Mikhail Batrak
Mikhail Batrak was born in 1984 in Kherson, a provincial town of southern Ukraine. It was the time when the Soviet Union era and its values were coming to an end. People from his immediate environment believed he had made a happy choice entering a nautical college. Mikhail carved out a career as a merchant navy officer, won respect and became financially self-sufficient, which was considered a success by common standards. Yet at a certain point, he started to feel like there was something lacking and that his own self was beyond one-size-fits-all concept of modern life. The more Mikhail traveled, saw new countries and cities, read, the more apparent the feeling became.

In pursuit of answers, he turned to photography in 2009. He learned everything by himself - studied composition, shooting techniques and best practices, picture editors and developed his own methods and approaches. And in 2011, he produced his first photo collages. Negation of a conventional reality and meditation enabled him to unite seemingly opposite concepts and ideas in this creative space. Thus, his photographic experience embodies a synthesis of mind and aesthetics, a fusion of surrealism and Zen Buddhism, logic and sensitivity, European rationality and a cosmic element of the East.

His photographs feature air and sea, play with colors, lines, reflections, and transformations. Most importantly, they include a spiritual search for the self and the fullness of existence. Mikhail is seeking to expose absolute freedom in his still-life on glass, zoological metamorphoses, portraits, and landscapes. He strains to create a photograph that will evolve into an open-end story with an ellipsis from a tool for recording moments of existence. From this standpoint, each piece of his work is a story of searching for freedom and answers for essential questions. The answers and roads that emerge in your mind when contemplating his photos will solely be your property. This crossing of borders imposed by mainstream society and drab existence will become your personal way to set your mind free.