Aleksey Kozlov - The Photographer.             
Marina Khlebnikova - The Artist.
Members of the International Federation of Artists (IFA) and 
the Artists Union of Russia. Since 1998 they have been working on 
the joint project "PHOTOPAINTING" - Synthesis Photography and Painting. 
This includes special techniques of processing negative film solutions using 
acids and dyes known only to professionals. This technique has received 
a rebirth in "PHOTOPAINTING" and has helped to create bright, expensive, 
very unusual works of art.
  
Aleksey and Marina have been collaborating for five years but actually became acquainted on   
a photo shoot in 1994 and have been inseparable ever since. They combine their creative efforts 
through the use of unconventional photos resulting in experiments with negative film.   
They were so inspired by the results that they decided to leave commercial advertising and model
photography. This difficult career decision was made in 1998 during a challenging time for the Russian
economy. This willingness to take risks has resulted in an eternal sense of optimism in everything
that they do. 
              
Our work is our perception of beauty and erotica, and our philosophy. We are attracted to   
everything that enhances the reality, proving its conditionality, everything that relates to it   
and its inconsistency. The process of creating the photos is quite labor intensive and demands   
some time. It all begins with the declaration and sharpening of any theme or idea. It can be   
something abstract . . .  any condition, it can be a simple fetish, anything that will draw our   
attention. Usually at this stage we create draft sketches, which we lay down before shooting.   
We have determined that it is necessary to have a concrete idea of what the photos will look like 
before starting the actual photo session.  We work with the model agencies to find out   
what models are available, determine what accessories, clothes, suits, etc. are required.    
This task is usually assigned to Marina, but Aleksey will do it on occasion.
            
Photography is handled exclusively by Aleksey.  Marina is the makeup artist and assists him if it 
is necessary. Aleksey uses a Nikon camera with narrow 35mm film. Quite often during shooting 
he is using such techniques as repeated shooting on one still; zooming during one shot; overlapping 
of different plots on one still; shooting of moving models on long exposures.   
The most successful on film will be subjected to special processing. Marina’s unique specialty   
is painting on the tiny negative, which leads to the distinctive end result.
             
Using brush and applicators solutions of weak acids, dyes and some other reactants are applied 
on emulsion.  Fine abrasives are also applied.  The end result is an effect of old invoice-parchment 
or pencil drawing with a luminous image and flashes etc.  Aleksey has learned about this technique 
from an old photo book, so we didn’t invent anything new.  For example, many photographers 
where we live in St.Petersburg, Russia also use it.     See an example.
            
Our technique is unique, we took existing expertise and have brought it to a new level.     
Using the painting on the negative technique requires the same amount of time as creating   
a drawing.  When all chosen negatives are treated and from them satisfying proofs are received,   
a joint discussion is arranged.  The result from our discussion will be to select the most, in our opinion, 
outstanding prints.  The prints are then retouched or painted in the areas   
we were not able to reach.