Stanley and Yuri met after both had spent years covering the protracted war in Chechnya. They quickly discovered a common bond — each liked to wear bold silver rings on both hands — initiating their friendship. Stanley introduced Yuri to influential members of the international photo community, and the two remained close friends and colleagues until Stanley’s death earlier this year. “Stanley respected and believed in me,” Yuri says. “He knew that I was committed to go anywhere and proved that over years and years by always going with or without any assignments.”
Here is some of what Stanley said, referring to Yuri’s work as “lyricism in darkness”:
“When I look at the images of Yuri, I see beauty covered in darkness, shadows of the unknown, the human condition in its rawest form, the skin scraped clean, bearing the soul and heart of who we really are as people. It is important to understand that Yuri is a poet. He has the deepest waters of a true Russian, with the eyes beyond looking into, they are most times shrouded in cigarette smoke, like fog on the Volga River at night. The images here come together after scraping away the dust of the past. The power of his amazing eye to just capture us and pull us sometimes where we face the unexpected. When looking at his pictures, the horror is so real you try to look away, but your eyes are nailed like captured butterflies in a book. The question asked why these images were chosen is such a simple answer: they are the best from his yesterdays, his today, and his tomorrow. Of course with a talent like Yuri, we have no idea of his visual future. If this small sampling is any indication of where he has brought us visually, we can expect true greatness from him.”
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