Vanitas Remodelled

Russian born Andrey Yakovlev (b. 1962) and Lili Aleeva (b. 1979) – known as Andrey-Lili – are a Moscow-based photography and design duo that started working together in 1998. Having won several awards including the XVI Moscow International Festival of Advertising, the pair has gone on to produce a wealth of immaculately composed series including the featured Muse and violin, A melancholy time! So charming to the eye! and Fluff. Underpinned by advertising, fine art and fashion, their lavish shoots are a consideration of environment and theme: rich colours and textures provide spatial variance against the domestic vanitas. Mirrors, wooden furniture and drapes bring depth to each image – both symbolically and stylistically. Combined with velvet clothes, soft lighting and reflections, the images are reminiscent of Dutch Golden Age painting, resurrected as sumptuous contemporary photography.