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Captains are meant to lead

The interaction with what surrounds us can unfurl infinite paths and possibilities, numerous developments of a story so unique that it only resembles itself.

Human of Light Van Khokhlov
Photography Luca Caizzi
Art Director Enrico Magistro

When people have the chance to meet Van Khokhlov, it might be very difficult for them to even wonder what he does in his life, which is his profession, what are his thoughts. Mostly, because he is not much of a chatter, at least at the beginning. As words are spoken, you understand two things: first, you are punching through, getting his esteem and affection; second, you understand how unique and peculiar the person in front of you is.

Like a Captain, knowing where to head, where to aim the ship, following Van leaves you with the impression he is not quite sure where he is going, but somehow he’s on the right track. He looks for the good, for the things that he likes, from visual stimulus to enrich his creativity, to physical objects he can surround himself with, and that can mirror his eccentric personality. Few nicer matches can be found, than looking at him standing nearby the lamp Captain Flint: Tall, slim, sophisticated yet peculiar, with a luminous gaze always ready to point in different directions.

Born from a Russian father and an Italian mother, he was soon projected into the artistic realm of creation. With both parents working in creative fields (the former as an interior designer and house builder, and the latter as a flowers stylist and reseller), he quickly developed the need to express himself throughout creativity. Before there was music when as a young ten years old boy he used to join and lead jazz jam sessions, and now there is cinema. A director is someone with a vision, and with the urge to show it to other people, and Van has definitely a very peculiar eyesight over the world we are living in.

“It’s always difficult for me to answer when I am asked to explain how I see things around me, whether it is from a professional or a personal point of view. I am not very good with words, I think, I’d rather show than tell. ”

Even though he is always on the go, Van’s life does not revolve around places, but more around people. There is always someone close to him: the same old group of friends, the crew he’s leading on a set, or a bunch of random people met at the club. He might not be aware of the magnetic power he has on them, but he does have it.

“My style? Which is my style? I’m the first person to not know which is my style. Sometimes, I change every day. Maybe I get stricked by something I see online that thrills me, and I try to fit it somewhere. I can’t describe my style. I’m following the flow.”

Always in company, but somehow he is always living in his own world. It should not worry you to see him focused on its mobile, busy to capture short videos of what is happening around him, ready to post them on his Instagram profile. The odd part is that he doesn’t. He snaps hundreds of stories, maybe laughing and smiling to himself, and then he deletes them. Moments of daily oddities captured and then let go forever as if that was simply his way to gaze at the world.

 

Design resembles personalities, and every sailor would be blessed to have their ship lighten up by the golden mainmast of a Captain Flint. A brass beacon aiming where one is standing, and where one is ahead.

An infinite quest, trough the sea of authenticity and real daily life, where the true beauty can be found. And even if he has now been living in Italy for the last ten years, there is always room for memories, for the good ones. Those that keep you hooked to your true self, that recall what home and family feel like.

“We had a roof, back in Russia. I mean, that was our spot. We did everything there. Well, we were doing nothing special, but that was everything.. I miss the hot inside the houses. I miss the cold, the true one. The heavy snow, thick and tall. And I miss the vodka, the good one!”

From the peaks of the buildings back to the very bottom of the concrete, the street life has always played a key role in his life. Before being a director, Van was (and still is) a skateboarder, always challenging the law of gravity, as he does with the so-called rules of filmmaking.

All the paths he found himself to follow, bumped into one another, defining his visual approach to life and direction. The passion and knowledge for music became a great care to sounds, the rough yet style-conscious street life got to be a great and modern ruler to measure his visual approach, and his inclination to casually surround himself with people naturally taught him to live and lead a film crew.

Design resembles personalities, and every sailor would be blessed to have their ship lighten up by the golden mainmast of a Captain Flint. A brass beacon aiming where one is standing, and where one is ahead.

Some are meant to be captains; they are meant to lead, at least, their very own life.

 

Human of Light Van Khokhlov
Photography Luca Caizzi
Art Director Enrico Magistro