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Chiara Magni Award-Winning Italian Oil Finger Painter

Marco Autuori An Unstinting Experience Into Your Psyche

Academy of Ballet and Jazz, School of Canadian Ballet Theatre A Snapshot of the Top Ballet Academy in Canada INSPADESMAG.COM - OCTOBER 2018 - N12 โ ข $6.99 - 1 Year 19.99


Sopronfalvi An Artist Crossing Cultures

VOTE THE WINNER Thanks to Blurb’s generosity, a Premium Printed INSPADES Deluxe Magazine will be given to two winning artists for the next three issues of INSPADES Magazine! ONE will be awarded to the cover artist. THE SECOND will be decided by YOU! VOTE FOR YOUR FAVOURITE ARTIST The artist with the most votes will win a gorgeous printed copy of INSPADES Now is your chance to support your favourite artist!

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“The Life & Death of Fall” I was running down my road today with no rhyme or reason (Summers not my favorite season) When I smelled in the damp heavy air The smell of pure hot wood burning And it filled my lungs with an unsure yearning For those years when I was four Stumbling, unsteady, and still learning Breathing in the comforting smell of this summers’ leaves decaying And I remember hoping wishing praying For fall to stay a lit tle longer But the brute force of winter was always stronger And now I sit by fall’s deathbed while all around me, it ’s leaves are shed. Albany Pickering (McCabe) - @albany.new.york - @the.aimless.muse

Albany Pickering (McCabe) @albany.new.york @the.aimless.muse

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Albany Pickering Double inspiration...


Palette Gear New Creative Toys to boost creativity


Jaclyn Truss Letter from the Editor Living on Someday-now


Ildiko Sopronfalvi Hungarian photographer and civil engineer builds bridges to rebel against contemporary thinking while capturing the ancient energy of culture


Giulia Valente Figurative artist with a love of the Renaissance and Baroque delves into the mystique of painting’s “younger sister”


Polina Surikova EndlessFaces Photographer retouches images to remove the imperfections that she doesn’t believe exists


Salem McBunny The Eye of Salem

006 • inspadesmag.com


Christina Strehlow Photographing her daughters in their idyllic summer home in Sweden


Vladimir Kolesnikov


Chiara Magni Release your inner child with this modern impressionist finger painter

Examining the forwardthinking, psychologydriven approach of photographer Vladimir Kolesnikov


Lola Rossi Photographer embellishes and destroys images in post-production as a reflection of how we store our memories


Aleksandra Nikolic From Barbie to glitter baths, this fashionable photographer will reawaken your wonder


Azrol Afendy A journey of pain and healing through the eyes and words of Azrol Afendy


Merle Prosofsky Professional Photographers of Canada (PPOC)


Marco Autuori Italian digital artist creates extraordinary works inspired by film noir to exorcise emotion and birth visions of the world around him



SERGIO DAVID SPADAVECCHIA Publisher/Creative Director - info@creativespades.com creativespades.com - @creativespades JACLYN TRUSS Editor in Chief - info@inspadesmag.com Anissa Stambouli Assistant Editor - info@inspadesmag.com @astamdesigns


Denise Bergert

An eruption of talent of Chemnitz that will melt your heart

A. Samuel Lewis - Writer - www.imr-sv.com - @imr-sv Albany Pickering McCabe - Resident Poet CONTRIBUTORS Talia Markos - Editorial Assistant Dario spadavecchia - Media Research Christina Deveau - PR & Social Media - @christinadeveau IN PARTNERSHIP WITH Portrait Community Feature

EndlessFaces Professional Photographers of Canada

ADVERTISING INQUIRIES info@creativespades.com


Järvi Raudsepp Irene Yang Anastasia Miller Tiffany Efimov The Academy of Ballet and Jazz, School of Canadian Ballet Theatre, is a top ballet academy in Canada that trains students to become professional dancers in ballet companies around the world

COVER: ILDIKO SOPRONFALVI INSPADES Magazine is designed & distributed by Creative Spades © All images, text, logo and content of INSPADES Magazine or Creative Spades properties is under the Copyright Laws of Canada. Any reproduction strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

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Powerful Tools Across All Software

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hether a professional editor or just getting into it, there is something that we all know is an undeniable truth of the creative world: it takes time to create. It takes time to learn the software, the techniques and the complex processes to achieve the results that are in our head. Translating our visions into masterpieces is not a simple “click of a button” or a client waving a hand in front of a monitor shouting “make it pretty!” and expecting instant telepathic results. Any editor knows that it requires much more than that and patience is the most significant component. Another undeniable truth is that there are devices out there that can help us by giving us more control on the tools that software provide. The myriad of icons and functions that each software offers gives us with the power that we can harness to manipulate pixels, sounds and everything in between. My setup is simple, and my tools are a mouse customized with the most common functions, a tablet to bring my precision to another level when editing fine details.

Here is where I find Palette Gear came in and revolutionized the world of editing, it has custom setups per each software, brush, level, curve, adjustment and modifier that I need to bring my projects to life. Editing is an infinite series of interactions with controls, repeated steps, and customizations that are like our fingerprint; they are ours and ours only. Shortcuts, dials and sliders save us time, they keep our eye focused on the project, they make us more productive and, personally, there are never enough toys to play with while I’m having fun creating behind a screen. Product designer Calvin Chu founded Palette in 2013 and launched on November 18, 2015, announcing its modular control interface comprised of snap-together sliders, dials and buttons. Users can create a personalized experience that benefits from the speed and precision offered by a hands-on interface and a modular controller that can be used with virtually any type of software. Programmed for tight integrations with Adobe’s Lightroom and Photoshop, Palette is the perfect addition to any editor’s workflow, as it increases efficiency for repetitive tasks with laser-like precision. This revolutionary innovation also transcends borders of functionality as it can also be used as a MIDI device for music control, joystick, or as a substitute for keyboard shortcuts. Its magnetic interface allows for a customizable layout that fits everyone’s workflow with fine-tune dial sensitivity, optimizing the speed and precision of each function independently. It doesn’t matter what you are working on and what software you are using because Palette is virtually adaptable to any workflow and any project.

