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“Creating Art to Inspire Lives” www.vividartsnetwork.com

VIVID ARTS NETWORK 601 W 174th St New York, NY 1003 USA 1+(347) 321-8017 Italy 39+(345) 167-7704 www.arttourinternational.com

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CONTRIBUTORS EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Natalia Castaldi, Internationally recognized art critic and writer based in Hartford Connecticut. As editor-in-chief, she has overseen the design of the magazine and is planning on the launching of Art Tour International annual conferences. She’s also, a reporter for Advertising Age-Creativity, and a freelance writer covering art, design and consumer culture. info@arttourinternational.com

LOVE IS THE ENCHANTED DAWN OF EVERY HEART This quote, attributed to French writer and poet Alphonse Marie de Lamartine, can be found in his work, the “Meditations Poetiques.”

ART DIRECTOR: Viviana Puello Founder of Vivid Arts Network, Artist, Writer and Art Activist. Vivid Arts Network is an art organization that reunites artists from around the world to help create an awareness and conversation on the issues that surround important social topics focusing on the healing of human traffic victims. www.vividartsnetwork.com Contributing on this edition with the article “Georgia Crossroads of the World”: Khatia Benitze Head of Marketing&International Relations Division State Department of Vine and Wine "SAMTREST" Tbilisi 0159, Georgia CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Cody Lavada is a dedicated writer and performance artist who draws inspiration from the dark side of life. Cody's works frequently deal with selfintrospection, the surreal and the macabre. She lives in upstate New York. taboo.vivant@gmail.com Giulia Spagnesi Giulia Spagnesi was born in 1982 in Florence, where she studied Literature and Translation at the University. Later she specialized herself in Colombian Literature with a special focus on Arabic Immigration to Latin America. She works as a freelancer translator, writer and editor, and she collaborates also with several Latin American communities in Florence and organizes public events. Yadira Roman is a film maker and writer of highly personal films. While many of her works reflect on her experiences with psychological disorders, her current research interests include theory of reincarnation, of spiritual journey and issues related to time and space in cinema. Inspired by her mother ‘s artistic career, the film student sprung into the world of the arts and writes for the freedom of voice and thought. yadiramarieroman@hotmail.com

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"JUST A KISS", Mixed Media on Canvas Art by CHRITCH. Participant- Love Cover Contest 2012 www.chritchgallery.com © GRIMARTE GALLERY Graphic Design & Photography VIVID ARTS NETWORK Art Direction C.Lavada & Y Roman Research & Editing

Published by Arttour International Publications Inc. 601 W. 174th Street S 4C New York, NY 10033

© Copyright 2012 Arttour International Magazine. © All copyrights are reserved by the authors. The copyrights of all published artwork are retained by the artists. Reproduction of any published material is prohibited without the written permission of the magazine's publisher.

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ARTTOUR INTERNATIONAL FEBRUARY 2012

And the winner is . . .

Love Cover Contest Finalists By Natalia Castaldi

The 2011 Love Cover contest, organized by Arttour International Magazine, was an overwhelming experience. The reason for that - the overwhelming response to our contest from the artists. We had 681 participants and the judges were flummoxed because each submission exceeded our expectations leading to exceptional and - unwittingly - fierce competition among the contestants. The judges were hard put picking the winners as each artwork had its own strengths. But they used some parameters like interpretation of the theme to the viewer, creativity and originality of the depicted theme, quality of artistic composition and overall design, overall impression of the artwork.. At the end of it, they pooled their expertise and selected the two top winners who are now on the cover of our magazine. But they could not stop with that as there were so many other deserving contestants. So, they selected four finalists to reward four more of the brilliant contestants. While you will enjoy the different styles of our finalists you will also enjoy the level of excellence on their work The official award ceremony will be held at The Auditorium al Duomo in Florence,

Italy on December 2012 at the Arttour International Magazine Award Exhibition where all finalists are invited to show the award winning artworks. And the winners are . . . Top Two winners Front Cover: "Masquerade in God's Garden" by Agita Keiri Page 8 Back Cover: "Ode to Joy" by Dellorco page 13 Third Finalist Interior Front Cover: "Hasta el Final" by Mikaelian Page 24 Fourth Finalist "Liberty Firenze" by Malena Peon Page 21 Fifth Finalist "Fill Me Up do not Crush"by Jennifer Contini Page 71 Sixth Finalist "Love" by Natalia Babi Page 68

Right: Arttour International Magazine Love Cover Contest Two top winners “Masquarade in God’s Garden” by Agita Keiri “Ode to Joy” by Chris Dellorco

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A letter from the editor We at ARTTOUR INTERNATIONAL Magazine want to wish you a very happy and successful 2012. We have an exciting year ahead of us with lots of great news and articles for you and we invite you to join us each time while we take you on a voyage through the wonderful world of art. On this edition we’re glad to announce the winners of our Love Cover Contest. We want to thank each of these great creative professionals as well as everyone who submitted an entry. The response was very positive, you exceeded our expectations sending us some amazing artworks. We have chosen two top winners and four finalist images, we bring them all to you on this issue. There's also good news for all you travelers out there. Our article “Georgia, Crossroads of the World”, will take you for a tour to this enchanting country through vivid photographs of art, land and wine!. And if you are the romantic type, we have great news for you as well. Our column “When Love becomes the Masterpiece” will be bringing you the love stories behind famous masterpieces that have inspired us through history. On this issue: The Phantom of the Opera Our magazine is full of art news, featured artists, wonderful images of artworks and updates bringing you the latest events. Subscribers to ARTTOUR INTERNATIONAL Magazine have exclusive online access to all of the online editions and special editions. In addition to reading the magazine, Art Tour International Magazine subscribers can also engage with our columnists through our blog. Please let us know if you have ideas, suggestions or criticisms of this magazine. Like everything we do, it is steeped in tradition, but a work in progress. We're very excited to share this issue with you and think you will enjoy both our print and our online magazine. We're working hard to bring you a site you will love and look forward to your feedback. While we continue to put the final touches to the new site, we'd love to know what you think about it. You can tell us by visiting www.arttourinternational.com

Natalia Castaldi Editor in Chief www.arttourinternational.com

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ARTTOUR INTERNATIONAL

FEBRUARY 2012

CONTENTS

Art by Agita Keiri “The Card Players” © Copyright 2012All Rights Reserved

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LOVE COVER CONTEST FINALISTS

8 13 16 18

AGITA KEIRI DELLORCO SHIFRA LEVYATHAN WHEN LOVE BECOMES THE MASTERPIECE The Phantom Phenomenon By Cody LaVada

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22 25

RAUL CANTU GEORGIA “CROSSROADS OF THE WORLD” By Khatia Benidze

32 34 36 38

IRENE SAGMEISTER JIM PESCOTT KRISTINA SRETKOVA SUSAN OBERMEYER STRAUSS

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40

FEBRUARY 2012

BOLDT CASTLE A Valentine’s Gift

CONTENTS 40

BOLDT CASTLE

Architectural Love Story By Yadi Roman

43

42 MAGGIE MAGEE 43 GIANNI LUSENA

Colombia is Passion By Viviana Puello

46 VIVID ARTS NETWORK: A RETROSPECTIVE

GIANNI LUSENA Colombia is Passion

Featured Artists

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EVENTS

By Giulia Spagnesi

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GEORGIA “CROSSROADS OF THE WORLD”

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WHEN LOVE BECOMES THE MASTERPIECE

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22 18

RAUL CANTU The Manipulation of the Instant

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“Conscious Creation” International Fine Art Competition Vivid Arts Network in collaboration with Arttour International Magazine Art Division announces the annual International Fine Art Competition “Conscious Creation”, an art contest that is juried by prominent curators and art experts. An amazing opportunity for the winning artists to gain exposure by exhibiting their work at the prominent Auditorium al Duomo in Florence, Italy and enjoy all the online promotion and media attention. “Conscious Creation” is open to visual artists from all countries in the world, emerging and professional artists of all stages in their career and for all media, including painting, sculpture, photography, drawing, mixed media and print. AWARD$$$ The awards that will be distributed to the winning artists include participation in a group exhibition at the prominent Auditorium al Duomo, in Florence, Italy. Art review by an Italian art critic, cash prizes and exclusive social media promotion. Vivid Arts Network is dedicated to exposing contemporary art by offering an international platform for professional and emerging artists looking for the right exposure. For more information and details on this competition visit:

http://www.vividartsnetwork.com/ART-CONTEST-.html or email: artcontest@vividartsnetwork.com

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Imagen: “Nace un Sol” Digital Image by Raul Cantu

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ARTTOUR INTERNATIONAL FEBRUARY 2012

AGITA KEIRI

Arttour International Magazine Top Winner Love Cover Contest” “Masquerade in God’s Garden” by Agita Keiri

Agita Keiri was born in Latvia, where she attended J.Rozentala Riga Secondary School of Art (1991-1997) and the Latvian State Academy of Art, Painting department (enrolled 1997, Bachelor's degree 2001, Master's degree in 2003). In 2011 she completed a master class at Angel Art Academy in Florence, Italy. She has participated in exhibitions since 1997 She has shown work at North Carolina’s Andrew's Art Museum, Toronto Art Expo, and Art Expo New York. Her latest paintings were shown in England in the National Portrait Gallery, the Chelsea Art Fair 2011 (Bohemia Galleries), and in Italy at the Chianciano Biennale and Florence Biennale, where she received Jury’s Honorable Mention. Cont Next Page www.arttourinternational.com

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“A painting is a mirror of the worldspiritually, aesthetic and morality of time in witch the artist lives.” Agita Keiri As an artist, I express myself with the interplay of colours, the lines, rhythm of form, and space. Most frequently I paint women body and faces. A woman’s image is associated with beauty, eroticism, emotion, intuition, gentleness and the soul. Unlike male power and directness, a woman is like a delicate mystery. For example, the classical goddess Venus has been a long-lasting popular symbol of idealized love in Western art. It’s a wild symbol to represent love and sexuality in various expressions. I idealized people, raised from the everyday routine. I enjoy painting people, because with their temporal, passion, as actors and observers, they bring movement and the human sense of “time” to the vast and still universe. In the painting process I not only portray their

“The Card Players” Oil on Canvas

bodies, but also explore their inner worlds as I imagine them. My favorite media is oil color, because I like how it’s flows and how can make difference consistencies from it. I like strong and concrete drawing. Lines give border and clarity to the form of figure. I think monochrome works best – my first sketch is always in black and white. But right now I am working with colours, and I feel most comfortable working with cooler, softer colours.

