Gregori Maiofis

One Picture Book #98: Taste for Russian Ballet
Gregori Maiofis: One Picture Book #98: Taste for Russian Ballet
Publisher: Nazraeli Press
Dimensions: 5 1/2" x 7 1/4"
Pages: 16 pages
ISBN: 978-1-59005-472-7
$ 50.00

Gregori Maiofis’s influences are multinational and multicultural. Born in St. Petersberg, Russia in 1970, where he immersed himself in traditional academy training, Maiofis then moved to Los Angeles where he participated in the vibrant art scene and learned new art forms. After five years in LA, Maiofis returned to his native St. Petersburg, because, he states, “I can do things here artistically that I couldn’t do anywhere else.” One of which, of course, was to create his now-famous series pairing a long-limbed ballerina with a burly circus bear, carefully smuggled into an empty apartment building for the shoot. Seated in a chair, sometimes in profile and at others with his back to the viewer, the bear appears to be giving directions to the ballerina, who beautifully, and very professionally, obeys him.


The book comes to a close with one of the most poignant gelatin silver prints: that of the bear lifting his paw in imitation of the ballerina’s own gracefully uplifted arm.