Check out Palette at palettegear.com

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Albany Pickering (McCabe) @albany.new.york @the.aimless.muse

Albany Pickering (McCabe) - @albany.new.york - @the.aimless.muse

“I forgot

that for now anyways you need the dark to have the light you need to be blind to appreciate sight you need to be low to get to great heights you need to be sad to embrace a delight you need to be wrong to know when you’re right and to make it through the day you must first get through the night.” inspadesmag.com • 013

Letter From the Editor BY JACLYN TRUSS

Living on Someday-Now You’ve often heard life is not about the destination; it’s about the journey. And when you listen to it, you might say to yourself, “Oh yeah, that’s right, that’s true, life is about the journey”. But then, more often than not, you will speed through your days trying to get somewhere else anyway. Anywhere but where you are now. Anywhere except be in this moment, the moment you could choose to enjoy now. We’re all living on some conditional “someday”. When “this” happens, then I’ll be happy. When “that” happens, then my life will be good. But your life is good now and, if you reached for it, I’m sure you could list out the reasons. So where is the disconnect? You need to understand that you will ALWAYS want something more than you have. Life will always cause you to desire more, to create more, to be more, you cannot help it. You will never get it done, so stop trying to find the finish line. You are here to expand continuously, and you do. But you were not meant to do so unhappily. You did not say to yourself, “I will take on this physical body and suffer as much as I can until I leave this physical body.” No, you are meant to be happy, not someday–now. The key is finding satisfaction where you are now. That doesn’t mean pretending you like or are okay with things you don’t like; it just means you pay a whole lot less attention to those things and turn your attention to the things you do like. So reach satisfaction wherever it lies in your life. Reach for the things that make you feel better. They don’t need to be big and, in truth, the most significant leaps in life often stem from small, unexpected and surprising steps. But that simply satisfaction can turn to joy and excitement and lead you to beautiful places you never thought you’d go when you were busy worrying about all the things you don’t prefer. It’s not about the money, the job, the status, the relationship, the house or the things. You only want those things because you believe you will FEEL better in the having of them. But time and time again, the world has shown us that those things do not make you happy—only deciding to be happy makes you happy. So, since that’s all you really want, to feel better, why don’t you go ahead and decide to feel better anyway, no matter what? Take moments each day and reach for satisfaction—what have you got to lose? Worst case scenario, you’ll feel a little better. :) We will even offer you your first step towards finding some of that good feeling stuff...

— Enjoy this Deluxe Issue of Ispades Magazine!— Queen of Spades Photo by Lola Rossi - @lolarossi

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Järvi Raudsepp @birdofthelake Irene Yang @ireneyy11 Anastasia Miller Tiffany Efimov @tiffy_1106 @academyofballetandjazz

academyofballetandjazz.ca - Ph: creativespades.com


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CKNOWLEDGED all over the world as the foremost training syllabus of the classical ballet, the Vaganova Method is a ballet technique and training system that is designed to involve the entire body in every movement, with equal attention given to the feet, legs and upper body. Crafted by the Russian dancer and pedagogue Agrippina Vaganova (1879–1951), the Vaganova Method is an elemental fusion of the athleticism and virtuosity of Italian technique and the traditional French style arisen from the romantic era. Vaganova believed that this holistic approach to training increased one’s consciousness of the body, thereby creating harmony and fluidity of movement, as well as a superior expressive range. The Vaganova method is the foremost technique used by greats of Russian classical ballet including Mikhael Baryshnikov, Rudolph Nureyev, Maya Plisetskaya, Galina Ulanova and Natalia Makarova. The Academy of Ballet and Jazz, School of Canadian Ballet Theatre, is a top ballet academy in Canada founded by Nadia Veselova Tencer and Solomon Tencer. Using the legendary Vaganova Method, Artistic Director Nadia Veselova Tencer trains students to become professional dancers in ballet companies around the world. The 2017/2018 season marked the 30th anniversary of the school, which was a milestone reached by a series of significant accomplishments through the years.

academyofballetandjazz.ca - Ph: creativespades.com

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Veselova Tencer’s pre-professional students compete in the most prestigious international ballet competitions during their training. These competitions include Vaganova Grand-Prix, the International Competitions of Moscow, Varna, USA, and Helsinki, Youth America Grand Prix, and, this past season, the famed Prix de Lausanne. Graduates of the school have also earned contracts all over the world with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal, Hungarian National Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, Estonian National Ballet, English National Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Le Ballet du Capitole de Toulouse, and many more. Students of the Academy show their skill each year performing in timeless classical ballets including The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, La Bayadere, Don Quixote, Coppélia, Le Corsaire, Paquita, and Giselle. Throughout the years, Veselova Tencer stages professional productions featuring guest artists from some of the finest ballet companies in the world such as the Bolshoi Ballet, Kirov Ballet/ Mariinsky Theatre, American Ballet Theatre, Royal Ballet, and Cuban National Ballet. These productions are performances presented by their in-house company: Canadian Ballet Theatre, giving students and local guest artists an opportunity to share the stage with international ballet stars–a treat for performers and audiences alike.

academyofballetandjazz.ca - Ph: creativespades.com

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In addition to paving professional routes for the dancers of their school, the founders produce the international ballet gala: Stars of the 21st Century, in which they assemble soloists and principal dancers from the world’s most renowned ballet and contemporary companies. This year marks the 25th anniversary of their widely acclaimed feat of bringing the world’s top ballet artists together on one stage. Stars of the 21st Century galas take place annually in multiple cities, including New York, Paris, Toronto, Moscow, Bucharest, Panama City, Cannes, and, this past June 2018, St. Petersburg–with a grand 25-year anniversary performance. Due to Veselova Tencer’s international presence and vast professional experience, her students are presented with a lens to ballet around the world. They understand the extremely high standards towards which to strive, and they know that Veselova Tencer’s training will prepare them for the road ahead and hone them for success.

