From the series Relationship #116

About Nikolay Bakharev

Over the course of a career that began in the restrictive environment of the U.S.S.R., self-taught photographer Nikolay Bakharev has amassed a body of black-and-white portraits of everyday people, infused with eroticism both subtle and overt. He shoots bathing suit-clad couples, families, and groups of friends that he finds at the beach, who often invite him into their homes, where he coaxes off their clothes and portrays them in awkwardly elegant, sexually charged poses. He sees these images as records of abandon, as he describes: “From my point of view, I expose the nature which people do not want to admit to, if it does not fit their notions of themselves.” Bakharev spends hours with his subjects, arranging them into poses that reflect his own vision of human sexuality—combining tenderness and rawness, openness and opacity, vulgarity and grace.

Russian, b. 1946