Photo Diary By Ildar Iksanov - A Love Letter to Russia


Once upon a time, Instagram was a place to take a nice, easy chronological scroll through the feeds of friends, foes and strangers. That was how I discovered the work of Ildar Iksanov, who I’ve been liking, but never meeting, since 2014. His candid, but atmospheric photographs of life in the city of Moscow and his visits to the surrounding countryside always seemed too ‘big’ for the compact grid proportions of Insta. We’d chat every now and again when something really interested or intrigued me, and throughout the madness of 2020, his shots of a faraway land have always been a welcome relief, reminding me that vast mountain ranges exist outside the familiar four walls of lockdown.


I thought sharing some of his shots would be the perfect way to end the year, so invited him to select a few especially for Studio Nicholson and introduce himself to our community.


“I’m a creative producer based in Moscow. My work includes styling and art direction for KIXBOX, a company that distributes Carhartt WIP, Stüssy, BBC and other streetwear brands in Russia. Another big part of my life is music. I’m a drummer in a local new wave band called Trud – in addition to playing DJ sets and creating mixes. Making music distracts me and helps my body and mind to renew. Both photography and mixing are like a journey for me, with pictures and sounds, I always try to tell a story. They push me to look for something more.”




Leanne Cloudsdale is the Studio Nicholson Editor-at-Large