Polina Polikarpova | PRETTY GHETTO

My city loves to sleep. When it wakes, it resumes its rough everyday rhythm and doesn’t care about joy. Superficiality dominates everything related to true beauty. So I created my own city on the edge of the real city, taking as my point of view all the best I could snap, anything that could help the real city find a harmony. I called it Pretty Ghetto.

In my city, living blocks became a big and depressing organism that has grown for
several generations. But their residents are younger in soul and body and stay children in their hearts forever. They read glossy magazines in childhood and imagined themselves their main images. Sometimes they want to be an object of desire, but they are not as available as it seems. Their weakness is bright and extravagant taste for clothes and cheerful, almost useless pastime. They are like chameleons colored to match the native landscape, praising themselves for being at one with it. Animals are their faithful companions. Whether it’s a toy, sculpture, drawing or a live puppy, they share with them the joy of life. Although Pretty Ghetto is a beautiful utopia, everyone from the Real city will be able to go there. And then go and come back again, the next time they’re frustrated by the greyness of life or the dullness of shattered dreams.

Polina Polikarpova represents Ukrainian New Sincerity. Influenced by her father-photographer and mother-stylist, Polina analyses her life experience through photography by creating compositions, which might look plotless at the first glance.
Being both photographer and stylist, Karpova constructs scenes and characters at her hometown — Kharkiv. She focuses on the local provincial poetics and author’s place in it. Appearance and plastics of her characters are infantile, erotic and extravagant.
Compositions created “here and now” are also distinctive in Karpova’s style; instead of the artificial environment of studio she prefers interiors of the actual living spaces and city landscapes. The author creates her unique visual vocabulary by playing with contemporary fashion photography tricks and clichés and ignoring viewer’s expectations.
All author’s photographs are autobiographical in a way.
Karpova herself prefers to “hold the mirror” instead of being constantly reflected in it.


// we missed Polina´s better quality photography for this show at the moment. We will hopefully get then in due time. Polina Karpova is a pseudonym and her name is actually Polina Polikarpova from Ukraine.