Katerina Plotnikova
Age: 27
Nationality: Russian
City of residence: Moscow
Profession: Art Photographer

Born in a quiet town near Moscow, growing up in the whimsical woods of Russia, Katerina Plotnikova’s fascination for nature has become the center point of her work.

All summers I spent far away from civilization and the big city. I think it made me be in harmony with nature in my art.

Trained in fine arts, make-up and advertising, the productive artist has become an Internet sensation posting her Russian mysticism photography depicting wild animals embracing fragile models onto sites such as boredpanda.com (to 1.4 million views!), and Instagram. Although seeming Photoshop-ed, all human/animal interactions in the images are real, achieved through the help of professional animal trainers. Plotnikova has been criticized for her use of wild animals in captivity, but defends her work by ensuring the animals’ wellbeing, and by referring to nature as the home of both animals and humans alike, a sense of belonging we may have forgotten. Her images have a dream-like quality, which Plotnikova describes as “wonderland”.

The works of art that inspire me are the films of Sofia Coppola, for example The Virgin Suicides, and Russian classics and books about utopias, like We by Zamyatin. I’m also inspired by impressionism, but if asked to name my favourite picture, I cannot chose. 

Discovering digital media and how to spread her art across national boundries has been crucial to Plotnikova’s rise to fame, a success story that has landed her the current Valentino Couture campaign.

I think digital media gives all artists of the world the chance to finally be heard. I don’t think anybody would have ever heard about me without it, because I am a shy artist. But now fame will come to you if you are talented. In the modern world, an artist doesn’t have to think about freedom. Society does not limit artists now.