All celebrities in one spot, that’s how I would characterize Vital Agibalow’s photo exhibition at Aureole. I would specify “celebrities in their best outfits” since the opening reception of Vital’s retrospective took place on the eve of New York Fashion Week.
Ben and I arrived to Charlie Palmer‘s gourmet restaurant Aureole located just a couple of blocks from my office early. Vital kindly invited us for an exclusive preview of his exhibition where we had a chance to not only examine each of the 25 black and white celebrity portraits, but also to enjoy some wine over conversation with our photo guru.
During this conversation I found out that Vital’s talent for photography is hereditary: both his parents were artists, and his grandmother managed a photo studio back in Eastern Europe. Vital mentioned that some of the techniques that he is currently using in his work are tricks that his grandma taught him.
As you might notice in the photos below, Vital is using a unique approach to lighting. Photo works created by Agibalow are full of soft yet precise light that brings out a model’s best features while naturally concealing imperfections.
Vital’s approach to lighting in photography attracted the attention of the German photo equipment brand, HENSEL. In 2008 the brand discovered Vital’s talent. Since then Vital Agibalow is the brand ambassador of Hensel USA or, as he likes to call this collaboration, the “face of Hensel.”
Later on, we discussed some of the celebrity portraits presented at the exhibition. Vital talked about Karl Lagerfeld (“professional and sophisticated”), Natalya Rudakova (“beautiful and intelligent”), Irina Dvorovenko (“talented and graceful”), Concuelo Vanderbilt Costin (“sweetheart with a strong voice and great taste”), and Beth Shak (“amazing person and a beautiful woman”).
He also talked about how excited he was working with Victoria Secret’s “angels,” and that it is always fun to take photos of a good friend of Vital’s, Supreme’s model Yulia Kharlapanova.
Listening to Vital’s stories, I really liked the fact that he always had something nice to say about everybody he was working with. Personally, I really appreciate and respect such an approach. In my opinion, it really shows the class of the photographer you are working with.
Unfortunately, when celebrities and guests started to show up, Ben and I were forced to leave the exhibition. We had a previous engagement that we were unable to cancel, and even though we’ve attended the private preview, we still felt bad about leaving early.
Later on, our friends reported that Vital’s exhibition was “one of the best events of the season” and that the NYFW kickoff party was “a tremendous success.” Knowing Vital’s work and being his friend and a colleague for many years, I am certain that everything Vital is destined for success.