Monday, 23 May 2011

Q&A with Sergy Larenkov

A wee while back I fell a little bit in love. A little bit in love with some pictures. Some pictures created by Sergy Lavenkov. And I gushed about this love in a previous post. I also said that I was in the process of interviewing Mr Larenkov and that I would "post it shortly". I fibbed. And for that I apologise.

But here it be -  a little insight into how and why this delightful man creates his pictures...  

1) What first made you interested in this subject?
When I first created my collages using old postcards, I was struck by the effect [of the presence].

2) How long have you been creating your “windows to the past”?
I created  the first "window" about seven years ago.


3) What is your creation process? Is it started by an old photo that catches your imagination or a particular event, for example?
At first, I choose an interesting photo. This can be either some event or just an interesting old view. Then I take this picture and try to find the same point of shooting. When I make a modern image from the same point, I try to make picture with some {kind of} plot.

4) What is a typical response to your art?
Most of the reviews of my work are very positive. I help people see [the] history. Many offer to show these images on the lessons of history. Very often [they] call these works as "a portal of time".


5) What image that you have created has the most significance for you?
Most significant for me [is] the image of the siege of Leningrad. Both my grandmothers and both my grandfathers lived through [the] siege of Leningrad, fighting and working in the besieged city.

6) Have you ever publicly exhibited your work?
I had two exhibitions in museums of St.Petersburg, and one in France. Now I am preparing third exhibition in St.Petersburg.

7) Have you thought about doing more work, outside of Russia?
It is very interesting for me. As you saw, I took pictures in Berlin, Paris, Prague and Vienna. I think London should be added in this list.

 So, there you have it. I am so pleased that he agreed to do the piece for the blog. This was after I had tracked him down on Facebook and messaged him out of the blue. He was very gracious about the whole thing and happy to let me know a little bit more.

If you have already checked out his Live Journal but would like to see more of the same, then please visit UK chap, Nick Stone on his Flickr site. His technique is inspired by Sergy Larenkos' work - and is commonly becoming known as Blitz Ghosts. Based in and around Norwich, these photo's are on home turf, which for me makes them even more interesting. You can also find this rather glorious site on FaceBook.

Now all we need, is some of London.... 

Pip! Pip!


  1. I loved these images too. The main reason old buildings (or anything older than me, basically) entrance me is that they hold their own mysterious stories and there are 'ghosts' of the street around which once looked so different.

    Well done on grabbing the interview- fascinating.

  2. Brilliant interview - I hadn't heard of him before, I'm hooked now!

  3. Oh how interesting! I really hope he considers a London set, it would be amazing!

  4. I hadn't heard of Lavenkov's work before, but after seeing some of the pictures and reading the interview I feel really inspired to find more modern day art relating to the war xoxo

  5. Oh wow. Thanks so much for the interview and images - utterly fascinating.

    One of the properties I work at was owned by a photographer and there's the most amazing series of 1950's photos of it and the surrounding streets. I'd have no chance of doing anything like this but I'd love to try and do a more basic modern day comparison.

  6. I hadn't heard of him either, will find out more. Great pictures :) x

  7. What a great interview, thanks LG. I do hope he does some on London, but it is fascinating imagining what things were like in these other cities too x

  8. Yay, glad you followed this up! I still can't get over the wonder of these. And particularly Nick Stone's ones, as Norwich is my hometown! It is wonderous to see my old youth club, and after school club as they were during the war!

  9. Such striking images. I am struck by the notion that when something of magnitude happens to a person, they leave a little bit of that emotion behind somehow. How often have we felt uneasy, or sad, or even happy, about being in a particular place, for no apparent reason? This is such a fab way of remembering.


I'd love to hear what you think so feel free to comment away!


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