothing to us. It is in their characteristics, their charm, their approach, visual sensations their distance, their capture and their suggested implications. Such qualities consume us as we unknowingly judge the scenes built on our own subconscious, the second they reach us. It is this personality that is inevitable in everything Valus records, seriously or casually. They are seriously casual, and never attempt to dictate meaning, merely experiences. Such a string from a personality, the moment of encounter hinges on the first contact, the first line and how they subject may respond. To even call them subjects implies much more than is intended, for they are people he has met. The camera stays in the pocket until culturally acceptable, waiting for the moment that can manufacture the memory. And such doing from this photographer radiates something different to anything I’ve seen before. Encounters of excitement, entice us to drink in the air, soak up the conversation and take in the tension, positive or negative. For the photographs live and breath, wilt and blossom, resurge and decline, as each viewing feels different to the next.

Encounters with women build a part of the series that intrigue both sexes. Their sexuality roaming off the pictures to our senses as we see something we may never see the same way, as we ourselves are not the maker. We are spectators in these journeys, but only ever given the first step, a step that roams us forward so much so we need to stop walking and understand the position we now find ourselves in. It is such a magic tendency that lays in the pictures of moments, fuelled with another kind, a fuel of insatiable desire and excitement. They take us into pitch-black moments, where a flicker of what we see before us takes us nowhere, nowhere but the place we then anticipate in our minds. For their beauty as encounters is their best quality, only made possible by the relentless personality of the photographer.

As I sit here now, I feel I have left my own world and entered another, when in fact the kitchen chair is firmly placed. So naturally can we sweep up to new worlds in the series of photographs as our hearts may pour out to the lady emerging from water. A moment so fleeting yet involved. It is almost deceitful. The long dark, beautiful legs reveal a resurgence of feeling; passion and the possible short moments of our lives possible if we take a plunge into the unknown and let ourselves experience the world. For they may be representations of Ukraine, at a moment in time, but they are made possible only by the desire of the photographer to feel, experience, to intrigue and take risks. Something that is integral to everything the personality is about – a man of moments and chance.