It is more difficult for me to bridle and harmonize bright, loud colours - those I mostly use like accents. I think this comes from growing up in the North where nature is cold, and silvery- grey for most of the year. I rarely know how a painting will turn out until I complete it. It is more like solving a riddle with a set process: Sketching the dominant rhythm of the composition. Painting, including resolving unexpected technical and compositional issues. Finishing the details and embellishments. The last step, the detail work, is very important in my work because many times the intuitive choice of particular details give the work it’s most profound meaning. At the same time, I almost never feel that a work is “complete” – choosing the right place to stop remains the most difficult part of the painting process for me. A painting is a mirror of the world- spiritually, aesthetic and morality of time in witch artist lives. As I continue to find myself in the creation of these works, I am gratified when others can also see beauty and meaning in them.

www.keiriart.lv

“In the Garden” Oil on canvas by Agita Keiri www.arttourinternational.com

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FEATURED ARTIST

JUAN LOPEZ

A Painter of Stories “John Shaw” Oil on Canvas

The ongoing project of my work is to bring the inspiration I get from art historical masters into my studio in a meaningful way that provides a deeper experience of my own humanity as well as the humanity of others. The current focus of my work remains a desire to portray what I feel is relevant to my “Angelica” Oil on Canvas existence. The stories of my subjects are often interchangeable with my own story. I focus my attention on people whose stories and personal power inspire me to work. I am a painter of stories and I find stories in the faces of others. For more information visit www.vividartsnetwork.com

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ARTTOUR INTERNATIONAL FEBRUARY 2012 “Appassionata” Oil on Canvas

DELLORCO For the past 15 years, Dellorco has been widely considered one of Disney’s top illustrators for print advertising. His video covers range from the award winning “The Lion King”, to the recent “Lilo and Stich” and everything in between. If you own one of Disney’s animated titles, Chris probably did the cover. While his oil paintings do not resemble the Disney style, they do emulate the high attention to movement, composition and detail found in every one of his Disney pieces. www.arttourinternational.com

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“Accolades” Oil on Canvas

Born in Los Angeles, Chris’ initial interest in the interplay between art and architectural history began with a degree in Developmental Economics from U.C. Berkeley.  Desiring a more creative field, he switched his focus from academics to art and went on to establish himself as one of the county’s foremost illustrators.  Although completely self-taught, his art career has spanned all aspects of  illustration while specializing in the film industry, children’s products and children’s books. A true renaissance man, along with a degree in Economics and a successful art career, he has also successfully written and directed an award winning short film, receiving international recognition. For the past 15 years, Chris has been widely considered one of Disney’s top illustrators for print advertising,  specializing in Home Video packaging. His covers range from the award winning “The Lion King”, to the recent “Lilo and Stich” and everything in between.  If you own one of Disney’s animated titles on VHS or DVD, Chris probably did the cover.. In the entertainment field, he has illustrated numerous movie posters which include “Conan the

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Barbarian”, “Revenge of the Nerds”, “Coming to America”, “The Marrying Man”, “The Firm”, and others. He received the Silver Medal award at The Hollywood Reporter Key Art Awards for the poster “Eating Raoul”, First Place for his work on “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”, Second Place for “Snow White”, and Finalist for “Aladdin-Prince of Thieves”.  He also was a finalist for the prestigious Belding award. He has also shown his artwork for many years in the Society of Illustrators Annual West Coast Exhibit. Currently, Dellorco shows his fine art oils and limited edition prints at galleries spanning the United States, including, Jack Gallery in Las Vegas and Art Connection in Pompano Beach, Florida. For many years, he has shown his work at the prestigious, Beverly Hills, Affaire in the Garden. He currently exhibits his work on Celebrity, Disney, Crystal and Norwegian Cruise Lines, and has been featured on the cover of Premier Magazine, Art Business News, Society and Décor Magazine.  In 2009, he was given a Lifetime Achievement Award from Artists For A Better World, for his promotion of using art as a tool for improving quality of life.

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“WHILE I WANT TO CREATE SOMETHING TRULY BEAUTIFUL, I ALSO WANT TO EXPLORE SOME LEVEL OF LONELINESS AND SADNESS IN MY ART. I THINK THAT TRULY BEAUTIFUL ART OFTEN HAS SOME ELEMENT OF SORROW IN IT.” DELLORCO

Arttour International Magazine Top Winner Love Cover Contest” Dellorco WWW.DELLORCOFINEART.COM "Awakenings" Oil on Canvas

"In my oil paintings I strive for near photo realism, yet keeping a certain level of sensuality. I depict the female figure. shrouded in richly colored fabrics while dramatically set against Old World European architecture. Often the architecture represents a historically significant European landmark, such as Versailles or the Pantheon. Each painting I try to reveal a subtle, yet provocative story contrasting human beauty and frailty with the solidity and strength of mankind’s greatest monuments. While I want to create something truly beautiful, I also want to explore some level of loneliness and sadness in my art.  I think that truly beautiful art often has some element of sorrow in it. It’s like a prelude by Debussey (whom I often listen to while I work).  It is exquisite, yet behind the beauty there is longing and pain. Frailty versus strength. The bitter and the sweet.  It is those contrasts that I hope to capture." Chris Dellorco. Dellorco Design Inc. 818/889-7003 1218A S. Westlake Blvd. Westlake Village, CA 91361

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FEATURED ARTIST

SHIFRA LEVYATHAN

“The Blurriness makes me think that perhaps we are all transparent, maybe not just in the eye of the camera, but to those around us as well” Shifra Levyathan

IN MOTION

“In Motion 15” Photograph by Shifra Levyathan

Shifra is a fine artist concerned with the spontaneous world that surrounds us all but few perceive. Her high-velocity photographs in color and, more recently, black & white are enrobed in a wide array of atmospheric digital after effects, perfected to create an unfurling retinal sensation in the viewer. We see light refracting light as harmony and transition in the midst of an urban landscape are reduced to glittering abstraction. Serving as a type of virtual anamnesis, each photo, or “Faded Memory,” creates a snapshot of culture that evokes a recollection at once highly specific and general. A roving artist whose work features a deceptively homogenous albeit geographically diverse terrain, Shifra captures the fast-paced play of light and shadow against urban architecture, human figures and the colossal structures of the natural and artificial world. Born in Israel, Shifra first exhibited her work, then intimate drawings in ink, in 1977. She has a Masters in Art History and recently published a book of her photography entitled "The Third Eye is My Inner Eye."

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FEATURED ARTIST

“I AM A PHOTOGRAPHER. HOWEVER, MY CAMERA IS MY PAINTING BRUSH AND THE PHOTOGRAPH IS MY CANVAS:IT IS THE STARTING POINT FOR MY DIGITAL WORK. I ADD OR DISTRACT FROM THE INITIAL PHOTOGRAPH, BE IT NATURE OR TAKEN IN A BUSTLING CITY. TEMPERING WITH COLORS AND SHAPES, CHANGING AND RESHAPING OR CREATING A NEW SCENE, FEELS LIKE CREATING A NEW WORLD, THE ONE THAT LIVES ONLY IN MY IMAGINATION.” Shifra Levyathan

www.shifrart.com

Left: “In Motion 8” Photograph by Shifra Levyathan

Following her very successful artistic career Shifra has been awarded with the prize “Spotlight” of the B & W Magazine in November 2011 for her series “In Motion” (Right). On March 4th 2012 Shifra will receive the award “Distinguished Artistic Achievement & Outstanding Contribution” by Vivid Arts Network of which Shifra has been a member since 2010 As we celebrate the distinguished career achievements of Shifra Levyathan, we should also recognize that she continues to create new work that inspires and enlightens us. The creative spirit that lies deep within each artist shapes our cultural identities; thus the importance of recognizing the truly exceptional dedication and career accomplishments of Shifra Levyathan. Shifra’s dedication and work has enriched and influenced us in creative and innovative ways.

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ARTTOUR INTERNATIONAL FEBRUARY 2012

Photography by The Really Useful Group © Copyright 2012 New York All Rights Reserved

WHEN LOVE BECOMES THE MASTERPIECE Behind the scenes to uncover love story inspired works of art that have moved us most On this issue:

The Phantom Phenomenom 25 years of sweet intoxication By Cody LaVada - New York

EVEN NOW, SO MANY YEARS LATER, THIS BREATHTAKING DISPLAY OF DARK OBSESSION AND STUNNING AMOUR IS AS MOVING AS EVER; YOU CAN’T HELP BUT SURRENDER TO THE POWER OF “THE MUSIC OF THE NIGHT.” Cody LaVada

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ARTTOUR INTERNATIONAL FEBRUARY 2012

Leroux novel in a book-shop. The text, with its dark dramaticism, offered the themes of obsession and passion that Lloyd Webber was so anxious to display in a new show. And so, he gathered a creative team and began the endeavors to create what would eventually become the most successful entertainment phenom in the world. Drawing inspiration from the Phantom adaptions of the time (such as the grotesque yet poingnant Lon Chaney silent film portrayal, the Claude Rains operatic melodrama and the Ken Hill stage musical), the Lloyd Webber production team created plans for an opulent, beautifully tragic retelling of the legend. With haunting lyrics and powerful melodies by Lloyd Webber, Richard Stilgoe, and Charles Hart – sensual staging and choreography by Gillian Lynne – and lavish costume and set design by Maria Bjornson – the team was headed by Cameron Mackintosh and directed by Hal Prince (of “Cabaret,” “Follies,” and “Evita” fame). Creating the lush, idyllic atmosphere for the show became even easier for Lloyd Webber Originally written in 1910, Gaston Leroux’s mystery when he noticed the talent of the young soprano, and suspense novel Le Fantôme de l'Opéra has since Sarah Brightman, who had played Jemima in his West become a worldwide phenomenon because of its End production of “Cats.” Inspired by and attracted overarching themes of terror and romance, along with to Brightman, Webber took the character of Christine its dramatis personae of memorable characters. It has from the Leroux text and recreated her to specifically been the subject of several adaptions, both on screen fit the object of his affection. Through the ups and and stage, but none has been more successful or is downs of the creative process, Brightman served as more widely-known than that of Andrew Lloyd Lloyd Webber’s muse, compelling him to finish his Webber’s explosive hit stage musical “The Phantom of magnum opus. The two were married in 1984. the Opera.” The show opened for previews at Her Majesty’s The original French text tells the tale of an Theatre in the West End on September 27, 1986 and enigmatic, deformed musical genius lurking in the then began regular viewings on October 9. Michael cellars of the Opera Garnier, weaving a web of lyrical Crawford played the titular role, with Sarah intrigue in the hopes of winning the heart of the Brightman as Christine and Steve Barton as Raoul. young ingénue, Christine. As the relationship between The show was met with rave reviews over its moving the Phantom and Christine grows tumultuous, and as performances, touching lyrics and incredible costumes she becomes disillusioned, bizarre and horrific events and sets – including a full-sized replica of the Opera begin to plague the opera house, ending in a grueling Garnier chandelier which sweeps over the heads of showdown between the Phantom and Christine’s the audience and crashes to the stage at the end of Act foppish lover, Raoul. The fate of the trio, along with I. The show later moved to Broadway and began everyone in the opera house itself, is left in Christine’s performances January 26, 1988 at the Majestic, hands; she offers the Phantom redemption through a starring the same original trio from London at the kiss. Overcome with emotion, he allows the lovers to urging of Lloyd Webber, who demanded that leave him alone in the catacombs below, to die of a Brightman reprise her role above all other cast broken heart. members, despite complaints by Actor’s Equity In 1984, Andrew Lloyd Webber (of “Cats” and Association at Brightman not being an international “Starlight Express” fame) was eager to write and stage star. The musical was just as much a success in New a new musical; this time, one that focused on romantic York as it was in London, and remains a staple of both themes. While several ideas were circulating through Broadway and West End theatre, playing in the same his mind, nothing seemed good enough to produce theaters to this day. Cont. next page theatrically, until he chanced upon a copy of the

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Since its first performance, “The Phantom of the Opera” has become the most successful piece in the entertainment industry. It has become the second longest-running musical in the West End, and the longest-running in Broadway history, beating all others by over 2,000 performances. Overall, the show has run for an estimated 10,000 at either theatre, a record that is simply unmatched in theatre. The show has won several awards, including the Olivier Award, Tony Awards, and Drama Desk Award. The original London cast recording was the first album in British history to reach Number One on the charts, with several singles reaching Platinum status worldwide. With world-wide box-office income of over $5.1 billion ($800 million from Broadway alone), “Phantom” is the highest-grossing entertainment event ever, and the most financially-successful musical to ever be produced. In total, the show has been seen by over 130 million people in 145 cities in 17 countries. Several companies are currently touring, and a truncated production opened in Las Vegas on June 24, 2006 at the Venetian, where it plays in a theatre built specifically to house the production, constructed to resemble the Opera Garnier. In 2004, a film version directed by Joel Schumacher and starring Gerard Butler as the Phantom and Emmy Rossum as Christine was released to critical acclaim.

On October 1, 2011, “The Phantom of the Opera” had a special performance at The Royal Albert Hall to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the show. Sets, costumes and staging were inspired by the original crew, while certain aspects, such as the Phantom’s deformity and some lyrics, were updated. This extravagant production was filmed live in front of an audience and released on DVD and BluRay (as well as CD) on February 7, 2012 to warm reviews. Special features of the DVD include a documentary about the creation of the spectacular production, along with guest appearances by Lloyd Webber, Brightman, Crawford and the original cast and crew. While certainly nothing can beat seeing the show live – feeling the heat of the pyrotechnics or the gust of wind as the chandelier rushes over head – this DVD is certainly worth the money since it captures a monumental moment in this musical extravaganza’s ever-growing repertoire. It is a profound testament to the power of what Andrew Lloyd Webber created over 25 years ago – his lovechild with Sarah Brightman, birthed from the affection they shared for one another. Even now, so many years later, this breath-taking display of dark obsession and stunning amour is as moving as ever; you can’t help but surrender to the power of “the Music of the Night.”