academyofballetandjazz.ca - Ph: creativespades.com

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Artistic Director: Academy of Ballet and Jazz, School of Canadian Ballet Theatre Artistic Director: Stars of the 21st Century, Annual International Ballet Gala: Champs Elysees, Paris, France 1998 – 2006 Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow, Russia 2001 Lincoln Center, New York, USA 2000-2007 Palais des Festivales, Cannes, France 1999 – 2007 Toronto Centre for the Performing Arts 2002 -2007 Hummingbird Centre, Toronto, Canada 1995 – 199 Awards: Outstanding Teacher, Youth America Grand Prix, 5x Awards: Brilliance of the 21st Century Medal, New York, 2007 Awards: Golden Soffit Award, St. Petersburg, Russia 1995-1996 Judge and Choreographer at the Youth America Grand Prix, New York, U.S.A. Judge, Prix Benois de la Danse, Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow Graduate of the Kirov Ballet, St. Petersburg Performed with Russian companies and with the world’s best ballet stars Nadia Veselova Tencer was a judge at both Prix Benois De La Danse, Bolshoi Theatre-Moscow Russia, and Youth America Grand Prix U.S.A Starsofthe21stcentury.com academyofballetandjazz.ca

academyofballetandjazz.ca - Ph: creativespades.com

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TIFFANY EFIMOV Born in the city of Toronto, now 12 years old, she began dancing at the age of three. Currently under the tutelage of Nadia Veselova Tencer for Ballet, Pointe, Character, Contemporary, Jazz and Lyrical, she has performed in various shows with the Academy. Efimov has danced solos which include: Princess Florine from Sleeping Beauty, Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, a contemporary solo called Mood, Thumbelina from the ballet Thumbelina, an act three variation from Le Corsaire, Cupid variation from Don Quixote and Bacchante variation from Walpurgis night, as well as other dances. Last summer, she participated in The Young Dancers Summer Workshop at American Ballet Theatre, and previously, recently took part in the five-week summer intensive at ABT where Efimov received the ABT National Training Scholar, as well as the Bender Foundation Scholar. In 2017, she competed at the Youth America Grand Prix in Toronto and won the Hope award, and then proceeded to the NYC finals. This year in 2018, Efimov competed at YAGP Toronto once again and received the 1st place award for Contemporary, and the 2nd place award for Classical, in the Junior Age Division.


Tiffany Efimov - academyofballetandjazz.ca - Ph: creativespades.com

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“When technique and artistry are not balanced, the audience doesn’t grasp the dancer’s intention. My training at the Academy has been invaluable– Nadia has challenged my technique and artistry and made me the dancer I am now.” “What drives my commitment to dance is the ability to transmit my emotions and my love of dance to people around me, as well as all the opportunities I get like competitions, summer training and scholarships.”

Tiffany Efimov - academyofballetandjazz.ca - Ph: creativespades.com

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Tiffany Efimov - academyofballetandjazz.ca - Ph: creativespades.com

“Dance is a big part of my life; without it, I would lose a portion of myself.”

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IRENE YANG Pre-professional ballet student with a background in competitive dance at award-winning Ontario studios. Yang’s intensive training at Academy of Ballet and Jazz began in 2014, under the instruction of Nadia Veselova Tencer, Vladimir Ivanov and Melody Ichimura. She has earned numerous high levels of recognition at the Youth America Grand Prix competition, including 1st place in both the classical and contemporary categories. This past season, she was selected as a candidate for the 46th Prix de Lausanne in Switzerland. Around 75 candidates from 30+ countries compete each year, with only about 20 making it to the finals. Yang made it to the finals as the only female Canadian, and one of top 5 in her age category. Her training at the Academy of Ballet and Jazz and her international recognition has put her on the path to a successful career in ballet.


Irene Yang - academyofballetandjazz.ca - Ph: creativespades.com

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“The thrill of being onstage, performing art and connecting with the audience by using extraordinary movement while conveying natural emotions and feelings is what drives me to dance.” “I love dancing because it’s challenging and pushes me to be the best I can be.”

Irene Yang - academyofballetandjazz.ca - Ph: creativespades.com

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“Dance lightens up my day and allows me to express emotions through movement and gain a sense of self-fulfilment.�

Irene Yang - academyofballetandjazz.ca - Ph: creativespades.com

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Irene Yang - academyofballetandjazz.ca - Ph: creativespades.com

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ANASTASIA MILLER She began her dance training at the age of five at Academy of Ballet and Jazz. A devoted student from the start, Miller trained intensively throughout the years with Nadia Veselova Tencer, Vladimir Ivanov and Melody Ichimura, dancing leading roles in the school’s classical ballets. In 2015, at the age of 14, she competed in the Youth America Grand Prix competition, earning the top award of Youth America Grand Prix, in Indianapolis, Indiana. In 2015, she was accepted into the acclaimed State Ballet School in Berlin, Germany, where Miller continued her rigorous training. Knowing that the training she received close to home was on par with professional schools around the world, Miller chose to pick up her studies with Veselova Tencer as she neared the start of her professional career. Competing again at Youth America Grand Prix and earning top awards in classical and contemporary in Toronto, Miller continues to thrive throughout her training as she works toward her bright future as a professional ballet dancer.

Anastasia Miller - academyofballetandjazz.ca - Ph: creativespades.com

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“Since the age of 5, I have been pointing my toes, kicking my legs, and twirling away to beautiful music. What started as a mere amusement ride for pure fun and enjoyment, eventually became an unbreakable bond.” “Under Nadia’s encouraging and nurturing wing, I learned to appreciate the beauty of movement, the magic of classical music, the power of expression, and the great potential of the human body– allowing this appreciation to guide me on my path and inspire me.”

Anastasia Miller - academyofballetandjazz.ca - Ph: creativespades.com

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Anastasia Miller - academyofballetandjazz.ca - Ph: creativespades.com

“I have always found that ballet is an art form similar to the art of sculpture. I like to see ballet as the sculptor, and dancers as the strong but pliable marble, full of potential and endless possibility in the sculptor's hands. Over the course of my training, ballet has sculpted me into the person I am today. Ballet has chiselled and carved my identity through the countless hours of hard work, the uplifting moments of success, and trying times of disappointment. But if there is anything I have learned, it is that the relationship between a dancer and her craft is deep and complex, with many ups and downs. It is not always romantic, but there is always an element of love and inspiration that keeps this relationship alive and going.”

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Model: Kassandra Meyer


Denise Bergert - @neofokus


“...with every shoot, I looked for a fresh challenge to master…” inspadesmag.com • 047

Model: Mandy Scherzer

Denise Bergert - @neofokus


the foothills of the Ore Mountains is Chemnitz, the third largest city in the Free State of Saxony, Germany. It is a unique city, not part of any county, and home to the Chemnitz petrified forest, one of the very few in existence in the world. Formed hundreds of millions of years ago in connection with the eruption of the Zeisigwald volcano, these trees were uprooted in the blast and lathered in volcanic tephra which, over time, fused with the trunks, freezing them in time to create well-preserved and rare fossils of a forest that once was. You can also find this combination of nature, beauty, fragility and preservation expressed by Chemnitz’ citizens as well, particularly with fine art photographer, Denise Bergert. However, what erupts from Bergert is her undeniable talent and drive for mastery–her ability to capture and hold the fragility of beauty within the gentle click of her shutter will unleash emotions that will surely melt your heart. Working as a freelance journalist for different IT-websites, Bergert finds photography to be the creative compensation for her job. An autodidact, she began four years ago with pictures of family and friends, but over the past few years she started conceptualizing photography projects and realized them with local models from her hometown. Now the founder of NEOFOKUS, a media agency for conceptual fine art, one thing is for certain, Bergert’s creative juices are always flowing, and her camera will never lay dormant for long.

