Anna Danilova

Moscow, Russia
Tell us whatever you want about yourself, please.

Every story about me will have a slight flavor of Russian cinematography melancholy. I don’t know if it’s me or a life that I’m living. But generally I don’t think it’s bad. I know from my experience – there are no hopeless situations and in each of them you can be yourself. When I was 12 I moved from my hometown to Moscow with my mother. At 17 I had to work all night and slept in a shop. In 21 I and my husband were living in a shed about 6 square meters for more than half of a year. Now I have 3 cats and about 50 different plants at my home.

Do you have an education related to art?

For half a year I was studying cultural studies and thought I will explore the culture. Six month later I discovered we are all going to be librarians. Then I thought to enter MGAAI but it was too difficult. Academicism has its criteria of evaluation so entering would take a lot more time that I could afford that time. Eventually, education didn’t work out for me. 

Do you think it is important to get an education in this sphere?

It is important to be yourself. If academism and education kill your signature you should look for compromises, but I think every education can be useful. If I will get an opportunity it would be a pleasure for me to learn something new.


John Everett Millais

John William Waterhouse

Gustav Klimt

Is photo your hobby or a main work you devote all of yourself to?

I dedicate all my free time to painting and photography, for myself and for earnings. If major part of orders is drawings, I draw more and vice versa. It is difficult to say what stands in a red corner of my priorities.

What attracts you in photography?

More chances to realize your art. Paintings and illustrations are more elitist and they cost more and have very small trade area. In this way, photography seems to be the most democratic sphere.

How long have you been taking up photography?

In the end of November 2011 I made my first photo. At some point it became something comprehended, hard to say when exactly it happened.


Favorite bands/singers:

Fever Ray



Coco Rosie



What equipment do you use? 

The main camera is Mark II and recently a 50 mm 1/4. Before it I had Helios with adapter for digital camera and I used it for 2 years. Sometimes I use equipment my friends give me. I like medium film format and some time ago I was photographing on Kiev. As for lenses I use whatever I have or sometimes rent something for special aims. But most of the time I use portrait lens.

Your photographs look like paintings and you’re drawing too. Does it help you while photographing?

Of course, I see myself more like an artist than a photographer but painting is very laborious process. It is easier to photograph the idea than to draw it.

3 movies/directors:

director Wes Anderson, I generally like kind andnice tales and stories:



"This Must Be the Place"

There are a lot of beautiful movies, "We Need to Talk About Kevin" for example

"In the House", "In Bruges", "The Big Lebowski"

How do you achieve an effect of textured photographs?

It is always something new. I print, invert, blur with water, scan and paint with watercolors and markers. Sometimes when I finish photograph I can’t even repeat this process.

Tell us your three principles as a photographer.

- Don’t photograph more than you can process.

- Build stylistics from your model while photographing nature. Don’t try to mold her into pre-made image.
- Never sculpt something you already did before, even if technique seems to be very successful. Always try to do something new.

Is there something you can’t do but want to learn?

I want to speak English. Seriously, it’s a very necessary thing.

Do you want to start a project with someone?

I can’t even imagine how to do it or what my role should be. I made an attempt to work with Anton Bundenko a long time ago. He was supposed to photograph and I was supposed to draw, but I was having huge problems in my family at that time and it didn’t work out. Now I’m self-sufficient in my art.

Do you have a favorite photograph or series?

I like everything I do in general. Let it be this one:

Tell us about this series:


"Three Comrades" Remarque

"Lolita" Nabokov

"Slaughterhouse-Five, or The Children's Crusade" Kurt Vonnegut

"Fried Green TomatoesFannie Flagg


"Acne paper"

"The Room"

It is a photo shooting for «Some» magazine. We photographed at Nastya’s Kuzmina, she helped me a lot and Alina herself was very alive and organic in frame. I added an illustration of rose and some lines – probably it is my dual perception of Alina. On the one hand she is very feminine and sunny and on the other she is straightforward. Some kind of an inner dissonance.

Your favorite painting:

Claire Basler's room and the flower paintings she creates:

What gives you more space and possibilities – photography or painting?

Perhaps it depends on the idea and some things can be only painted and some (especially series) are easier to embody in photography. I think photography and painting complement each other. 

Does one painting take a lot of time?

From one or two days to several months. It is impossible to say exactly because it depends on a size, technique and mood, of course.

Do you have a super-aim and plans for the future?

Travel around the world maybe. I don’t even know and I don’t like to plan.

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