“LIMITLESS EXPRESSIONS” VIVID ARTS NETWORK CANADA 2012

OPEN CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

email: info@vividartsnetwork.com SUBMISSIONS DEADLINE MARCH 30TH 2012

INTERNATIONAL ART EXHIBITION JULY 17TH - 29TH 2012 In collaboration with: STUDIO VOGUE GALLERY 216 Avenue Road Toronto, Ontario, M5R 2J4 CANADA OPENING RECEPTION: THURSDAY JULY 19TH 17:30

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MALENA PEON Fourth finalist “Love Cover Contest” Arttour International Magazine “Liberty Firenze" Oil on Canvas

WWW.MALENAPEON.COM

Having been painting for many years Mexican artist Malena Peón transforms natural landscape into jubilant shades and tones that merge effortlessly on canvas. Refreshing and liberating, this contemporary artists work transports viewers from the white cube cold of the gallery to a fantasy where nature's beauty is at its pristine condition. A dexterous painter, Peón takes inspiration from her surrounding, her cutter and the modern world. Her work celebrates the birth of every living thing. Her medium varies from oil to acrylics, chinese inks. Nature inspires artist Malena Peón. Landscapes are rendered in vibrant hues and tones on Peón's canvas: luscious grass, azure sky, winding paths, or tall-standing trees. Each image is life lived to the fullest the same energy can be detected in her Abstract Expressionist paintings. Bold sapphire, mind yellow, passionate red, and a mixture of rainbow palette, combined with blithe brushstrokes, construct a buoyant world where the everyday becomes a festive carnival, and forgotten histories turn into a poetic prophecy. "Chichén Itzá: world wonder" look

almost like it is about to rise from the twodimensional surface while "Where is your brother? Socially responsible?" depicts a politically and socially intelligent scene with flamboyant color blocks and shapes. Ingenious and intuitive, Peón portrays life in its finest detail in her layered paintings, each brought into being with tints and shades magnetic and galvanizing. Similarity to the lighting, which presents such a powerful influence to the viewer, the texture incorporated into her pieces, as well, is able to convey such an extraordinary amount of emotion.. In soft wisps certain areas lend themselves to a translucency. This allows the paintings to preserve the visibility on the layers underneath these thinly formed strokes, a quality that plays upon the visual motif of light in all of her works. In both the application and palette of Peón's work there is an unwavering concentration and devotion to the formal components of composition, as well as the defining elements of painting. By Suzie Walshe, executive editor NY Arts Magazine & Art Fairs International.


RAUL CANTU


RAUL CANTU


MIKAELIAN Third finalist “Love Cover Contest” Arttour International Magazine WWW.ARAMIKAELIAN.COM Mikaelian’s paitnings are exposed at different Museums and Private Collections around the world: Yerevan (Republic of Armenia), Moscow and Saint Petersburg, Tel-Aviv, Thessalonica, New York,  Los Angeles,Washington, Texas, Chicago, París, Marsella, Londres, Bruselas, Berlín, Frankfurt. www.arttourinternational.com

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GEORGIA

Crossroads of the world By Khatia Benidze - Georgia

TBILISI PEACE BRIDGE Covered with crisp wafers of glass encased in a steel membrane, the pedestrian Bridge of Peace is photographic eye candy. Designed by Italian architect Michelle de Lucchi, the bridge has a bow-shaped sunroof that glitters by day and comes ablaze with neon lighting by night.

Georgia has long been the crossroads of the world, not only an important stop on silk trail, but set deadcentre of many of the great currents of history. A truly ancient nation and one of the world’s oldest uninterrupted civilizations, its recorded history stretches back over 3000 years. Sandwiched in the Caucasus Mountains, Georgia has served for millenniums as a way station for travelers and traders, explorers and invaders – Greeks, Russians, Persians, Armenians, Mongols and Turks alike. Filled with ancient ruins, castles, churches, waterfalls, glaciers, mineral water springs, deserts and beaches, forests and steppes, it is truly a land apart. Throughout the 20 century, Georgia has been famous as a holiday destination – a combined Switzerland and Rivera – for citizens of Eastern and

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the former Soviet Union. They came for high mountains, sunny beaches and world-renowned cuisine. Today Georgia is a country strongly connected to tradition, at the same time as being a modern, democratic state embodying western values. Georgia covers a territory of 69,700 km² and its population is almost 4.7 million. Georgia is a unitary, semi-presidential republic, with the government elected through a representative democracy. Ethnic Georgians form about 84%. Other ethnic groups include Abkhazians, Armenians, Azeris, Belorusians, Bulgarians, Estonians, Germans, Greeks, Jews, Moldovans, Ossetians, Poles, Russians,Turks and Ukrainians. Cont. next page

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LEFT PHOTO OF ANCIENT GEORGIAN SCRIPT There are 3 dialects in Georgian (Kartvelian) language (Georgian, Svan and Mengrelo – Laz dialects). Georgian alphabet is one of the 14 existing alphabets in the world. It consists of 33 letters. Many scientists believe that Georgian alphabet was derived from one of the Semitic alphabets around 6th – 5th century BC.

Notably, Georgia's Jewish community is one of the oldest Jewish communities in the world. Georgia also exhibits significant linguistic diversity. Within the Kartvelian family, Georgian, Laz, Megrelian, and Svan are spoken. The official languages of Georgia are Georgian and also Abkhaz within the autonomous region of Abkhazia. Georgian, the country's official language, is a primary language of approximately 71% of the population, with 9% speaking Russian, 7% Armenian, 6% Azeri, and 7% other languages. Today 83.9% of the population practices Eastern Orthodox Christianity, with majority of these adhering to the national Georgian Orthodox Church. Religious minorities include Muslims (9.9%), Armenian Apostolic (3.9%), and Roman Catholic (0.8%). 0.8% of those recorded in the 2002 census declared themselves to be adherents of other religions and 0.7% declared no religion at all Capital of Georgia is Tbilisi. Tbilisi has been capital of Georgia for fifteen hundred years, and has been a true urban center for far longer. Here there layers of history and the blending of a myriad of cultures, some now long gone. Long a central and vital trade city, Tbilisi has two faces, East and West, and is a remarkable mixture of the two. Tbilisi is one of the most picturesque cities in the world: not simply a hill city of winding cobblestone streets it is a city of

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the mountains. Nestled in a river valley where the Northern and South Caucus Mountain ranges almost meet, it has spectacular views from innumerable locations and a short drive from downtown you are in the alpine meadows above. In the 4th century this multi-ethnic cosmopolitan city has been a main port of relaxation for travelers and merchants passing between Europe and Asia on Silk Road. Over the centuries Tbilisi has become synonymous with gracious living and warm welcomes. “Tbil” actually means “warm”. The culture of Georgia is the direct product of its rich and ancient History. Georgia has been long known as a nation of artists and as an “artist colony” of the Russian empire, and this tradition has continued in full. Few cities have as many art galleries or as much interest in art openings, and as much public art. Indeed few countries in the world boast such a profusion of and monumental sculpture found in town squares, on bridges and the summits of hills. Often expressing themes that are

an embodiment of national archetypes, our art and artist are a true window into the Georgian soul. A good way to sense the development of Georgia’s artistic tradition is to visit some of 12th century frescos at say Mtskheta or Betania monastery, the head to Tbilisi’s Art Museum. The numerous shapes and colors of highly varied landscape find reexpression at the hand of artists in many Georgian modern art galleries. The Art Museum reveals the steady progression of Georgian art from the intricately carved portico stones of churches, inlayed processional crosses, exquisitely detailed cloisonné enamel pendants from the 11th century, many gold and silver icons – to the 19th and 20th century modernist painting. In addition we have a whole room dedicated to the naïve style artist Niko Pirosmani, whose childlike vignettes shed powerful light onto everyday life of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Cont.. next page

LEFT: THE KHAKHULI TRIPTYCK The largest enamel artwork in the world with its height of 1.47 m and width of 2.02 m. The triptych is adorned with 115 cloisonné enamels deriving from the workshops of Georgia and Constantinople from the 8th century to the 12th.

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LEFT: PHOTOS OF A STREET SCULPTURE IN TBILISI “ After a few hours in Georgia’s capital, with its strange curly writing, its 20ft statues of its celebrated poets, its neither eastern nor western sense of place where cars roll up the hills due to magnetic forces and where people generally live to over 100, anything seems possible “ Mark Espiner.

Photography of a Street artist in Tbilisi, Georgia

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THE KAZBEGI MOUNTAIN Georgia's most famous and picturesque mountain. It is the second tallest in Europe, with its peak at 5033 metres. Its white peak, known as the bride because it resembles a wedding veil, can be seen for hundreds of kilometres in either direction. Kazbegi is so huge it has fully seven different large glaciers descending down from its summit. Eagles and vultures constantly circle in the sky around it and in one hike it is possible to see all three of Georgia's endemic birds.

The soul of Georgia is in its mountains, Georgia is an extremely mountains country, certainly the most so in Europe. The rugged Caucasus Mountains stretch across the northern third, while central and south, the Lesser Caucasus Mountains dominate the landscape. Europe’s

highest point is located in the north of Georgia’s reaching 18,841 ft. “To the natural beauties, the snowy peaks, the flowers and forest of the Svanetian landscape, man has added something . It is a land where every man’s house is his castle. The meadows and the

cultivated valleys are strewn with high white towers. In one spot a single tower stands isolated, in another they cluster in groups of fifty to eighty” – Douglas W. Freshfield, The Exploration of the Caucasus, 1896. Georgian’s natural environment is one of the most unique and varied in the world. Geologically it has more compressed into its surface that some continents. Remarkable for its landscape diversity, from mountains to desert, from snow to palm trees, Georgia ranks among the world’s wonderlands.

LEFT: GUDAURI SKI RESORT located on the southern slopes of The Greater Caucasus Mountain Range in Georgia. Situated in the Stepantsminda District, along the Georgian Military Highway near the Cross Pass, at an elevation of 2,196 meters (7,200ft.) above sea level. Gudauri lies 120 km (75 miles) to the north of the capital Tbilisi


ARTTOUR INTERNATIONAL FEBRUARY 2012

Georgia is well known as a cradle of wine. Georgian viticulture has a history spanning many thousands of years, and is perhaps one of the oldest in the world. Wine can truly be said to run in the blood of the Georgian nation, playing a central role in the supra – one of Georgian culture’s most characteristic traditions. Some sources trace the history of wine production in the small South Caucasian country to the Neolithic era, based on the discovery of drinking vessels, tools, seeds and Qvevri at archeological digs across the country. Grape seeds found at digs in Kvemo Kartli and Anaklia dating back as far as between the 5th and 7th millennium BC are some of the oldest on record, leading many archeologists to describe the country as the birthplace of wine. Wine holds a venerated, even spiritual position within Georgian

culture, an attitude that can be seen to draw not only on the ancient history of the vine within the country, but on the story of Georgia’s conversion to Christianity. In the 3th century AD, Georgia was one of the earliest countries in the world to adopt Christianity as its state religion, after the Christian missionary Saint Nino of Cappadocia, converted the pagan King Mirian III of Iberia. As legend has it, Saint Nino forged the cross that she carried to Iberia from grapevines tied together with her own hair. Today, this cross, with its distinctive drooping arms, is one of the Georgian Orthodox Church’s most revered symbols. Georgia holds a traditional way of winemaking those of fermentation in Qvevri. The unique earthen vessel for wine making and storage – a Qvevri is some kind of business card of Georgian wine and in

general Georgian culture. Georgia is the only country where uninterruptedly, from the ancient epoch up to present day the wine has been made in jars. The ancient Qvevri-like vessels, found in Georgia, belong to VI-V centuries BC. For today most widely used egg-shaped Qvevri, one can see in wine cellars, are found on the territory of Georgia. The Qvevri has experienced certain transformations from its creation to the present day. The Qvevris with flat bottoms, common at ancient time were replaced by cone-shaped ones. The latter is more durable for underground load. In the first period of storage, before it’s first pouring, the wine does not experience negative effects of grape seeds, stems and mesh, it is the other way around that depends exactly on cone shape of a Qvevri. Cont. next page.

Vineyard in the Kakheti Region, Affluent, rich and hospitable region, referred to as a "barn and a cellar of Georgia"is distinguished by its diverse natural landscapes and gentle people. Kakheti is one of the most magnificent regions of Georgia and is a region of ancient culture.