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Model: Kassandra Meyer

Denise Bergert - @neofokus

I was an artsy child. I could sit for hours in my room, drawing and painting. As an adult, as I started photography, I found that passion again. Taking nice pictures of children, friends and family at some point just was not enough. I started connecting to the local model and photographer scene and soon found hobby models who wanted to work with me. At first, I just wanted to take beautiful pictures of beautiful faces; later, with every shoot, I looked for a fresh challenge to master different lighting, posing and retouching techniques.

In the last two years, photography got more conceptual for me–I want my photos to create emotions in the viewer, positive or negative. The chief reason I got this far, is my longtime boyfriend and now fiancé. He always supported my ideas, enriched them with his views, built me up when my motivation was low and helped me build lots of DIY-photographyequipment. I‘m incredibly grateful that he always stands by my side no matter what.

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Denise Bergert - @neofokus

Model: Anne-Kathrin Ziegler

I used a lot of resources. At first, I tried to understand the technical part. How does my camera work and how do aperture, shutter speed and ISO influence the picture that I take? I mastered it with lots of reading and watching videos on different websites. With time I created my own Photoshoptechniques which I am still using.

I learned the most through challenges. I would take the photo of famous photographers and try to recreate the lighting and the look. The results often came out very different, but with my own style. With this trick I learned a lot about light and shadows, communicating with the model and DIY-equipment, while I was practising.

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Denise Bergert - @neofokus

Model: Anne-Kathrin Ziegler

I find inspiration for shootings everywhere, in movies, paintings, books or other photographers. When the idea gets more explicit, I create a mood board that catches the mood of the set that I have in mind. On the day of the shooting, I‘m usually very well prepared so that, to the best of my ability, nothing can go wrong.

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Model: Lisa FlurschĂźtz

Denise Bergert - @neofokus

I try to give the model direction for the desired emotion for my shoot, and within this emotional frame, she can pose freely. However, I almost always get the best shots after the actual shoot when the model and I are improvising on a mutual idea we had just at the moment.

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Model: Lisa FlurschĂźtz

Denise Bergert - @neofokus

For my next project, I want to try posing my models in lost places as a contrast to the nature projects I worked on in 2016 and 2017. I also want to try to distance my new projects from the polished, glamorous and excessively retouched style my photos had in the beginning, in order to achieve a more natural and darker look with less retouch and more emotional expression. Therefore, I will shoot my models entirely without makeup. Social media gives me a platform to show my art which would otherwise waste away on my computers hard drive or in a photo book on my shelf. It‘s also very motivating for me to compare my work to other photographers and get feedback as well as recognition. I can reach an international audience and at the same time get inspiration everywhere.

Equipment Sony Alpha 7 Zeiss 35mm f2.8 Zeiss 55mm f1.8 Zeiss Batis 85mm f1.8 Lighting Natural light from outdoors or the huge windows in her home studio. She uses a pair of studio strobes during the winter months. Preferred Post-Production Process Approximately 45 to 60 minutes per photo, using Adobe Camera Raw and Photoshop for skin retouch and colour grading.

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Marco Autuori - @marcoautuori

Veins of

Anguish Marco Autuori

“I leave the viewer a taste of sadness and disgust for the way the world is made of anti-heroes, femme fatale and where a happy ending is never contemplated or actualized.”

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ountless artists in the world endeavour to evoke feeling from you. Some have stories to tell, others have a point to make or some social commentary to be conveyed. There are others still that leave the emotion up to you, but almost all, wish for you to feel something when you gaze upon their creations. However, there are some, who elicit emotion so effortlessly, that they will never fully understand the magnitude of impact they have over their viewers. Digital artist, Marco Autuori, is one of these artists. Fascinatingly creative and humble within the

Marco Autuori - @marcoautuori

personal enjoyment of his works, Autuori is one of those artists you love to love. Standing firmly in his visions, he offers an uncanny reminder of what great art meant to be to the one who wields it: joy. While it may seem like a juxtaposed perception to images so candidly marked by fatalism, his pictures are irrefutably as emotionally satisfying as they are haunting. With a breathtaking ability to not only express his own emotions but to accurately perceive the feelings of others is circumstances disparate to his own, Autuori’s art open-

handedly delivers his viewers an unstinting experience into their own psyche. Like an elaborate Rorschach test meant not to diagnose, but to peel back your layers, revealing you to yourself, Autuori succeeds in silently antagonizing your inner anguish, flushing it wordlessly to the surface, where you too, can come to know it and find a way to release it from your being. We caught up with Autuori for an interview, in hopes that we could reveal some insight behind the inspiration for his images that conjure such elusive and tacit emotional responses.

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Marco Autuori - @marcoautuori

Please tell us about yourself–who is the man behind these incredibly creative images?

I was born in Naples, back in 1983. At the age of ten, I moved to the Mediterranean island of Elba. Growing up, I did a lot of work to try to make money, from mechanical workshops to working on a fishing boat. I started making digital collages a few years ago, as a bit of fun. I started with simple images taken from my cell phone, obviously, the result was not the best, but I liked the idea of ​​changing reality. Then, not being able to afford the images of superior quality, I started to wander the web, often looking for portraits to change. In those portraits, I put in my vision of the world, of the fears, desires, memories of the past, memories of fears, memories of lived moments and reminiscences with a dreamlike flavor. I use a lot of black and white. I grew up with film noir, Lansdale novels, and blues music. My works are a simple release valve, my favorite hobby.

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You said that your images are representations of your "vision of the world,� can you elaborate on that?

Do you find that your visions, fears and memories release themselves in some way once they are embodied by your images?

