Much contemporary eco-activism is premised on praising the natural beauty of the Earth — appreciating the wonder around us as a way of reconnecting with the planet we inhabit. And this doesn’t have to mean soaring mountain vistas or teeming rainforests. One way of bringing this practice down to the level of the everyday is to start noticing beauty in the mundane — the concept at the heart of Ksenia Mikhailova’s photo practice.
Your Instagram might ordinarily be full of Bali sunsets, Peruvian llamas, and exotic yoga retreats. Ksenia’s feed, on the other hand, eschews this kind of sleek aspirational aesthetic, offering instead intricate juxtapositions of references to life and death, classical art, and capitalist trash culture.
Her natures mortes, always lit glowingly with natural light, are fragile and beautiful in their staged collisions of the natural and manmade worlds. Used Pepsi cans, coffee cups, plastic bags, and wires are paired with dried flowers, natural cloth, fruits, and plants in a constant reminder that everything around us is finite — which only makes it all the more glorious.