HARVEST IN KAKHETII A period of grape gathering and wine making. Farmers finish every season with feasts and merrymaking. All guests are welcomed with great respect during this period.


ARTTOUR INTERNATIONAL FEBRUARY 2012

At ancient time building of a wine cellar was started with Qvevri burying. The groundwork was dug deeper than usual, and Qvevris were fixed by concrete and then all of them simultaneously covered by earth up to their necks. Concrete reinforcement strengthens Qvevris and wine technological processing are improved in them. The Qvevri lid is important for long, hermetic and quality storage of the wine. Qvevri wine has various advantages. Wine temperature in Qvevri does not exceed the established storage standard. The standard temperature maintenance, needing the whole range of devices and expenses in conditions of wine making plant, can be naturally kept in Qvevris. Also, the Qvevri takes part in fermentation and final wine formation process. The process, needing various devices and chemical adjuncts in plants, goes on chronologically in the Qvevri. The Qvevri wine is characterized by typicality, natural stability, great aging potential, natural clearness and transparency, distinguished taste and aroma, high content of alcohol and extracts. The Qvevri wine is more useful than European type wine, as alcohol in Qvevri wine extracts maximum of necessary and useful for human body substances from grape mesh. The Qvevri wine does not contain heavy metals and dangerous substances. Consequently, the Qvevri is a phenomenal vessel with its properties and positive effects on the wine. The Qvevri wine production is dramatically developing not only in Georgia, but throughout the world. At present the Qvevri wine is produced by almost all large companies. Over the centuries, thousands of varieties of wine have boon grown in Georgia, with a staggering 496 varieties reorganized as indigenous. There are seventeen heritage varieties, referred to by Georgians

as “National Treasures”: Rkatsiteli, Saperavi, Mtsvane, Tsolikouri, Tsitska, Cabernet, Chinese, Goruli Mtsvane, Aligote, Alexandrouli, Mujuretuli, Ojaleshi, Usakhelauri, Chkhaveri, Krakhuna and Khikhvi. Wine is produced in almost every region of the country; however Kakheti, in the east , is perhaps the most famous wine-producing region, producing approximately 70 percent of Georgia’s grapes. Wine production is also a major part of agriculture in the regions of Kartli, Imereti, Samegrelo, RachaLechkhumi, Kvemo Svaneti and Abkhazia, with each region contributing its own unique varieties and flavors. Today in Georgia are presented over 100 wine producer companies, which export their products to more than 60 countries of the world. While wine is certainly the most popular alcoholic beverage in Georgia, the small mountain country also has a growing reputation of brandy and vodka, and in more recent years, beer. The country’s traditional spirit however, is the fearsome chacha. Similar to Italian grappa, it is most commonly made from the distilled residue of grape production, although liquors produced in the country from other fruits are also commonly referred to by the same name. Often produced by families in their homes, chahca can be highly alcoholic, and in villages is just as commonly used to treat ailments as it is drunk. A picturesque nature, landscapes, Great Caucasian Ridge, subtropical zone of the Black Sea, rivers and waterfalls, cave towns, resorts and mineral springs, urbanized cities and settlements, and traditional Georgian hospitality make Georgia a great country of tourism. With so much to offer it is worth it to explore. Now is the best time to visit Georgia!.

LEFT: WINE CELLAR WITH QVEVRI A qvevri (Top photo) is a large (800-3500 litres) earthenware vessel originally from Georgia in the Caucasus and dating back to about 6000 BC. It has an inside coat of beeswax, resembles an amphora without handles, and is used for the fermentation and storage of wine, often buried below ground level or set into the floors of large wine cellars.

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ARTTOUR INTERNATIONAL FEBRUARY 2012

IRENE SAGMEISTER Sensitive interpretation THE PIECES ARE CHARACTERIZED BY A PARTICULARLY STRONG FORMAL EXPRESSIVITY

“Secret Love” Mirror Sculpture

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The journey that led Irene Sagmeister to her current mode of expression was a fairly long one. The preferred materials are glass, mirror glass and metal. In the creative phase the artist finds herself in presently, her work is dominated by mirror glass elements. The pieces are characterized by a particularly strong formal expressivity. The individual bits of glass refract light and movement, according to the course taken by the contours. Existing forms and elements of color come into play individually, with new effects emerging. Each tiny mutation creates its own piece of art within the work of art. The pictures live. Solid material becomes alive, a dialogue develops with the observer. Irene Sagmeister draws inspiration from everyday life and from her frequent travels, by preference to southern lands. Her work is created in Zurich (Switzerland), Carinthia (Austria) or in her atelier in Piemont (Italy) where she gives shape to her impressions, far from the urban hustle and bustle. By inheritance she is endowed with extraordinary sensitivity and creative

“Mona Black” Mirror Sculpture

energy. She arrived at her creative production in its contemporary form by way of glass painting and Tiffany. Her creations are at the same time pictures and pieces of sculpture; in their form, unique. Following the initial autodidactic experiments with colored glass, she refined the tools of her craft in various glass art workshops. Skillful craftsmanship, sensitive interpretation and clear forms are the trademarks of her surrealistic compositions that have acquired a language of their own. www.sagmeisterart.com

“Mona Kiss” Mirror Sculpture

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SKILLFUL CRAFTSMANSHIP, SENSITIVE INTERPRETATION AND CLEAR FORMS February 2012

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“Spirit II” Acrylic on Canvas

JIM PESCOTT POINTILLISM “I WILL SAY ABOUT MY CREATIVE PROCESS THAT SOME REFER TO MY PAINTING STYLE AS CONTEMPORARY POINTILLISM: OVERALL, I SIMPLY ALLOW THE DOTS TO BE WHAT THEY ARE FOR WHAT THEY NEED TO DO WITHOUT REGARD FOR DEFINITIONS. AS I PAINT THE CANVAS SHARES WITH ME AND IT SIMPLY IS ABOUT FEELINGS THAT INFLUENCE. I FEEL MOSTLY INFLUENCED BY THE DEFINING ELEMENTS OF NATURAL LIGHT. ALSO I'M MUCH INFLUENCED BY THE VIBRANT ENERGIES OF COLOURS. MY PAINTINGS READILY REFLECT THIS. AND I’VE WATCHED PEOPLE LOOK AT MY PAINTINGS TO UNDERSTAND THAT THE CANVAS IS NOW SHARING WITH THEM. I THINK TOO THAT THIS IS PART OF THE CREATIVE PROCESS.”

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ARTTOUR INTERNATIONAL FEBRUARY 2012

“While Jim’s paintings have the swirling energy of many expressive and abstract works, they also suggest something quite different: the murmuring of numerous voices beneath each layer. The artist’s work has changed greatly over the years, and is seldom truly abstract. He courageously goes beyond the given and familiar, pioneering new techniques and materials in order to expand his own vision. His work takes us back to our very beginnings, before written laws, received wisdom, and force of habit, all but shackled our individual creativity and freedom of expression. Jim has a penchant for monolithic, eccentric, dynamic forms, and bursts of emotion. His art is impulsive but not violent—and more seductive than confrontational. The works don’t want to assault you, but suck you into their oceanic swirl, carry you along for the ride. The magic emerges in the tension between control and spontaneity, and the result is invariably surprising, open-ended, poetic, and spiritual. “  Lisa Bentley on Jim Pescott

Contact information: www.jimpescott.com “Spirit III” Acrylic on Canvas

“Spirit” Acrylic on Canvas

"Nothing on this earth is solitary everything is connected. Pointillism allows me this exploration” The only brushstroke in my paintings is a dot: some have referred to this as a contemporary pointillist style. As the artist, I simply allow the dots to be what they are for what they need to do without regard for definitions. The motivation in my paintings is to express how much it matters for all things to be in harmony. Nothing on this earth is solitary, everything in connected: the mingling layers of dots share this meditation. The subject matter is landscape: rural and urban, as this is what we all experience in our daily lives: a common experience for everyone but not so much to capture what is seen as more to foster meditations on the unknowns in what we see. Jim Pescott brings soothing visual meditations to the canvas. His unique pointillist journeys explore what is so often available to everyone but seldom visited in our daily frantic lifestyles. Dots fill Jim’s paintings with light, energy and love to bring the viewer precious opportunities to dwell peacefully within the image and allow calm to fill their spirit.” www.arttourinternational.com

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ARTTOUR INTERNATIONAL FEBRUARY 2012

“GORGEOUS” OIL ON CANVAS , 140x120 cm

KRISTINA SRETKOVA “Kristina paints sliding lights, deep waters, blazing fires, the power of elements and primary strenghts of nature. Lights lying to each other alternate with sensual moments and strong contradictions expressed through colors and shapes. She is spontaneus, intuitive and full of creativity. Her works are exciting and passionate. And everything is full of strong emotions, coming right from the heart, thus expressing artists freedom and aspiration after harmony with herself and the world.” Ph.D. in History of Art Sylke Wunderlich, Germany 2010

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FEATURED ARTIST

KRISTINA SRETKOVA – transnational

artist, based in Berlin. painting in Germany, Bulgaria and Cyprus. EDUCATION 2004 - Boarding School „Gimnasy Schloss Torgelow“, Germany 2008 - Master of Media Design at University of Applied Sciences in Cologne, Germany.

“This is a sensual, suggestive personal interpretation of the bond between man and nature... As a matter of fact Kristina, as a direct successor of Abstract Expressionism, through her entirely subjective interpretation regenerates this trend, bringing it to life again with her luscious and exuberant paintings.” Prof. Axinia Dzurova, Bulgaria 2011

„POSITIVE ENERGY

“Now exhibiting in Larnaca, artist Kristina Sretkova puts her soul into her work.” Newspaper Cyprus Weekly, 23. – 29.12.2011

"Kristina Sretkova creates vibrant, colorful abstract expressionist oil paintings that SOLO EXHIBITIONS radiate light, sensuality, beauty and Cyprus 2011, NYC 2011, Sofia 2011, vitality. In striking large scale, thick Cyprus 2010, Berlin 2010, Sofia 2009 textured canvases, Kristina Sretkova “Having literally lit up not only 11 Group exhibitions in Berlin, NYC, masters her natural ability for color Broadway Gallery, NYC, but also Moscow, Sofia, Baden-Baden, and light as a celebration of life’s the New York art scene, Kristina Biennale-Florence, Berliner liste 2010 beauty, allowing her creation Sretkova, show "World of Light" etc. become an extension of herself, a was a huge success. ...this first solo witness to a perfect communion AWARDS show in NYC demonstrated a type 2011 Art Week Berlin – 2nd Award for of intensity infused within the work between body, spirit and soul. abstract painting There's no separation between the that now has Sretkova established as 2011 Art Week Sofia – 1st and 3rd creator and creation on Kristina's an extremely strong contemporary Award for abstract painting works, they are fuse into one, 2011 Art Week Moscow – 1st Award painter... Of all of the shows taking melting together in a wonderful for avant-garde painting place this year Sretkova’s work set spontaneous moment of inspiration. 2011 „Symphony of Colors“ in the bar for abstraction in the 21st Florence – Award for „Best of Show“ Her thoughts and passions translate century.” NY ARTS MAGAZINE, into very well orchestrated and Winter Issue 2012, Rose Hobart, exceptional compositions of unique USA soft energy, which engage the viewer to reach deeper levels of “IN THE HEART OF THE GOLD” OIL ON CANVAS, 100x100 cm consciousness. Kristina Sretkova’s most compelling subject is light, she uses deep pure reds, pinks, greens, ultramarine and cobalt blues that dance between dark shadows to illuminations using abstracted forms interacting in a potent and sensual visual imagery.  An Impressive play between composition, color and light. I’ve had the honor of meeting Kristina in person, her eyes transmit the joy and innocence of a genuine soul, she does live in a world of light and her works have the same glowing, vibrant pulsating energy."  Viviana Puello, Director.  Vivid Arts Network 2012 www.kristina-sretkova.com www.arttourinternational.com

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ARTTOUR INTERNATIONAL MARCH 2012

SUSAN OBERMEYER STRAUSS A colorful pallet

“My current work mixes several mediums; photography, printmaking, painting and collage. I use oil litho inks and oil paint predominately, but in Ghost horse I also used encaustic and resin. Layering and texture are languages I constantly strive to speak, as I enjoy work that leads my eye on a visual voyage”