Marco Autuori - @marcoautuori

I have tried to give a "personal" interpretation of the feelings I experienced, but also to those experiences to which I did not live directly. For example, in my image "Lonely Men" I thought of the fishermen, the nets that must fall every night, the lonely men in the middle of the sea, their eyes always red, lips stung by the salty air. In another work, "Losses", I imagined a woman who lost something important from the womb, a life or simply a desire unhatched for too long. While in "Divinity", I imagined a beautiful woman, famous, a woman to flatter, but perhaps has committed some petty actions to achieve success, rotting her from the inside out.

I started making these digital collages, to exorcise and cultivate a vent for my visions and fears (not always personal). It's a way of trying to get rid of something that maybe I did not see right and most of my works are lined with a vein of anguish.

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Marco Autuori - @marcoautuori

How do you showcase your love of film noir through your imagery?

Just like in the best film noir, strictly in black and white, I almost always try to do my works without colour; only in some works will I put a point of colour to emphasize a detail I wish to bring out. Also, as in part of film noir, I leave the viewer taste of sadness and disgust for the way the world made of anti-heroes, femme fatale and where a happy ending is never contemplated or actualized.

Each piece is aptly named, do you begin with the theme or is it something that evolves throughout the piece?

Almost always, I lead with a precise idea, which in the development phase can change, but I am always striving to keep that original meaning. I do not create my images by force to send a social message to the viewer; they are simply my vision of the things I see, hear and feel. I metabolize my images in my own way and believe the viewer will as well.

“I have tried to give a ‘personal’ interpretation of the feelings I experienced, but also to those experiences to which I did not live directly.”

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Marco Autuori - @marcoautuori

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Marco Autuori - @marcoautuori

“Thank you for dedicating your precious time to me. Time is always precious. And this is how much”

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Black Pink or

"It is an illusion that photos are made by camera...they are made with the eye, heart and head." Henri Cartier-Bresson

Ildiko Sopronfalvi - @foto_by_ildiko - fotobyildiko.com

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Ildiko Sopronfalvi - @foto_by_ildiko - fotobyildiko.com

ILDIKÓ SOPRONFALVI born in 1976 in Hungary, studied civil engineering at the Technical University Budapest and now works as civil engineer. In the world of engineering, as with the world at large, there is a desire to stick with has been tried and true over time, however, it is the major breakthroughs in engineering, those who step outside the box to create something we have never seen before, that places one on the map. As Sopronfalvi is no stranger to the conceptualization, design, construction and maintenance of the public and private infrastructure of her homeland, it comes as no surprise that Sopronfalvi’s creative side would follow suit. Love at first sight, Sopronfalvi bought her first SLR camera in 2015. She was so crazy for photography that she wanted to learn everything about it immediately. She started with workshops but, as the classes were only for beginners and she thirsted for so much more, Sopronfalvi began to study photography at the Akademie Deutsche POP in Stuttgart. “Without obsession, I would not be here,” she admits, “At the Academy, I made several relationships with songwriters and musicians. I took photos for singers and bands, and even made CD covers for them. I have had a lot of publications for different fashion magazines in New York.”

Title: Black or pink Model: Sindy Ofori Stylist: Yulia Zimmermann HMUA: Arayeh Ghoreishi

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“Photography is a selfexpression activity, a work of art. You can present a new world through the spirit of the photographer…” Ildiko Sopronfalvi - @foto_by_ildiko - fotobyildiko.com

While, for Sopronfalvi, civil engineering is only a job, a means to a financial end, the skills she has learned have aided her in the organization and execution of her photographic endeavours. “Civil engineering is a very rational and fully responsible way of thinking. As a photographer, you need this rationality and consequentiality in juxtaposition to the creativity and spontaneity. I often use these skills in organizing shootings, thinking through concepts and moods or choosing the team members.” However, photography is her ultimate dream, and she believes that shooting every day will one day become a reality. “Photography is a self-expression activity, a work of art. You can present a new world through the spirit of the photographer–it can be mysterious, emotional, expressive, intuitive and spontaneous all at the same time. When I have the camera in my hand, I feel freedom and happiness. In each picture, there is my eye, heart and head on it.” Sopronfalvi’s main profile has developed into fashion and portrait photography. Working together with the same professional creative team of stylists, hair and makeup artists, designers and models for projects, she basks in the joy of a reliable team that flows like a well-oiled machine. Her favourite model is Sindy Ofori, with whom she has had several shootings with, and when the opportunity arose to create her first submission for a fashion magazine, she could not think of anyone else she would rather shoot with. For this series, called Black or Pink, Sopronflavi pulled out all the stops, and so did her team. “I wanted to show that fashion could be more personal than people generally think it is. We started with brainstorming with the stylist together and she prepared the outfits constructed from straw.” The shoot was designed to show Sopronfalvi's love of colours, contrast, complementary contrasts and mood intermingled with emotion.

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“Civil engineering is very rational and full responsible way of thinking. As a photographer, you need this rationality and consequentiality in juxtaposition to the creativity and spontaneity.�

Ildiko Sopronfalvi - @foto_by_ildiko - fotobyildiko.com

Sopronfalvi tried new lighting techniques for each photo in the series and was thrilled to have each of her team members perform at their peak best. “We flew together,” muses Sopranfalvi, “I felt as though my team and I were in another dimension.” Through the creativity of their symbiosis, Sopranfalvi was able to show the soul of the model and capture the ancient energy of her culture, creating a captivating piece worthy of a magazine cover. With the success of Black or Pink stemming from a country where the population of Black people are represented by the thin sliver of demographic labelled “other”, Sopronfalvi’s upcoming project has gone a step further in an effort to crack conservative and foundational paradigms of her home country: traditional Hungarian clothing worn by Black models. “Hungary can be a very conservative country with traditional Eastern Europe thinking. The people are not so open for new ideas or more modern Western European ideations. I know, because I used to live in Germany and have seen the differences between the two cultures. This newest series is to be my rebellion against this conservative way of thinking, by bringing traditional Hungarian embroidery into notoriety while showing the crossing of different cultures.” By fusing foreign cultures with age-old tradition, Sopronfalvi’s latest project is sure to raise eyebrows in her homeland–and she hopes it does. It is always amazing when artworks can shake the foundational core of it’s viewer, and Sopronfalvi's work aspires to create a bridge for viewers to an uncharted place of introspection, the crossing of which cannot help but take them to new destinations within their own belief systems.

