About the Photographer
Russian, b. 1951
Elena Darikovich was one of a number of Russian photographers who became active in the 1970s as part of an underground photography movement based in Moscow. The artists involved with the movement set out to establish creative independence for themselves, distancing their practices from the government's use of photography as propaganda and also from the medium's documentary, advertising, and applied uses. With no access to the official outlets of Soviet culture and with no art market to speak of, Darikovich and her peers were allowed to pursue their work, but without any means of gaining a larger audience. Among her photographs from the early and late 1980s are a series of portraits of her husband Boris Savelev, also an art photographer, which use dramatic combinations of light and dark shadows. Darikovich also photographed in the city streets, creating tightly framed compositions that hone in on details of the urban environment, such as numbers inscribed on a chipped concrete wall or an arrow painted on a building's exterior below a dim window. More recently, Darikovich has been active as a painter.