Chrysanthimun on Ochra Mixed Media on Canvas

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ARTTOUR INTERNATIONAL FEBRUARY 2012

“Susan’s works are an intriguing mixed of photography, printmaking, painting and collage where layering and texture become the language by which the artist takes the viewer on a visual voyage. In her paintings, a sense of harmony is achieved in unexpected ways. The poetry and melody of her compositions, reveal her extraordinary creativity and striking originality mixing several mediums to depict human and animal figures. She combines many modes through the act of collage, placing thin figures next to areas of abstract. The overlapping layers created through the accumulation of elements and her unique textural quality make for a rich variety of surfaces. Our eyes scuttle across the canvas as we find balance on the subtle details that emerge gradually from engaging images that lead us to a place of peaceful solitude.” Viviana Puello

Vivid Arts Network

“Circular Meditation” Mixed Media on Canvas “Elephant Dream” Mixed Media on Canvas

. Perhaps the single biggest influence on my perception, my eye came in the 90’s when I moved back to Colorado. My neighbor turned out to be Master Printer Craig O’brian. I became a studio fixture for several years. Craig had a different artist working each couple of days and after a few years the way I saw had permanently been transformed. Craig had worked with Rauschenberg and many other “greats” and encouraged me to experiment and to develop my own style. Today I still work with Craig, but also have my own press. Most of my paintings begin with an under-painting usually a solvent transfer on paper, which I then mount onto a board sub-straight. And then the painting begins. I like cultural emersion and www.arttourinternational.com

exploration. About 15 years ago my work grew into complex travel logs; explorations about tactile and ethereal experience of place. I use the art making process to integrate my experience. My work aims to inspire the human viewer through color, texture and iconic imagery. The pallet I use in my work has been inspired by my many trips to the Caribbean. I look forward to the future and what it may bring to me and my art. www.susanobermeyerstrauss.com

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BOLDT CASTLE

ARCHITECTURAL LOVE STORY By Yadira Roman - New York

Boldt Castle in the 1000 Islands Region of the St. Lawrence River stands as a remembrance of the magnificence of a bygone era‌ a monument of love on Heart Island of George C. Boldt for his wife Louise Built at the turn of the 20th century, by the multimillionaire George Boldt, it was meant to be a symbol of his love for his wife, Louise. George intended to present the castle to Louise on Valentine's Day, 1905. One year before Boldt Castle was to be completed, Louise, aged 41, died. Brokenhearted, George Boldt stopped the construction and never returned to the island. Boldt died in 1916 and the castle was purchased by Edward John Noble, who owned the Beechnut Fruit Company. Noble invested in the area and built the Thousand Island Club. Over the next 50 years, the E.J. Noble Foundation ran Boldt Castle as a tourist attraction.

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ARTTOUR INTERNATIONAL FEBRUARY 2012

Above: Boldt Castle Rear View

Several love stories may suffer a sad ending but tragedy strikes only few. One such story is that of George C. Boldt and Louise Kehrer. George C. Boldt was a young immigrant from Prusia; he immigrated to the United States at the age of thirteen. His first job was a busboy in a hotel restaurant. After an unsuccessful endeavor at ranching out west, he returned to the East coast into the hotel business. George met Louise Kehrer while working at her father’s Clover Club in Philadelphia in 1876. The two fell in love. With two hearts beating strong, love was too small a word to define a feeling that had no boundaries. Stories happen when one knows this feeling. While some stories are blessed, others are destined to immortality. No matter what, such tales are made in the heavens and reborn on planet earth. They soon married and had two children, their son George Jr., was born in 1879, and their daughter, Louise Clover, in 1885. Within time George became the manager of the Waldorf Astoria as well as the owner of smaller hotels. George, a man of aweinspiring industry and structural skill, with a daring imagination, became the most successful hotel tycoon in America. His flourishing success gave him the opportunity to obtain Hart Island, part of the Thousand Islands of northern New York. George had a scenic summerhouse built for his family where they

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spent several joyous summers together. In 1900, George ordered the construction of a castle where the family’s summer home was located. It was to be a Valentine’s Day surprise for his wife, as a testament of his love for her. George recognized that his island somewhat resembled the shape of a heart. He then decided to import hundreds of work men to change the outline shape of the island into a heart, reconstructing the entire island into an ideal Valentine’s Day ‘gift of love’ and renaming Hart Island, ‘Heart Island’’. But sadly heartbreak hit when Louise died unexpectedly at only 42, and George, inconsolable, immediately stopped all work on the castle at once never to return again. For years the castle sat abandoned, left to the caprice of hooligans and northern NY weather. The Thousand Island Bridge Authority bought the property in 1977. The castle was re-opened as a tourist attraction with a total of $15 million dollars spent in order to make it possible. Boldt castle became one of the most visited tourist sites and a popular host for weddings. Boldt castle was built as a declaration of the unsurpassed love of a man for his wife. A timeless monument of a man’s love, a reminder of what man’s mind can conceive and heart can carry out.

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ARTTOUR INTERNATIONAL FEBRUARY 2012

MAGGIE MAGEE

“Lost Souls” Mixed Media on Canvas

A journey into an intangible space “My work is non representational in the traditional sense – no landscapes no figures, no subject nor object. Figurative elements are eliminated to explore and create a painterly space, a contemplative field of being open to perception,   awareness and emotion.  The paintings, with layer upon layer of paint built up, covered in dust, then scraped and scratched down, illustrate a  journey into an intangible space where inner visions and psychological states are explored. Grappling with the elusive, the lost and the forgotten, each

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painting creates an emotional landscape that is in essence a language beyond words.” Maggie Magee was born in Dublin, Ireland and studied Fine Art at The National College of Art and Design, Dublin. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards and grants, including the 2009 President’s Lorenzo Il Magnifico Award for her work at the 2009 Florence Biennale, an Irish Arts Council Award, Illinois Artist Fellowship, The Chicago Artists Association Award, and The Wicklow Arts Council Bursary. Magee is also the recipient of a Grammy and six Emmy nominations for her independent film and music

dvd productions. She has worked commercially with such as Brian Wilson, Neil Young, Elvis Costello, Sheryl Crow, Emmylou Harris, Lyle Lovett and Kanye West among many others. She currently lives in Co. Wicklow, Ireland.   www.maggiemageeartist.com “Memoria” Mixed Media on Canvas

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ARTTOUR INTERNATIONAL FEBRUARY 2012

COLOMBIA IS PASSION AN INTERVIEW WITH GIANNI LUSENA CONSUL A.H. OF COLOMBIA IN FLORENCE

Supporting art and cultural exchange: His passion for Colombia, Love at First Sight By Viviana Puello - Firenze

One of the first people I met in Florence is Mr. Gianni Lusena, Consul A.H. of Colombia. I knocked on his office door after transferring to Italy and had the opportunity to meet with him and explain the mission of our network, our beliefs, our goals and our need for support. He promised to visit our first exhibition at the Auditorium al

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Duomo; I gave him my invitation and left, hoping it would be present at our opening. He kept his word! His office has been an open door for many immigrants to go and ask for help. Today, we have hosted many exhibitions - each of those with the support and presence of our dear Mr. Lusena. For our artists and myself, he is a figure we look for at

our events. I have participated in events organized by the office of the Colombian Consulate in Florence and I have seen the great support for the arts and culture that comes from this man’s heart. So, I decided to go deeper and ask questions, to share with the public this figure that, for us in the network, represents great inspiration. . Cont. next page

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VP: Mr. Lusena, you are the Consul A.H. of Colombia in Florence; as a Colombian that has transferred to Italy, I can say that I have found great support in you. As a professional curator and art director, I must say that your presence in our exhibitions has raised the bar and has also given me the opportunity to see a very special side of you and how much you value the contribution of art to our culture. I thank you for this interview and would like to ask you to tell us your story! Where were you born, how many languages you speak, what countries are in your heart - because I imagine you love Colombia and Italy. GL: “I was born in Florence 60 years ago, where I studied and graduated before going to complete a master's degree in business & administration in the U.S. at the Florida International University in Miami. I speak, read and write quite properly in Italian, Castilian – Spanish, my second language English and French. Since everything happens for a reason, it was in Miami where I met someone who told me about Colombia and its potentials in the textile industry. My family was in the textile business, and I had always been interested in giving a tone of internationality to the family business; I had the desire to experience new products in the Latin American market. I had made a trip to the Far East in order to visit China, Hong Kong and India and see what they produced in the textile field, but I was not impressed by what I saw in any of those countries. It is logical and natural for a 27 year old person to arrive in Colombia and, by witnessing one of these wonderful sunsets in Medellin when the sky is colored blue, pink, yellow and various shades of green, reflecting the colors of nature - to immediately fall in love with the land and all its people. It is not different from a sailor, who travels the world looking for a place to reflect on his www.arttourinternational.com

state of mind. When I arrived in Colombia, I thought I had found paradise on earth! So when you ask me which is the country or which are the countries in my heart, after some thought, I can honestly say that I cannot think of another country with similar characteristics to Colombia. This really to me was love at first sight – and, as happens when you read a book so esoteric that they give you indications that a human being could live more than a lifetime, then surely, if so, in another life, I have lived like an animal, a plant, a flower or human being in Colombia. After living for a while in Colombia, I had a wonderful experience: textile companies asked me to start doing a marketing operation in Europe, so that it could give a different and positive image to the country and let people know that Colombia didn’t only produce coke, guerrilla and kidnapping, but it is a country with many positive things, besides the wonderful quality of cotton textiles. I started talking to people I met about the coffee, the beautiful orchids, the wonderful preColombian culture, the kindness of the Colombian people, the fantastic tourism, the coastline that is divided into three oceans (Pacific, Atlantic and Caribbean). I started promoting this country, as if it had always been my country. They started saying that I was doing the job of a diplomat, without any title. So in 1999, President Pastrana and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of that time, Fernandez de Soto, asked to meet with me - and while they were giving the title of Ambassador to Italy to Dr. Fabio Valencia Cossio, they asked me to act as Consul of

Colombia in Florence and the Tuscan Region. This was truly a great honor received from Colombia, and I started studying diplomacy right away to be ready for the job. Since I always like to do things right, I studied to get to know the subject better and I did a course in Colombia and here in Italy at the Farnesina, sponsored by the Embassy of Colombia.”

THIS REALLY TO ME WAS LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT – AND, AS HAPPENS WHEN YOU READ A BOOK SO ESOTERIC THAT THEY GIVE YOU INDICATIONS THAT A HUMAN BEING COULD LIVE MORE THAN A LIFETIME, THEN SURELY, IF SO, IN ANOTHER LIFE, I HAVE LIVED LIKE AN ANIMAL, A PLANT, A FLOWER OR HUMAN BEING IN COLOMBIA!.

