Unless noted, all images ©Van O
This is Dek Unu Magazine. In Esperanto, dek unu means "eleven." Eleven images from a single artist. Eleven artists in eleven solo issues each year.
Dek Unu publishes the work of a new photoartist in each issue. The artist's work and words are featured alone and in individual focus as the sole purpose for each issue of the magazine. Unlike other arts and letters magazines which might look for work from a variety of artists to support an editorial staff's theme, at Dek Unu, theme and imagery are always each artist's own.
Moscow art photographer and cryptozoologist, Van O takes a few gears, motors, wires, springs, glassware, and gizmos, adds a few lobsters, pork chops, doll babies, skeletons, snakes, and plant life, stirs in parts of beautiful women and an occasional handsome man, and washes everything in cyan or sepia to create still life images that are anything but “still.” Van O infuses his static tableaux with movement, not the blur of physical action, but, rather, moments of transformation, changes in meaning and context, in complex constructions that lead the eye through seemingly endless figure-eights of detail. An inventory of the contents of one of his simpler creations could easily run to pages of items, and the process of assembling his scenes can require months of work. In the end, though, it is Van O's extraordinary skill as a craftsman and composer, his art and magic, that brings order and life to the tumult. There is always a fine finish and a settled sense of rightness to each of these artworks. There is no visual racket among the disparate elements, no noisy clash of colors; each image appears to be a photojournalistic message made to document and report on life in a very, very strange world.