Julie Poly

Julie Poly (real name Yulia Polyashchenko) was born in Stakhanov, Lugansk area, and is now based in Kyiv. Inspired by Boris Mikhailov’s projects and her education at Kharkiv School of Photography, she took her first pictures at the horse market in Kharkiv. Today, Julie Poly is among most successful Ukrainian fashion photographers integrated into the international context. Her portfolio lists commissions for local fashion magazines (Vogue, L’Officiel, Harper’s Bazaar), and international art publications such as Dazed & Confused, i-D, Jalouse.

Poly’s art practice is merging her previous experience in documentary and staged photography. The photographer interprets cultural and visual codes of typical Ukrainian everyday life, predominantly in the fields of eroticism, fashion, and novel notions of beauty. The artist states that she finds herself constantly inspired by “trivial things, everyday events, stories from lives of friends, and own experience”.

Julie Poly’s exhibitions serve as a continuation to her artistic message. Her ‘mockumentarian’ and slightly grotesque projects often come back to the areas of their genesis, like railway station (Ukrzaliznytsia series) or arcade centres (Kosmolot playing cards). There, they come into direct contact with the initial masterminds — the simple residents of Ukraine.