Sunset in Medellin Colombia

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“Colombia deserves maximum effort to tell the world the importance of its cultural heritage and the contribution it has given through history with its artists, writers and poets.” and literature to express the truth and demonstrate the reality. Imagine, for example, if we could have a traveling exhibition of the Gold Museum in Bogota - if "Gabo" (Gabriel Garcia Marquez) could travel and tell people what his experience has been in writing 100 Years of Solitude, or The General in his Labyrinth - if Botero could tell the world what he has suffered in his youth in order to become the artist that he is now – there are thousands of examples I could give, but you're doing it and you can not imagine what good you represent for your country. If more people would do it, you can be sure that today we would have another image.” VP: You have the opportunity to speak to the immigrants who come to this country. Do you think that the influence of art can help in some way to improve the adaptation of the person to a new culture - a person who arrives for the first time Mr. Gianni Lusena during “Symphony of Colors” to a country, sometimes without even knowing the language? International Art Exhibition in Florence giving the “Best of Show” Award to sculptor Irene Sagmeister from GL: “Many Colombian artists who come to Italy Switzerland without having any experience with the culture and not knowing the language, use their form of art to express themselves and get in touch with the world “Gradually, we began to live these experiences and and other artists and galleries. Today more than ever believe me that every day is like living in a studio or (obviously this is not easy for scarcity of resources of university, learning without courses or lessons, but with various cultural entities of the Tuscan Region), we at a daily quiz without the option to fail - because you the Colombian Consulate try to help them to the best need to answer questions daily to the people who need of our ability and as much as we can, always with the you and the answers that you give better not be wrong! approval of the Embassy of Colombia, with Colombia has a very important history and its sponsorship for cultural initiatives. cultural heritage could help to change the opinion of Viviana, in conclusion, I ask that you continue to the people of the world on our reality, whether by the do the best you can to promote the art and culture of economic crisis that is not only happening in Colombia, which undoubtedly will do a wonderful job Colombia, but also the rest of the world. As you can for you and your country. After everything that has imagine, unfortunately, the Ministry doesn’t have the gone on in Colombia, it deserves maximum effort to ability to assign sufficient funds to promote cultural tell the world the importance of its cultural heritage initiatives. But we are trying, with sponsors and people and the contribution it has given through history with like you, because you are a great example of what can its artists, writers and poets.” be done for Colombia, with good will and commitment to ending the bad image that has grown in people who know nothing about Colombia, but only what the press and media wants to show them, so that Colombia’s image may change and that we truly can show what is, in reality, a wonderful country - and there’s no better means than using the culture, the arts www.arttourinternational.com

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EMANUELE CONTI

Color and perspective “Apollo” Oil on Canvas, by Emanuele Conti

“Belle Epoque” Oil on Canvas

Emanuele Conti is an eminent photorealistic artist from Italy known by his paintings of motorcycles and cars. Conti’s ipermaterico style and multicolored reflections in the paintings are the result of superior skill and years of hard work. He has developed his own unique style, his oil paintings are the actual representation of sport bikes, classic cars, police cruisers and souped-up sports cars. He captures the sparkling surfaces of his subjects capturing the raw emotion and graceful lines of the motorcyles and cars he

paints. His work is shown and collected around the world by enthusiasts alike. Artist Statement “I started painting simply because I loved it, and felt the need to expand my outlet for creativity. My work increasingly grew to be the way I realized my dreams, and expressed myself. Much of my personality is set out in oil paint on canvas, there for my audience to experience. When I paint, I express my inner strength, which is something that has a significant impact on my contemporary understanding of the world, as portrayed in my work. I love to see someone viewing my paintings become intoxicated by the color and perspective, admiring the totality of the finished result.“ www.emanuelish.com

“Harmaghedon” Oil on Canvas

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February 2012

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FEATURED ARTIST

ANNE D. GRANDIN

“Spiritual Cohetion” Triptych by Anne D. Grandin

Circle of Life "Native peoples used circles, spirals and labyrinths as means of coming to an understanding of the Universe and themselves, because Nature itself was perceived as working in circles, cycles and spirals, and the Life Force itself moved in a similar way. When humans come into balance with Nature we come into harmony and rhythm, vibration and pulsation of Life itself with the result that we become, joyful and harmonious beings." Shamanic Spirit by Kenneth Meadows

“Inside” by Anne D. Grandin

The Circle of Life found in Native American Culture influences the artist’s paintings. The artist uses circular and organic shapes to connect all elements of nature. She works on wood, panel, canvas or constructed forms. Her paintings are based on Native American Spirituality and the belief that all life forms depend on each other and live in harmony with one another to exist peacefully within the Circle of life. For more information visit www.vividartsnetwork.com

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February 2012

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FEATURED ARTIST

CADE TURNER

“Light Pipes” Cade Turner Fine Art Photography Copyright 2010

Visual Freedom I have always been fascinated with discovering the mystery contained within the raw elements of a scene – its light, colour and movement. I am particularly inspired by the Great Impressionists for their sense of ‘visual freedom’, breaking traditional techniques and conventions which enabled them to capture impressions of light, colour and movement that had never been seen before. I love challenging traditional photography and continually blurring the line between what we consider to be ‘art’, and what is considered photography. I enjoy breaking the rules, using the camera freely as my paintbrush to paint my works with light. On location, I search for first impressions that catch my eye and work with the raw elements to develop my story. Sometimes this involves only slight alterations to what the eye naturally sees. Sometimes it involves completely decontextualising the original scene, and working with specific elements to break through into a completely new visual dimension. www.arttourinternational.com

I am an Emerging Member of the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) and am currently represented in contemporary art galleries in Sydney, Australia and New York City, USA. For more information visit www.vividartsnetwork.com

“Pink Shades”, Cade Turner Copyright 2009

February 2012

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FEATURED ARTIST

CHERI MITTERMAIER

“Hands II” Bronze Sculpture by Cheri Mittermaier

A dream World My work  is  about  the   dream  world.  I  get  many  ideas  

While in  Paris  and  Florence   I  studied  sculpture  under  Peter  

from my  dreams.  I  want  the   viewer  to  determine  his  or  her  

Rubino and  Martine  Vaugel.  In   a  four  year  period  I  studied  

own interpretation  of  my  work.   under  more  than  twenty   We  all  have  our  own   different  artists. subconscious  thoughts,  so   everyone  views  my  work  in  his  

I have  had  work  shown  in   the  Boca  Raton  Fine  Art  

or her  own  way.  Our   subconscious  thoughts  come  

Museum two  years  in  a  row.  A   sculpture  called  "ʺEve"ʺ  and  a  

together for  a  brief  moment   while  viewing  art.

sculpture called  "ʺTrophy  Wife"ʺ   were  accepted  into  this  juried  

I was  born  and  grew  up  in   the  state  of  Indiana,  USA.  I  

exhibition. The pallet  I  use  in  my  work  

graduated from  Purdue   University  with  a  Bachelors  

has been  inspired  by  my  many   trips  to  the  Caribbean.  I  look  

degree in  Psychology  with  a   concentration  in  Fine  Arts  and  

forward to  the  future  and  what   it  may  bring  to  me  and  my  art.

Humanities.

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“Hands” Bronze Sculpture

For more information visit www.vividartsnetwork.com

February 2012

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FEATURED ARTIST

CHRISTEL SOBKE

The Tree Carpentry” Digital Print by Christel Sobke

Environmental Paintings From my career’s start as a painter I endeavored to take up topics into my work, which to me seemed worth being painted. One theme moved me particularly: the concern about our environment. That was about 1975! We then had already a strong feeling for the extreme weather with unusual hot dry summers. In 1980 I got the decisive impulse for “environmental paintings” when comparing by chance a map of the coastline of North Germany and Denmark about 1800 with the actual fragments of the coast torn by the sea. I was deeply impressed and began to have a more respectful relationship to nature as I had before. I decided for myself to show this phenomenon www.arttourinternational.com

of changes in my art: for the better and for the worse. I wished to appeal to people. I conceived a coloring scheme and planned a series with 3 images that had always the same composition and motif. The deviation between the paintings was the kind of coloring. The series started with a charming landscape or a famous monument painted in a representative style. The second image was a negative alternative with a positive-negative colorreverse taken from the photography or to use the technical terms of color theory: with secondary colors. The last image had only four bright colors red, yellow, blue and green with various bright hues. The impression is a very positive one:

brilliant, airy and unreal. This last pleasing painting should give a positive impulse for the future. The series altogether is a simple appeal and warning to be aware of nature’s beauty and to do something for its conservation. For more information visit www.vividartsnetwork.com

“Tree Drying Project” Digital Print

February 2012

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FEATURED ARTIST

FRANS FRENGEN

“The Richest Pair” Fumagine, by Frans Frengen

Fumagine Master Already attracted by the creation I want a reflection, the silence of the canvas, the invisibly depth of soot, more as a sculpture which is molding in a spatial form with the fascination of the surface. This is an unreal self-supporting. The reality lives in archetypical relation with the matter. The works’ contrast must be like a rope around the neck. Somewhere with the brilliance of the photography which holds and gives a deeper look. It's even more to consult. It's more vibrating. This confrontation implies an existential and abstract approach. It can be the missing stone. (I just found some works of a female artist who found maybe the missing link, the precious stone… in a stone).

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I hope my oeuvre cannot be classified in terms of any particular style. Maybe it appears that I go in a direction of the philosophical way: « a unicate positive pyrronisme…. » (It does exist nevertheless and carries in the word a light reference to the pyromania). Perhaps I have something of a material painter. Each living picture dies each moment. “Now” doesn’t exist; or is already beyond. My sketches are based on seeing images on pc and TV, in magazines and tabloids, into our world around. I can be sitting hours making sketches … also by listening music … sketches which are not always appear in the daylight; despite their charm. I went in history

ranging pictures, subjects all over the world. ... Art must be continuous, engaging people. It is more realistic and more contemporary. . For more information visit www.vividartsnetwork.com

“A Bridge Too Far” Fumagine

February 2012

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FEATURED ARTIST

HELGA KREUZRITTER

“Troja” Relief Painting by Helga Kreuzritter

Poetic Sarcasm Much has been written and said about the versatility of the German artist Helga Kreuzritter for good reason. Looking through her body of work can make one dizzy in a paradoxically stable way, as she has indeed explored things to the point of no beginnings. Kreuzritter has the know-how of mining and hollowing the myriards of ways to distill the essentials of her subjects and their vulnerabilities up to the surface. We can view her go about her ways as if an academic, an intellectual and studious artist or a scientist, just as well as having the chance to see her at work as an anthropologist, historian and/or an archeologist.

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We find Helga Kreuzritter ´s unusual combination of humor, sharpness, poetic sarcasm and romanticism in some of her fellow symbolists such as Edward Munch, Edgar Allen Poe, Claude Debussy, Friedrich Nietzsche and T.S Eliot. The artist concurrently brings to mind shades of dreamy masterworks by her fellow abstract expressionists as well, such as Vasily Kandinsky, Willem de Kooning, Mark di Suvero and Jane Frank to name a few. Helga Kreuzritter´s work is dense yet light. She is one of the few contemporary artists who can “fill in the blanks” of her mastery-in-multiple-innovativetechniques with meaningfulness. We are fulfilled as the viewer knowing that she has made

tremendous efforts to portray translucency. By Tchera Niyego, New York For more information visit www.vividartsnetwork.com

“Ad Infinitum” Alu-Painting

February 2012

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FEATURED ARTIST

LYDIA VAN DEN BERG

“Piece of String Two” Acrylic on Canvas by Lydia van den Berg

Poetic Realism My name is Lydia van den Berg. I am an artist. My personal biography has been up until now a very dynamic and intensive one. My nomadic life style allows me to travel without routes. I am free without any examples or schedule; I feel something magical within which allows me to be open for new adventures without any boundaries. It is a feeling that takes me to the edges of the gigantic ocean. My art is a pure reflection of my persona.  I have always created art, all through my life. In fact it is difficult for me not to be creative during the day. I always imagined that once I had a family with children, everything would normalize, but this is not

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the case. I see so many interesting and exciting things and art is the only medium in which I can truly express my thoughts and views. My development and constant search for that "Something" has brought me to where I am now. Developing my "Magical-PoeticRealism" style has been a long journey, reflecting my own personal journey. I began to develop it in the early 90’s but only identified myself through it in 2003. Today "Magical-PoeticRealism" has become my style, the trademark through which Lydia van den Berg can tell her story. I can’t stop painting! It is true! When I am in

my studio working I say to myself: . I feel just happy when I touch the colors and enjoy the feeling of the brush smoothly gliding over the paper to leave a permanent colored image. My life is intense and exciting and I feel that there is so much to tell. For more information visit www.vividartsnetwork.com “Piece of String One” Acrylic on Canvas

February 2012

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FEATURED ARTIST

MALENA PEÒN

"The colour of awareness, our earth" Oil on Canvas by Malena Peon

A dexterous Painter Having been painting for many years Mexican artist Malena Peón transforms natural landscape into jubilant shades and tones that merge effortlessly on canvas. Refreshing and liberating, this contemporary artists work transports viewers from the white cube cold of the gallery to a fantasy where nature's beauty is at its pristine condition. A dexterous painter, Peón takes inspiration from her surrounding, her cutter and the modern world. Her work celebrates the birth of every living thing. Her medium varies from oil to acrylics, chinese inks. Whatever the material, Peón always manages to convey her individual moods and emotional effects through her multicolored

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imagery. Her latest pays a tribute to her land, where warmth, passion, and life thrive through the romantic touch of her brush. With her Expressionistic brushstrokes, Peón constructs a euphoric atmosphere that envelopes viewers and elevates them to a state of serenity and joy. Nature inspires artist Malena Peón. Landscapes are rendered in vibrant hues and tones on Peón's canvas: luscious grass, azure sky, winding paths, or tall-standing trees. Each image is life lived to the fullest the same energy can be detected in her Abstract Expressionist paintings. Transparent

layers of paint gracefully sweep through her works, unifying them in an atmosphere of a warm, light breeze By Suzie Walshe, executive editor NY Arts Magazine & Art Fairs International. For more information visit www.vividartsnetwork.com “Liberty Firenze” Oil on Canvas