Canon EOS 5 D Mark II, EF 70-200 mmf/2.8 IS II USM, EF 17-40f/4L USM. Hensel studio lighting with large softbox or beauty dish (2-3 pieces). Post-Production: Adobe Bridge CC 2017 (for picture selection), Adobe Photoshop CC 2018 (for skin retouches). Preferring perfect lights and makeup, retouch time is only lengthy for beauty and close ups which can run approximately 2-3 hours. Influences: Reportage and Portrait - Steve McCurry, Joachim Bergauer; Fashion Richard Avedon

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Chiara Magni - @chimfineart



at Modern Impressionism Chiara Magni

“I like to be really in touch with the oil paint, and I adore feeling it under my fingers–I can control it bett er, and I feel a part of the whole painting, as though not only a piece of my soul is left on the canvas but of my DNA as well.”

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or Italian artist, Chiara Magni, art has always been an essential and dominating aspect of her life. Oil painting before she was even able to write, Magni’s passion for the arts was innate and everlasting. Having completed art school Italy, Magni felt she was in need of something more, something that you do not learn in school, something intrinsic, that comes from your gut and shows your personality in full. So, Magni spent years searching inside herself for the best painting technique to express her inner soul. Magni tried pencils, watercolours, soft pastels, acrylics, stucco, resin and glitters, and spent a long period of her life doing abstract pieces that have sold quite well. While she was able to determine that oil paint was definitely her favourite medium, that discovery still had not delivered her full answer. The problem was, Magni never liked using brushes and, while she fully respects and admires the painters that can master the brush, she felt as if the results were too classic and academic, and it didn't allow her to express herself and her artistic eccentricities adequately. Also, while she does enjoy using a spatula and has used them a fair bit on her abstracts, it was still not the right tool for her, leaving her with a troublesome question–what was left?

Chiara Magni - @chimfineart

“I apply the colour pure from the tube to the canvas, and I do not use any solvents to give a 3D and textured look the painting; I use very thick oil for every piece I make and it the trademark of all my creations.”

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Deciding to focus on what was making her happy and more at ease, Magni returned to her inner child, the first artist, the one who liked to get her hands dirty and began finger painting with oil on canvas. Having found her artistic niche, she has never looked back. Her bright and textured, one-of-akind finger paintings have sold all over Italy, Europe, USA, Canada, Latin America, New Zealand and Israel, and she hopes to work her way into the art markets of Asia and Russia as well. Magni unique craftsmanship is getting droves of attention and awards, including her recent Artist of the Year award from the Maison d'Art in the city of Padova, Italy. Her art is also making waves with the everyday person, people who never dared to attempt painting for fear of inexperience, are gladding donning a pair of gloves and releasing the artist within. Unlike the stigma many have with picking up a brush, with finger painting, there are no rules; you need not have a goal in mind, you can paint freely and see where it takes you. Chiara Magni and the team at INSPADES invites you to grab a canvas, some oil paints and encourage your inner child to come out and play–you never know where it will lead you.

Chiara Magni - @chimfineart

“My art is having a positive impact on the world, and I feel more than lucky and blessed– all of my sacrifices, challenges and everything I have had to go through is finally now paying off, and I am thrilled to offer more to people with my art than simply colours and aesthetics.”

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“Right now, I am focusing on listening to myself more and raising, even more, the awareness of my creativity to always give something unique and pleasant to my collectors. At the same time, I am active and interactive on my social networks, and I am always interested in what my followers have to suggest and what they think.�

Chiara Magni - @chimfineart

“So here I am, a modern impressionist, that daydreams every time she sees a sky and paints about her life hoping to bring some joy to her collectors.”

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“Most of it, I think, is that photographing human beings is like looking at yourself in a mirror... In the end, I believe that if you are able to look in the right way, you can see your own soul.�

Giulia Valente - @julyhendrix

Girl with a Pearl Earring (and an Octopus)


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“I’ve always had a big passion for figurative art. Here in Italy, with a lot of museums and living next to centuries of art, it’s easy to fall in love with the Renaissance and Baroque masters, like Tiziano, Leonardo, Antonello da Messina, Giovanni Bellini, Caravaggio, and all the other great ancient painters. In 2006 I graduated at Padua University, in Disciplines of Art, Music and Theatre, because it was a perfect way to study, know and entrench myself into these three beautiful disciplines.”

Giulia Valente - @julyhendrix

“I was driven to portrait photography after a sad personal experience, that made me realize what is obvious: life is too short to waste it. From then on, photography became a more serious game.”

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“I take most of my inspiration from the Italian and Flemish painters of XV and XVI centuries: I have always seen photography as painting’s ‘younger sister’, and here in Europe we have a vast, precious treasure trove of amazing artists to look at.”

Giulia Valente - @julyhendrix

“I had started using analogue and digital cameras lots of years ago at concerts, but then, two years ago, I felt that this was not enough and that I needed to find another way to express myself. The love for art, cinema and music found it’s natural way into portrait photography, so I started taking portraits, studying light, composition and colour, trying to catch that warm yellow-green mesmerizing light of the Italian masters and recreate it in my photos.”

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Giulia Valente - @julyhendrix

“While planning a new shooting, one of the most challenging things for me is to search for the right face, that could better represent the purpose of the shot. ThisThat is not say that the model has to be beautiful full-stop. Their personality has to come across, and has to fit, and in some way dialogue and interact, with my initial idea. Finding the correct subject is the biggest bet behind every shooting because you can control everything from lights to lens to props to clothes to makeup, but you can’t control the emotions and the connection between the photographer and the subject.”

“Photography is the best way that I know to clear my mind. While thinking of a new project, photographing someone or retouching an image, my mind is in some way empty, and creativity and imagination are finally set free. Most of it, I think, is that photographing human beings is like looking at yourself in a mirror–you see yourself while looking at someone else, you see your emotions, your feelings, your fears, reflected in the other person’s eyes. In the end, I believe that if you can look in the right way, you can see your own soul.”

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Giulia Valente - @julyhendrix

“Now, I have new projects to develop my style and go deep into the themes I most love to explore–the dream, the darkness, the antithesis between love and death, the silence–I always try to search for something mystical and unsaid in my photos. Maybe this is the reason why I love photographing people with closed eyes, as if they are lost within themselves, in their own dreams and thoughts, absent to everything and everyone else.”

