Vladimir Peshkov considers the graduation from the Institute of Aviation Instrument making as a start of his creative biography, when the future photographer participated in the tests for heavy transport aircraft: “I was struck by views that I had seen lying on the glass in the cockpit of the aircraft AN- 10. “At that time I knew nothing about photography, but the navigator gave me an old “FED” (soviet photo camera) and I began making shots of places that struck my imagination. The result is a sophisticated series of photos of the Caucasus mountains, Elbrus, Black Sea, Crimea, the Siberian forests “
Having spent three years at the Research Institute after graduation, Vladmir returned to Institute of Aviation Instrument making and having “nothing better to do”, he enrolled in post-graduation course, and wrote his thesis without much trouble.
Gradually, Peshkov understood that that was not what he wanted, and before the presentation of thesis, he decided to quit. At the same time, his friend introduced Vladimir Peshkov to a famous photographer Oleg Bakharev, whom Vladimir considers as his teacher, inspirer, a guru.
Vladimir Peshkov became Oleg Bakharev’s student.Vladimir showed his photos at the Theatre on Mohovaya street and was immediately employed as photographer. He worked there for several years.
After some time, Peshkov was introduced to famous director Efim Padua, who invited Vladimir to work in his theatre, where he photographed all the performances, including those that were set by famous director Lev Dodin.
Working in the theatre is a totally different world, but photographer was always looking for something new. At some point, Vladimir began to work at the Hermitage Museum, but not as a photographer, but as an electrician. This job gave him a lot of free time : day and night, he walked freely on the roofs, attics, and spent hours at the Hermitage Library. At the same time he began to play the flute and played at night in the Halls of Hermitage.
When a cultural centre “Free Culture” on 10 Pushkinskaya street, was formed, Peshkov was invited in the group of artists called “Friends.” At that time he lived in a wonderful creative environment where artists organized their studios. While a civilized group of people such as artists occupied the house there were no homeless people and no fires. Artists had built their workshops, to maintain the house until the time when it could be repaired.
At the same time Peshkov started to receive regular invitations to exhibit in the West, giving Peshkov a chance to see the world and taste the freedom of an artist who were able to do what they want, and not what was ordered: “And this is happiness. There is nothing higher than freedom of creativity and expression without constraint. “
Vladimir Peshkov never thought of going to the West. While dealing with emigrants, first of all he saw that not all of them were able to adapt to a new life, many have gradually come back. And secondly, most of those who ran away, in general, were looking not as much for freedom, but for a better life. Everyone knew that there are higher standard of living and more benefits than you could earn by backbreaking labour at home. Peshkov had little faith that artists has gone to the West to seek freedom. “Volunteering to go to the West – it is always a commercial point. If you want to create- create! Another thing is if you are going to be exhibited or not. But you can create for yourself as long as you want.
“Simply display the reality around people – that was my main concern. What is important to me is talent, spirituality, sincerity – that what is in the centre of my creative vision. From those whom I shot, some remained true spiritual creators, but some of them turned into trained poodles, but it is their choice. “
When Peshkov was invited to exhibit in the West, his works were sold in Germany, France, Sweden and Finland. Photographer spent money as usual: to buy good equipment and lenses.
The problem of the author’s invaluable at home that still there is no photographic culture, there are not many people who understand and accept the photography on a par with other fine arts. People with money are willing to invest only in what is already known, already attained, “estimated”. But the new wave is growing, such artists as Irina Dudina represent this new wave and let’s hope it will rise and gain prosperity!