February 2012

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FEATURED ARTIST

MARTA VANEVA

“Inscape 300811”, Acrylic on Canvas by Marta Vanena

Organic Abstractions My work is mainly about the landscape in its simplest form, a line which separates the sky and the ground. It is a sky, which sometimes illuminates and sometimes threats the horizon. And it is the line, which decides of the perspective, of the point of view. My work is a permanent confrontation between the acrylic paint and the water which at certain times marries the traces of the paint, and is immersed into it and which by other moments is taken over by the paint to give form and life to the sky, to the land. They are superpositions of coats of paint, which by obliteration with water draws the landscape and gives all its character. Inscapes are imaginary landscapes. My drawings are inspired by the floral and organic world. Also I find my inspiration in the Roman frescos. I use ink on paper. I try to take a flower and transform it in an abstract form, which will draw the whole composition. My drawings are always black and white because I want to

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concentrate the lines to draw the composition and not the colours. For more information visit www.vividartsnetwork.com “Untitled” Ink on Paper

February 2012

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FEATURED ARTIST

MARTHA GABRIEL

“MY I?“ Digital Installation by Martha Gabriel

Interactive Digital Installations Martha Gabriel is a Brazilian artist who researches and develops artworks related with the pushing the new media limits aiming to cause reflection and questionings. In this sense, her works have been exhibited and awarded internationally not only in art events but also academic/scientific ones. Besides individual exhibitions in Brazil, Martha has exhibited and presented in events like SIGGRAPH (USA), ISEA International Symposium on Electronic Arts (Singapore, Ireland, Turkey), EVA Electronic Visualizations and Arts (London), Consciousness Reframed (China, UK, Austria, Norway), Technarte (Spain), Florence Biannale (Italy), Art in Focus: Broken Boundaries (NY, USA), among others. Now on exhibition at the Auditorium al Duomo in Florence, one of Martha’s most prominent works. “SENSITIVE ROSE (2008)” – The objective of this artwork is related with people’s desires in life. It’s an interactive web artwork that functions as a compass rose that maps and navigates in the

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desires of the people who participate. The interactions are done via cell phone and the compass rose forms a codified poetics of mobile tags (QRcodes) that cannot be deciphered in naked eyes. For more information visit www.vividartsnetwork.com

“Locative Painting” Digital Installation

February 2012

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FEATURED ARTIST

MONIKA JENSEN

“Composition 38” Oil on Canvas by Monika Jensen

Stereographic Dimension Contemporary Master Monika Jensen is recognized in the art community as an established, professional artist. She is nationally and internationally published in several contemporary master books and her work has been seen around the world. She describes her paintings as Stereographic Dimension. Her abstract paintings explode with brilliant color and have an artistic flair that consists of a desirable texture that must be seen. There is an aura of passion to her art yet also a distinct sense of balance as she creates canvases that have no boundaries. Supremely crafted and highly innovative, Monika Jensen’s magnificent paintings clearly evoke the dexterity and artistic flair of a Contemporary Master. She specializes in commissioned works for her elite clientele, celebrities and large corporate clients who desire a

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unique art piece in their art investments. Her COMPOSITION SERIES has a more abstract continuity of line, form and color. Her signature weaving that is created with her brush strokes are accentuated in this series. She called this unique style Stereographic Dimension. This textured detail has become most sought after with her work. This contemporary series compliments modern building architecture and design.

Her innovative mosaic design in her Modern series has been her signature style. She explains, “There is always a flow of movement in my work through lines and texture. Vibrant colors are used to stimulate emotion and create a visual impact. Monika Jensen was born in Calgary, Alberta after her parents emigrated from Czechoslovakia. Her interests in art were very apparent from a very young age. As a child she explored all forms of art medium. In school she accelerated in art studies with honors and was given

opportunities to take advanced art studies. After graduation she was accepted into Alberta College of Art, where her main focus was painting. To broaden her experience and exposure in the art field, she completed degree in design at Mount Royal University. Her accomplishments included a scholarship in art, receiving a Steelcase award in design and graduating with honors. For more information visit www.vividartsnetwork.com “Composition 43”” Oil on Canvas

February 2012

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FEATURED ARTIST

NADA HERMAN

“Beach Scene Sydney” Oil on Canvas by Nada Herman

Joy of Creation In capturing the energy and spontaneity of her surroundings, Nada Herman creates work that seems to have grown from the natural joy of creation. The artist grew up in the beach community of northern Sydney, and her body of work reflects this influence, featuring brightly colored seaside vistas and the wonderful life that is possible in these idyllic surroundings. Her style is painterly and lush. Brushstrokes are swaths of verdant hues, rich with texture. Herman will often frame a piece using patches of flowers or trees in the foreground, a perspective that allows for greater range of color and depth. Rolling hills give way to placid azure waters dotted by fishing vessels, sail boats, and flocks of birds. Herman loves expansive paintings, and her canvases often reach well over six feet wide, becoming like windows into which the viewer can peer. You can truly sense her love for this inspiring place, and her art functions as a means to transport us there ourselves. In her estimation, meaning is possible anywhere one seeks it. “I believe nothing is static,” she explains. “A

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humble flower or piece of fruit has a life force.” Nada Herman has devoted her life to the arts, receiving instruction from a young age; both her father and grandfather were celebrated artists. She works from her studio at the top of Avalon in Sydney. For more information visit www.vividartsnetwork.com “Lavender Bay Sydney” Oil on Canvas

February 2012

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FEATURED ARTIST

NIKOLINA ŠIMUNOVIĆ

“Throught the Bogumils” Mixed Media on Canvas by Nikolina Šimunović

Mediterranean Climate Academic painter Nikolina Šimunović presents a new series of paintings thematically linked with the Mediterranean climate.The motifs of her work refer to the seaside landscape,and everything connected with it,such as fragments of seashore and sea surface,islands,boats,and sailing boats. Nikolina was born and brought up in Dubrovnik(Croatia), her paintings recreate the space of their origin and pull their viewer inside. They are discovered gradually by exploration of the scenas of the painting and they evoke the carefully planned methods which brought them into being.The gradition of these plans and layers of material can be traced through Nikolina's www.arttourinternational.com

entire work,einther as spatial fragmentation evident in the merger of the images into an object,or as planimetric sendimentation of layers in paintings and collages. Nikolina's paintings encompass elements from the real world as well, although they are sometimes covered and coated with paint.Not only do they widen the span and morphology of painting structures,they are also part of the factual components that form the cryptic basis and framework of dreams.These elements include fabrics of various textures,colors,and patterns that are pasted on the empty surface of the canvas.The next step includes using paint on the fabric untouched,and in such a way

puncture the wholeness of the composition with fragments of reality Registering these various techniques of Nikolina's work reveals the importance that she puts on the processes of creation and construction of a surface that thereby becomes a record of creative ,reflective, bodily and physical energy. Borivoj Popovčak For more information visit www.vividartsnetwork.com “Island” Mixed Media on Canvas

February 2012

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FEATURED ARTIST

PAUL UYEHARA

“Triptych” Right Pannel Detail, Acrylic on Canvas by Paul Uyehara

A Life Dedicated to Art “My early works were infused with skills developed as a draftsman and honed through years of life drawing and sculpting. I focused on the literal beauty of the human form during this era. For years, I have been fascinated by Goya compositions. I returned to them to study

energy and movement in drawings and to translate these into modern idioms. In the series called "Deconstructions," I set these pieces free of all reference to subject matter, while adding vivid, often primary colors to black and white compositions, to re-imagine and reinterpret Goya's concepts in purely

abstract terms. The joy of color in their purest forms has become my current focus and allows for the freedom of interpretation by any viewer.” On January 2012 Paul Uyehara passed away at age of 84. His contribution to the world of art is greatly appreciated. He’s given us much inspiration. Vivid Arts Network

“Triptych” Acrylic on Canvas For more information visit www.vividartsnetwork.com

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February 2012

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FEATURED ARTIST

SOPHIE SCHUBAKOFF

“The Three Fishermen” Acrylic on Canvas by Sophie Schubakoff

A Looking Glass

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very visible, I remove the characteristics, identity, and the individuality from the painting creating one mass that resembles a human, removing however the origins. This makes a chance for the viewer to see themselves as the subject both literally and figuratively in my paintings. Along this journey inside the painting I try to recreate and envision the bond that happens in the water. I seek to show the depth, calmness, attitude, agitation, the anomaly that speaks within the water and the subject to find the connection. The reality is that water is more familiar to us than we are to each other physically. The painting has a subtle way of living outside of the canvas frames, the imagination begins when the moment is

captured. The movement in the brushstrokes, the images, and the illusions make the power of the paint breathe. Water is a tool, an inspirational looking glass, a moving memory. Brush strokes leave patterns to lead the eye along the waves of the canvas. Disguising and implying subtle suggestive undertones, merging with the moment a romance occurs, yearning and flirting with the narrative. For more information visit www.vividartsnetwork.com “Spring” Acrylic on Canvas

It is an unusual, unpredictable element of many secrets. It has a great history being around since the beginning of time. It holds both life and death at an equal distance and has the potential to repair you from impurities both physically and mentally. It surrounds us and lives in us. Our relationship with it is that of balance that we must obtain. It is a form of memory of our identity as individuals. I not only use water as a topic or a material but also as a muse, emotion, and attitude. The water forms a relationship with the subject and interprets the actions and emotions as they form as one. With the breathing and heartbeat the body lives in the mass of water. Unlike the traditional portrait where the period of time, and status are

February 2012

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FEATURED ARTIST

STELLA VIOPOULOS

“Arrogance” Stucco and Acrylic on Canvas

Expressionistic Scenes Stella Viopoulos was born in Thessaloniki, Greece. She holds a degree in Economics from the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki. Although, she was absorbed by her own personal business and career, she kept herself occupied with painting, her big undeclared love, which finally completely won over her. She has attended two years of workshop meetings, with the painter Stelios Maromatis, who was actually the man who inspired her and sparked her interest to this type of art. She has attended another two years of sketch lessons and finally she decided to continue by herself ending to the creation of an individual technique, which would better express her unique character. Stella works in an abstract, mixed manner, using stucco and acrylic colours on canvas. Her main inspiration comes from her environment, which every season creates a different and outstanding combination of images and colours.

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When she paints she has the feeling that her spirit conquers her material, which guides her and gives form to her paintings throughout the alternation of her own feelings. Most of her paintings are scenes which, passing through a plethora of feelings, ideas and thoughts, get printed on the canvas, becoming spontaneously transformed. In some cases, the same motif gets printed under a different light and weather or other times throughout reversal reflections. It could be described as a thoroughly accident, in which the world of accident, hides a conscious decision of colours and direction of the brush and the spatula. Nothing is either flat, or colorless. The refusal, the infelicity, the dismissal are standing out from the canvas and become more real by the use of stucco. Her expressionistic scenes have vivid experiential clues of her personal life, have favorite and reborn colours, which have been optically experienced. For Stella,

painting expresses everything that makes her happy, everything that hurts her and everything that depresses her. Works of hers, are part of the Museum of Nevada’s art collection, as well as other private collections in Greece or other countries. Furthermore, her work has been included in several Art books, such as, “International Contemporary Masters” and “Art in Focus: The modern Masters” For more information visit www.vividartsnetwork.com “Accident” Stucco and Acrylic on Canvas

February 2012

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FEATURED ARTIST

SUZANNE ANAN

“Venetian Red”, Oil on Canvas by Suzanne Anan

The delicate balance of violence and grace is a continuing focus for American artist, Suzanne Anan. She produces larger than life figurative compositions with a remarkably compelling narrative mostly reflecting women as her subject. She creates in all mediums, but prefers the unpredictable results that painting serves to project the humility and vulnerability created with every stroke of oil onto canvas. Her work is inspired by great works of poetry and literature, and her raw material comes from real life and musings. These haunting images evoke moods and memories and question what it means to feel human? Suzanne studied abroad in Venice, Italy in an international program directed by Angiola Churchill and received her Master’s Degree of Art from New York University and a Bachelors of Fine Art from Kean University. She continues her study at the Arts Students League of New York. Her artwork has been featured and sold in international exhibitions and in local galleries, donated to several non-profit organizations, and commissioned by large corporations such as Johnson and Johnson and The Newark Museum. Her work has been recently added to the private collection of Sir Paul McCartney and Lady Nancy in Sussex, England.Her latest work, “Venetian Red” measuring 66x40 inches was inspired from her visits to Venice, Italy. She incoporates images from Piazza San Marco and the Carnival mask of the sly and cunning, “Zanni” character from the Commedia dell’arte.