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The photos I'm submitting have been all realized in my little studio, and nothing would have been possible without the help of my assistant, Marcella Montesello @ silvergelly, who always helps me with makeup, hair, and during the shooting. Giulia Valente - @julyhendrix

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C The dark glam model: Tiziana @digarbo MUA: Franz Elisa @frz.elisamua

Polina Surikova - @polina.surikova



Complexity Polina Surikova

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orn in Russia but based in Belgium, Polina Surikova, a 22-year-old former amateur model now turned photographer, has been on the view-finding end of a camera for three years now. Having been on both sides of the lens, Surikova has developed a unique view of beauty, seeing her subject’s imperfections as

Polina Surikova - @polina.surikova

only something a still frame can capture and, as it would otherwise be dismissed in real life, should be erased from the image as it would the mind. Chaining photo shoot upon photo shoot, Surikova has been able to evolve her craft quickly, endeavouring to publish the best photo series her models have ever had.

Self-portrait of Polina Surikova

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“I was 15 years old when a friend asked me to accompany her to a photo shoot. The photographer also photographed me and published the images on their social networks. From there, several photographers contacted me. I have continued since to pose

Polina Surikova - @polina.surikova

for shoots regularly but, unfortunately, my profile does not interest agencies. The reason is not my measurements but the fact that my type of profile is not requested by customers. However, I continue to apply from time to time, in case an opportunity arises.�

Deep blue model: Tiziana @digarbo MUA: Franz Elisa @frz.elisamua

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“At 19, I decided to become a photographer myself. I have a love of fashion and portrait style. Above all, I like to put emphasis on the face of the model, because I think it’s the true personality of the model, not their body or their nakedness.” “Being a model before being a photographer taught me how a model can feel–the expectation that they can have of the final result. I always try to

Polina Surikova - @polina.surikova

make a maximize the level of retouching in my photos because I respect the time the models gave me and hope that I can deliver their desired results in return. Unfortunately, in the current photography environment, this is not always the case, as it has become fashionable to extol the natural and nonedited photos–but I think it’s too easy. I wanted to make the difference, and so, I’m doing the opposite.”

The Beret Model: Tiziana @digarbo MUA: Franz Elisa @frz.elisamua

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“I retouch every imperfection of my model’s images. Not because I am a perfectionist who does not like defects. I do it because I like my models feel as beautiful as possible, even if it means camouflaging their complexities. Because, in the end, when we see them face to face, when we interact with them, we are all always in movement, and our eyes do not stop on their imperfections and flaws–we gloss over physical imperfection to the beauty of their wholeness. A single

Polina Surikova - @polina.surikova

captured moment is just a piece of them, a piece we do not notice in real life. So what good is it to leave the imperfections captured on a frozen image?” “Of course like all photographers, I would like to make a name for myself. My family name is already known in Russia thanks to the famous painter Vasily Ivanovich Surikov. Who knows, maybe I have descendants with this artist! However, if I could also make this name shine for my own work, I would be delighted.”

Gold hair model: Marie Loridan @marielrdn MUA: MĂŠlissa @melissa.meler.mua

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Backlight Photographer & Retoucher: Polina Surikova Model : Emilie Bleus

Polina Surikova - @polina.surikova


Sun Photographer & Retoucher: Polina Surikova Model: Emilie Bleus

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Straw Photographer & Retoucher, make-up, hair: Polina Surikova Model: Laureline Delhove

Polina Surikova - @polina.surikova


Pure Photographer & Retoucher , make-up, hair: Polina Surikova Model: Héloïse Robert

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Sensational Photographer & Retoucher: Polina Surikova Model: Romane Bomboir @rbomboir MUA: Franz Elisa @frz.elisamua

Polina Surikova - @polina.surikova


The Beret Model: Tiziana @digarbo MUA: Franz Elisa @frz.elisamua

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Fox Photographer & Retoucher: Polina Surikova Make-up & hair: Elisa Franz Model: Elise GĂŠrard

Polina Surikova - @polina.surikova


Red Blue Photographer & Retoucher, Make-Up, Hair: Polina Surikova Model: Laureline Delhove

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Neil Photographer & Retoucher: Polina Surikova Model: Neil Roos

Polina Surikova - @polina.surikova


Sacha Photographer & Retoucher: Polina Surikova Model: Sacha Vanhelleputte

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The Eye of Salem “Self-portrait, for me, is like a therapy of selfknowledge... I consider selfportrait to be a way for inner healing and acceptance.”


wash in a fantasy, Salem McBunny, a 25-year-old conceptual photographer from Mexico, clicks his shutter. Today he is improvising, stretching his creative muscles because nothing feels as good as creating something from nothing. “I think that many wonderful photographs arise from the small details and things that sometimes we do not think we can do but, in the end, we create wonders,” McBunny claims. While his ideas usually arise unexpectedly, other times, it is about purposely creating the concepts, looking for information, symbols, visual references or drawing sketches. No stranger to digging deeper, McBunny often develops the concepts of his photography based on the story for a character.

Salem McBunny - @salemmcbunny - salemmcbunny.com

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He toils in the colour theory, the costumes, the poses, the expression and as many things as possible with the purpose of getting to what is already encapsulated in his mind—bringing it to the visible reality before not only his own eyes but that of others. With equal part liberation and careful planning, McBunny’s photographs happen in the same way. Sometimes they will happen anywhere, most of the time in the simple set up of his room with a piece of black cloth draped on the wall as a background. Other times, it is an allout production with McBunny even designing and assembling items such as headdresses, depending on the concept he wishes to create.

Salem McBunny - @salemmcbunny - salemmcbunny.com

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Often a one-person show, McBunny is adept at self-assembly, though in some cases, it can prove to be a challenge: He describes:

“I spend part of my time creating costumes and makeup for my photographs since most are self-portraits, and often I'm also in charge of creating things for the models I use in my photographs. I like extravagant things, and it is sometimes complicated if I cannot find people who can support me and the concepts that I look for, so I do it myself, and it can be difficult.” McBunny’s photography is alight with a touch of fantasy and mystery, which he finds to be an endless source of magic and inspiration in his life. Magic can be found in every detail of life, and he loves to fill his images with this magic. The features of not only the production elements, but of expression are extremely vital in each of his creations, and he will patiently work until he gets the expression he needs in each photograph:

“Sometimes I will take many pictures, feverishly endeavouring to mirror the image I have in my mind, only to feel unsatisfied with it in the end; however, I have since realized that this happens when the profile of the model does not fit the idea itself, generating a type of block.” “I feel it is essential to have the patience to achieve your desired result and understand that it is malleable. If a concept does not work with a model, I will change it and give it a different spin, and that usually produces better results.” “I always prepare several ideas beforehand and, as I go along, I am not afraid to alter the makeup, hairstyle or anything that appears to be creating a barrier for the vision.”

