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.