ONE OF THE COOLEST JA'BAGH KAGHADO
One of the first people I met in New York City, I could sit for hours and hours and discuss everything from photography, to the art industry and all our inspirations and influences. Born across the Hudson River in New Jersey, Ja’bagh studied photography at the FIT in NYC,launched his photography career in 2000, and then relocated to Moscow due to work opportunities. His work had graced the pages and covers of Tatler, Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, Elle, Cosmo, Rolling Stone, and many others. Bored with the celebrity, glossy scene, Ja'bagh began exploring his new muse "Moscow City" and refocused back to his roots, street culture, music, and the night. Now 30, Ja'bagh is considered one of the most progressive and influential photographers in Moscow. His first debut solo exhibition by the title "Moskva Raw" was commissioned by the Moscow Museum of Modern Art in 2008 making him the youngest artist to show a solo exhibition at the Museum at the age of 27.
His self-published book also titled "Moskva Raw" is sold by TASCHEN , Pompidue Center in Paris and at Garage CCC in Moscow. He has recently began his directing career in motion pictures, music videos and TV commercials and lives between Moscow and Paris.
Solo Exhibitions: Sept. 2009: Faces in the Shadow / Moscow Museum of Modern Art. May 2009: Moskva Raw Meets Amman / National Gallery of Fine Arts Amman, Jordan (under the patronage of HRH Princess Rajwa). April 2009: The Obsession of... / Center for Contemporary Arts. (a special project for the Fashion in Photography Biennale). Sept. 2008: Moskva Raw / Moscow Museum of Modern Art.
Greatest inspirations or influences?
Family and Life
To breath, to produce, to work, to meet interesting people, to succeed, to fail, and at the end of it all to keep doing what you love no matter what...
Beauty and distortion is what influences my work today. The contrast between the two worlds.
Upcoming projects you are working on?
My brother ZAK and I are always working on several interesting projects.
We have just wrapped up a great exhibition at the Moscow MoMA.
Working on a 2 person art exhibition with one of the most important photographer / visual artists to come out of madrid, Spain. ZAK will curate the show to feature a mix of the Spanish artist works and my new body of works that i have been experimenting with.
A cool art book project
Been working for several years on my debut feature film "Sadovya Kolsto" which I will be shooting in Moscow, based on reality and socially driven but not in a documentary form. Its a dark art-house film.
An exciting show will be my debut in NYC June 2011. I am part of a group show at Marlborough Gallery / Chelsea.
Most memorable exhibitions or projects so far?
Every project that we take on to produce, curate or show is important and we put our heart and soul into making it into a great project that we can be proud of. One of my first projects, was my hard-cover limited edition book titled "Moskva Raw" which was followed by a debut exhibition at the Moscow MoMA. ZAK and I took on a huge challenge to produce and curate my exhibition of almost the entire Museum. It was a great success and inspired many young photographers / visual artists to step up.
How has living in Moscow influenced your work?
Living in Moscow was a great inspiration for me personally. I love the city and love the fact that it's a hard core city... its not made for everyone, it can definitely shape you and break you if you are not up for the challenge... In my case it gave me the opportunity to experiment and create what I really wanted to.
What's the exact technique that you use and does it have a name?
Well I'm moving further and further away from the conventional straight forward photography. I use photography as my base of my art work and then add to it a lot of handcrafts. I mostly shoot with 4x5 Polaroids, and have a certain way of developing and processing my polaroids to get the proper feelings that you see with all the stains etc... another technique is my printing aspect, a very good friend of mine got me hooked on Platinum / Palladium hand printing and with this special technique my work is no longer just a photograph, I actually paint with my products of Platinum / Palladium. Its a very sophisticated and complex technique but its absolutely gorgeous, I do them on either canvas or 100% cotton Arches paper.
Challenges of what you do?
In general my art is dark with a specific mood and not too commercial, for me this is always a challenge to keep doing what I like to do and not be influenced by the surrounding financial elements and not out-sell my soul yet!
I am pretty young and want to experiment with what I want... I find this for me a very challenging point to have a gallerist or a curator who can actually look deeper and find the sophistication in the works.
Anything else youd like to share with our audience?
I had promised my self once I'd left NYC after Sept 11th, that I wouldn't come back to work in NYC unless I was invited back. Now that I am invited back to show in one of the best Galleries in the world I am very happy and hopefully you will have the opportunity to check out more of what I am about.