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Her work titled “Hard Work Never Killed Anyone” was awarded the President’s Award in 2011, by juror Shiva Amadi for a National Women’s Arts Exhibition titled “From Our Perspective.” Her work was selected by juror, Daniel Shay of the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. for a National Arts Exhibition in 2011, titled “Strokes of Genius” for her painting titled “Ain’t I A Woman?” She received an award of Merit for her work. Anan’s work was exhibited with forty-six artists from thirty-one countries in an International Art Exhibition in Florence, Italy in November 2010 and then in May 2011 in Ferrara, Italy at the Castello Estense to bring public awareness to Human Rights issues. She designed numerous award winning pieces for clients such as The Newark Museum and the State Theatre of New Jersey. She volunteers for several non-profit organizations as a designer and educator; including The Newark Museum, The New Jersey Performing Arts Center, State Theatre of NJ, Newark Arts Council, City Without Walls, Aljira and La Casa De Don Pedro youth organization. She is an adjunct professor of Typography and Editorial Design at Kean University’s Robert Busch School of Design, a former Vice President of the Art Directors Club and a member of the American Artists Professional League of New York. For more information visit www.vividartsnetwork.com

February 2012

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FEATURED ARTIST

TERESA YOUNG

“Clown College” Oil on Canvas by Teresa Young

Surrealism and Abstraction My style spans a range of surrealism and abstraction because sometimes, emotions are more powerfully expressed using a central subject acting as a focal point the audience can directly identify with. This means that I'll sometimes use human faces or eyes for clarity and emotional impact. Other pieces will be wholly abstracted, as they are more 'emotional landscapes' meant to be interpreted by the viewer in a subjective fashion. What do I hope to achieve? I'd like to leave a legacy of my life through my artwork. I'd like to have others enjoy it and get something real out of it, some sort of connection to the beauty of art and how it enriches humanity on a daily basis. “SF Girl” Oil on Canvas For more information visit www.vividartsnetwork.com

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February 2012

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FEATURED ARTIST

VIGGO CARLSEN

“Paradise” Oil on Canvas by Viggo Carlsen

Color, Joy, Warmth Viggo Carlsen began his career as a young boy when he and a friend drew Cowboys and Indians with real empathy. Nowadays, they would like human figures with their absence in his artwork. His inspiration, he draws from nature. As often as he can Viggo is out and about in the woods and fields. Tåkern and Omberg are places that he visits often. On his walks he always has his camera with him and often sketch pad and pencil. “My grandfather who lived in Denmark was also an artist. He taught me many things including the way I would put a shadow image. One has only to follow their own intuitions if you want results and a deviation from the already found can often lead one into the new track. Although if I have to do less successful experiments, the nature of painting lessons as a basis, however, I have gone against the renewal both in form and color, and my study of nature let me now make even more powerful abstract experiments. Excerpts from Eric Olson, a seeker's journey I would like to have with the nice lines that Erik Olson wrote, I can recognize myself in his assertion. “ Over the years, Viggo had some 20 exhibitions, he has also worked as an illustrator in various magazines and weeklies. - I am completely self taught and never attended any school of painting, "he says. There are a lot of everything in these parts. I do not give me away far to find beautiful scenery and birds. When asked about the

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inspiration never runs short answer Viggo; No to the Devil, painting can never tire of. It is completely impossible. Everything is fun when you are creating. And then it happened something with painting,,. Today the images are color, joy, warmth, and for the viewer a must stop for every matter. I have recently known to try out more colors, where my creations may be unsuspected forms, there may be reasons that I could not be imagined a few years ago. I'm curious as to what is on the other hand, says Viggo who adds that when he paints like he listens to classical music.The thing about art is sacred to me and now I feel I'm on the move again. It's like a poison, or even worse, "says Viggo and looks happy. “Coler Cosmos” Oil on Canvas

For more information visit www.vividartsnet work.com

February 2012

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FEATURED ARTIST

WENDY COHEN

“Luminous Lights” Mixed Media on Canvas

Her works are a feast for the eyes Influenced by modern masters such as Picasso and Pollock, Wendy Cohen’s dreamscapes of abstraction takes us to an adventurous journey of visual excitement and fantasy. Inspired by her travel and life experience, Cohen experiments with a variety of media and the surface of her canvas. With her colorful palette and expressive style Cohen’s rich textured paintings are infused with a sense of healing, well-being and spiritual energy. Focusing on the human form, influence by African art, her spontaneous work of feerless brushstrokes and invigorating freedom leads us to embrace the human experience and its full range of emotions. Wendy says that her inspiration lies in the way she continually challenges herself with stimulating ideas that rise above the predictable and the mundane. Her works are a feast for the eyes and as she was born in Cape Town, South Africa, Wendy grew up

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being influenced by the rich and majestic african culture. She presently lives and works in Sydney, Australia where she has been exhibiting her work since 2004. For more information visit www.vividartsnetwork.com “Rising Plateau” Mixed Media on Canvas

February 2012

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FEATURED ARTIST

WENDY WAUGH

“LEE” Graphite,

Charcoal, Pastel on Paper by Wendy Waugh

Capturing Absolute Beauty My intention is to bring beauty, joy, pleasure and peace into the world. I draw and paint what I see and what I know to be the essence of my subjects. That essence is the beauty within them. As Keats said “... Beauty is Truth, Truth is Beauty.” The truth, according to Keats is a depth of beauty within each person not necessarily seen, but somehow always expressed. It is not the surface; it is the spirit or the soul of the person. Plato said, “...beauty of soul... more valuable than beauty of body.” This culture loves to talk about beautiful things, people, and places. We even seem to yearn for beauty as we search for sunsets, an ocean view or a beautiful woman. Yet I think we do not really see the absolute beauty in that exists in all people, places and things. It is this absolute beauty that I am looking for and seek to capture in every person I paint and draw. I believe that this beauty that is in all of us, is our truth.

“Laurie Number 1” Graphite and Charcoal on Paper

For more information visit www.vividartsnetwork.com

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February 2012

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ARTTOUR INTERNATIONAL FEBRUARY 2012

NATALIA BABI Sixth finalist “Love Cover Contest” Arttour International Magazine “Love" Photography

WWW.NATALIABABI.COM

Natalia Babi is a Miami, Fl. based artist whose mixedmedia piece "Sea Turtle" was selected as the cover of the government's travel magazine in Florida. The graces cover created by Natalia Babi became symbolical In the State of Florida, to protect and preserve our natural heritage – by helping the survival of one of the earth’s oldest animals. In February 2008, Her first major solo show "Colors of Ambient" was exhibited at the historical Hollywood Cultural Arts Center Museum and Ms. Babi figured prominently in a subsequent article appearing in the mega-newspaper The MIAMI HERALD and CNN news. Natalia Babi is currently working on two innovative new shows that will be appearing in major cities all over the

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world: “Wondrous Women of Fantasy and Reality”, paintings of women, both real and imagined, who have made an impact on world culture throughout history including Nefertiti, Jeanne d'Arc, Catherine the Great, Marie Antoinette, Madame Pompadour and many other such transcendent women comprise this series; and a second project ''Immortal Masterpieces of Planet Earth''. In which she reflects her bright impressions of travels and the surprising discoveries made in the distant wanderings. Ms. Babi is well known for creating portraits of legendary entertainers Sophia Loren, Elizabeth Taylor, Brigitte Bardot, and Frank Sinatra, among others.

February 2012

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Imagine

Color and Black & White

Images Printed © Gregory Brophy

http://www.gregbrophy.com/

on Hand Made Paper or Canvas

© Amy Cohen Banker

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http://amycohenbanker.com/

February 2012

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ARTTOUR INTERNATIONAL FEBRUARY 2012

E V E N T S By Giulia Spagnesi - Florence

Florence Exhibit: “The Huave Community of Oaxaca, Mexico” From 19th to 24th November 2011, an exposition called “The Huave Native Community of Oaxaca, Mexico” was held at the Limonaia of Villa Strozzi, which is a charming villa near to the city center of Florence. Realized by the anthropologist Laura Montesi, the exposition was a composition of several intense pictures, which had shown different aspects of the habitual life of the Huave native community. This community consisted at that time nearly 28.000 inhabitants divided in four municipalities in the south part of Mexico placed in the Zapotec region. The design of the exposition contained panels including big prints of the pictures. The panels, created by the Florentine painter Enrico Guerrini (http://www.enricoguerrini.it), recorded the visitor the technique of the colorful Mexican murals. Many events, like conferences, documentary shows and ethnic music concerts, animated these seven days of exposition, due to emphasize the importance of knowledge, respect and preservation of cultural autonomy of the Huave Native Community and also much more every native community of Mexico. Doctor Montesi, who took part in an interesting research project for the Faculty of Anthropology of Siena University, lived in Mexico for a long period of time and studied directly the topic of religious syncretism typical for the Huave Community. She had also the

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The exposition was a composition of several intense pictures, which had shown different aspects of the habitual life of the Huave native community.

possibility to analyze the impact, the diffusion and the diversification of protestant cult between the Huaves native inhabitants. During her stay in Mexico she started to think about an exposition that should give her the chance to spread the existence of the Huave Native Community outside the University and Research Centers. She collected and chose significant pictures taken in Mexico and shared the project with the painter Enrico Guerrini. As a result of their effort, everybody who was interested could appreciate everyday life of the Huave Native Community: the relationship of the Huave to the fishing, the patron saint’s day festivities, the engagement and wedding rituals, the local mythology and as a contrast also the alcoholic problems.

February 2012

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JENNIFER CONTINI ENDERBY Fifth finalist “Love Cover Contest” Arttour International Magazine “Fill Me Up Do Not Crush" Acrylic and Mixed Media on Wood

WWW.JENNIFERCONTINI.COM

“My inspiration comes from the city streets and city vibes of everyday life. Urban living is full of fast pace movement.  It’s a beat that one either loves or loathes.  I love the rhythm of New York City.  It drives me to create and then to appreciate the quiet and stillness with God even more. This love is live.” Jennifer Contini www.arttourinternational.com

February 2012

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MARINA REITIER

Original Artwork and Commissions Available www.marinareiter.com marina@marinareiter.com

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VLADIMIR TASOFF

Organic Surrealism Original Artworks Available wicked-vlad.daportfolio.com

ATTENTION ARTISTS GET THE RIGHT EXPOSURE! BECOME ONE OF OUR FEATURED ARTISTS!!! Arttour International Magazine A Quarterly Publication. Dedicated to exposing contemporary art by bringing it to the eyes of collectors, art buyers and dealers, art critics, gallerists and art lovers. Offering an international platform for professional and emerging artists looking for the right exposure!

Next Issue: May 2012 Ad close: 4/12/2012 Materials deadline: 4/10/2011 Looking for a way to get noticed? Advertising in Arttour International Magazine is a great way to leverage your advertising dollars and grow your business. Our huge distribution network includes the best galleries and five star hotels in Rome, Florence, Milano, London, Santiago, New York, Tokyo and Paris, together with shops, theaters and art venues throughout Europe and USA. Ad formats include full page, half page, Quarter Page and Spread. Contact us today for more information ads@arttourinternational.com

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On sale: 4/23/2012 Opportunities Premium placement Full page and multi-page spreads Half page, horizontal Quarter page To place your ad contact ads@arttourinternational.com February 2012

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Profile for Arttour International Magazine

ArtTOUR International - Magazine Feb 2012  

ArtTour International, the hottest art magazine covering Europe and the Americas dedicated to exposing contemporary art by bringing it to th...

ArtTOUR International - Magazine Feb 2012  

ArtTour International, the hottest art magazine covering Europe and the Americas dedicated to exposing contemporary art by bringing it to th...