Oleg Tolstoy

Oleg Tolstoy

PhotographerLondon, United Kingdom
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Oleg Tolstoy

Oleg Tolstoy

PhotographerLondon, United Kingdom
About me
Based in London, Oleg Tolstoy works in the field of social documentary and portrait photography. He graduated from UAL London College of Communication in BA (Hons) Photography. Select Clients: GQ, Saatchi & Saatchi, Ciroc Vodka, Universal Music, Joseph, Jacob's and 21st Century Records Ltd. Select Publications: VICE, It's Nice That, Wired, Hungertv, Phoenix Magazine, Wonderland, Vogue Italia, Q Magazine, Mojo Magazine and The Untitled Magazine. Portraits include: Sir Elton John, Cara Delevingne, Sir George Martin, Mick Jones, Rita Ora, Jonathon Ross, Howard Marks, Kano, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Mumford and Sons. Exhibitions include: ‘The Saatchi Gallery and The Future Can Wait' London, Edward Lucie-Smith's 'British Art Now' Berlin, 'Contact Photo Festival' Toronto, 'LensCulture Street Photographer Award' Cameraworks, San Fransisco, 'Who's Driving You?' Solo Show at Carousel London (Solo show)and Walls Gallery, Tokyo.
Projects
  • THE TOURIST TRAP
    THE TOURIST TRAPA holiday abroad is a rare luxury for many, so ‘getting the most’ out of the experience is often of paramount importance. In Oleg Tolstoy’s latest series, The Tourist Trap, he documents the frenetic energy of modern tourists as they strive to make lasting memories. While the lure of destinations like Paris has waned in recent years, in ‘safe’ Italy, tourism is at an all-time high. Over the course of two visits and ten days spent by Florence’s historic Cathedral, Oleg has created a striking set
  • SHIBUYA UNMASKED
    SHIBUYA UNMASKEDStand on the corner of Tokyo’s famous Shibuya crossing - just as photographer Oleg Tolstoy did for his new series Shibuya Unmasked - and one sight becomes strikingly apparent: the faces of many of the crowd are hidden. The face mask is a common sight in Asia, but while the polluted air of many major cities is a primary cause, when Oleg asked strangers in Tokyo why they were covering their faces, he received some unexpected replies: “I thought I’d get a lot of people telling me they were sick or suffering from hayfever, but actually, many were perfectly healthy. They chose to wear masks because they had low self-esteem, didn't like there features, had bad skin or weren’t wearing makeup. This is a city famed for its sense of style, but even in the young, chic area of Shibuya, the uniformity of the white surgical mask is unmistakable. It seemed like these people are deliberately attempting to hide in public. I later spoke to a girl with a social media following who admitted she doesn’t want her fans to spot her". Viewed as a series, Shibuya Unmasked can feel overpowering: a surreal advertising campaign from a warped and dystopian future. However, Oleg’s use of close crops to give us a voyeuristic chance to examine each face in a way we’d never be able to if it passed us in the street. We’re challenged to look closer to understand expressions, thoughts and emotions. A testament to the power of eyes and vision, Shibuya Unmasked demonstrates that we can never fully mask our personalities, no matter how literally we try.
  • PORTRAITS
    PORTRAITS
  • TRIKES OF EL NIDO
    TRIKES OF EL NIDOIs there more to paradise than palm trees and white beaches? In Trikes of El Nido, photographer Oleg Tolstoy captures an unexpected side to an island nicknamed ‘heaven on earth’: a world of dazzling neon dream machines that only reveals itself when the sun goes down. Pools of artificial candy-bright colour fight the black night. From within luminous shells, drivers-for-hire in worn clothing gaze at the camera, shy half-smiles flickering on their faces. Trikes of El Nido is a series with contrast at its core: at first glance, this could be the set of the new Blade Runner, but the unpaved roads and corrugated iron fences tell a different story. “El Nido is a remote town on the Philippine island of Palawan. There’s not much of a nightlife so the drivers need to compete for business, but only a few have gone to this much effort,” the photographer explains. “When I learned that LED lights only became available in the town in 2016, I realised that their customisations are a creative outlet as much as a commercial decision. I thought it was time to show the world that El Nido is more than its natural scenery. This is innovation, Palawan-style.” Working in collaboration with Tessie Gaertner (Art Director)  INTERVIEW: tmrw magazine  FEATURE: SOBADSOGOOD
  • WHO'S DRIVING YOU
    WHO'S DRIVING YOUIn the heat of the Black Cab debate, Oleg Tolstoy provides a deep and emotional insight into the cab drivers' world. Juxtaposed with an abstract video, viewers are taken on a journey through the bustling London streets and quiet respite of the taxi.   FEATURE: The Guardian - LensCulture    AWARD: 2016 LensCulture Street Photography Award Winner   LISTING: TIME OUT LONDON (Pic show of the week) 
  • LDN NIGHTS
    LDN NIGHTS
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Work history
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    PhotographerOleg Tolstoy
    London, United KingdomFreelance
Skills
  • Advertising
  • Music Photography
  • Portrature
  • Creative Documentary
  • Social Advertising
  • Street Photography
  • Documentary Photography
  • Art Documentation
  • Candid Portraiture
  • Environmental Portraits
Education
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    BA (Hons) PhotographyLondon College Communication
    London, United Kingdom
Awards
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    LIFE FRAMER Street Life Awardphotography
    Awarded for' The Tourist Trap' photo series.
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    LensCulture Street Photography Awardphotography
    Awarded for 'Who's Driving You?' photographic series taken of London cab drivers.