American Christine Otsver lives with her Germany husband in a flat with a stunning view over Chistye Prudi and old Moscow. Christine produces the most amazing abstract photographic paintings which are printed using a special technique in acrylics on metal. Moscow expat Life found out how she came to be in Moscow.
Christine, how long have you been here and where are you from?
Iâm American, from Philadelphia, and Iâve lived in Moscow for about a year and a half. Previously I lived in Germany for about 6 years and thatâs where I completed my Ph.D. in Political Science, and where I got married to a German guy.
How did you develop your photographic skills?
I sort of developed them on my own. I got into photography by accident, with a friend of mine from the media. I took a photograph of the pavement, while walking, completely out of intuition. I just snapped a shot. He said: âWow, youâve got talent.â After a while I realised that I liked photography, and I decided to invest a fair amount of money into a good camera and equipment, also into classes. I had to learn what buttons to push to make a decent photograph, and it sort of went from there. That was about two and a half years ago.
What is your subject matter, moving light, abstract patterns?
Itâs light, and one of the reasons for this is that my father used to be very keen on photography. Our bathroom at home used to double up as darkroom, and as a small child I was fascinated that out of the darkness something really tangible came out. The fact that you can change a few things here and there in the process is really nice. My mumâs hobby is drawing – she draws quite well – so what I do is I try to combine the two. I try to draw with the camera. We donât see everything that the camera shows us with the naked eye. Itâs quite fascinating actually – to see a world beyond the one that we see with a naked eye.
How do you print your work?
I was very happy to find that there are very good professional labs here which produce acrylics. This is a complicated process, involving printing on metal, it all takes about three days to dry. The result is very durable and easy to clean, and it doesnât break, unlike glass.
So the finished pieces can be sold to individuals and also to offices I suppose?
Yes, to both. I sell to individuals, and that makes me really happy. But offices are also a very fitting environment for this kind of art, because the photographs are very abstract and modern, very sheik. They change the room where they are hung; they give it a more interesting and fresh atmosphere.
For me itâs not just about making money, itâs about seeing people really happy. They usually have a bit of a struggle to choose the piece that they like, usually it comes down to a choice between two pieces. Itâs my job to help them decide what they want. The biggest compliment I can ever get is when they hang the piece and say that: âWow, it belongs here.â
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