Salem McBunny - @salemmcbunny - salemmcbunny.com

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This concept is made more interesting when he, himself, is the model. McBunny finds that while some images intend themselves as a perfect fit for outside subjects, some are undeniably thought of as self-portraits. He feels that they simply do not carry the same emotional charge or meaning when made with another person when he believes they ought to be done with himself.

“Self-portrait, for me, is like a therapy of self-knowledge. I have done it since I started with photography and everything I have discovered about myself is quite fascinating. I consider the selfportrait to be a way for inner healing and acceptance.� While McBunny found ways to heal himself, he also found that he could help others to heal themselves as well. When McBunny was studying at university, he started taking photography workshops and discovered that the practice and dedication are what has helped him the most to see evolution in his work and by proxy, himself. Now, he shares his knowledge and learnings to help others find their own inner awareness.

Salem McBunny - @salemmcbunny - salemmcbunny.com

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Currently working as a freelance photographer, McBunny is also a fashion design teacher, sharing his knowledge by giving online or face-to-face classes about retouching and his work process, but he is also in the process of taking it to the next level. Soon, McBunny will be teaching more conceptual photography workshops and has also created photography workshops as emotional therapy with the purpose of gaining self-knowledge and offering therapeutic benefits. “I cannot begin to express how this new venture fills me with emotion—I have been testing the program in the real world, working with people who are in rehabilitation and the results have filled my spirit with love and positive energy.” As McBunny continues his inspirited work, he will also be working on new photographs, some for upcoming exhibitions, and others just for the pleasure of creating.

Salem McBunny - @salemmcbunny - salemmcbunny.com

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COLOUR Feel free to be passionate about working with colours, I believe that is of the utmost importance in my photographs. The light and shadows also play an imperative role, and these two details can make a photograph transform into something entirely different.

Salem McBunny - @salemmcbunny - salemmcbunny.com

CLARITY While inspiration can arise at any time, it can also come with the incubation of gradually clarifying ideas. I spend part of my time walking in nature, listening to music and dancing—not only do these activities fill me with energy, but it also unveils my mind when I am seeking to develop clarity of concept.

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Salem McBunny - @salemmcbunny - salemmcbunny.com

COMMUNITY For me, giving workshops is one of the most wonderful things that has happened to me in my life. I always think that we all learn together and when I receive words of appreciation from the people who attend my workshops it's a meaningful thing. While I teach both practice and theory in relation to creativity in my classes, I've equally learned new things, thanks to the students—not only in technique but also through their variety of perspectives. That’s why I believe that, in life, there is always more to learn, because there is always another eye from which to see the world.

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Natural Beauty, Rustic Charm

Christina Strehlow - @stinaninnas

Christina Strehlow “I love it when the

model is natural. It’s so important that she feels comfortable, as the best picture often captures movement—the unexpected.”

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Christina Strehlow - @stinaninnas

Country living and the simple life take an aspirational leap in the soft, melancholic tones of Christina Strehlow’s photography. Blending wistful subjects with the romantic movement of flowing vintage fabrics, the subtle lure and evocative portraits of this Swedish photographer will leave you dreaming of florals, warm tones and bucolic charm. “We have a summerhouse in Österlen, in the south of Sweden. I find most of my inspiration there through my love for nature, the old house, the sea—there are just so many things that I want to shoot there, I never get tired,” Strehlow shares. Channelling cool tones from the sea and the warmth of fields awaiting harvest, Strehlow shoots with natural light to capture the earthy charm, rustic femininity and delicate palettes of her family’s seasonal lifestyle in Österlen. “Riding my bicycle, I check for new places to photograph. Other times, I’ll be visiting the flea market with my car and notice a magical place as I’m driving,” Strehlow describes, “Foggy days are also inspiring to shoot. I love the mysterious atmosphere.” As a self-taught photographer with an eye for simple beauty, Strehlow prefers natural settings and authentic modelling styles. It was in her early teens when she first developed an interest in photography and taking pictures of her younger sister allowed Strehlow’s passionate hobby to blossom. Today, Strehlow continues to photograph the women in her family, particularly her two daughters. “When I shoot, I love it when the model is natural. It’s so important that she feels comfortable, as the best picture often captures movement—the unexpected.”

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The familial bond she shares with her daughters allows for unique, vulnerable portraits that invite the viewer to peer through the lens into intimate pockets of time at the Strehlow’s Österlen summerhouse. “When you have worked together for so long, sometimes you don’t need words before photographing—my daughters just now how I want the photograph to be,” Strehlow explains of their collaborative ability to create “melancholic, dreamy” portraits, “We have something unique together when we take photos. I don’t like perfection, but prefer moments and movement—those make for perfect photos.” In addition to the compelling collection of her personal photography, Strehlow works with various image agencies and companies as a photographer and has recently begun to sell prints of her work on her new website. While work for her clients blends versatile elements, such as elegant props placed against the contrasting backdrop of a dilapidated setting, the signature style of her personal photography consistently features her daughters as subjects, along with vintage fashion, French porcelain items, and florals held in artisanal baskets. “I always do the styling, choose the location and shoot on my own—everything is controlled by me,” Strehlow explains of her organic approach. Working with natural light, minimal soft edits and her Canon EOS 5d Mark ll, the seemingly effortless photography of Christina Strehlow breathes a gust of fresh, pure air into the arts community. Now branching into e-commerce for her artwork and receiving a photographer profile feature in Art + Commerce/Vogue Italia, Strehlow’s photography presents the refreshing vision of a contemporary and gently polished pastoral pastime.

Christina Strehlow - @stinaninnas

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“When you have worked together for so long, sometimes you don’t need words before photographing—my daughters just know how I want the photograph to be.”

Christina Strehlow - @stinaninnas

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Vladimir Kolesnikov - @oxipital.optic



Vladimir Kolesnikov

“A picture is the confirmation of an experience, proof that someone was there to commemorate it with a camera. Furthermore, it is a testimony to the people I meet in my life, the things I do—my existence.”

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It is hidden

among the secluded foothills of Sleepy Hollow, a small village in the Hudson Valley of upstate New York, that portrait and event photographer Vladimir Kolesnikov discovered a profound affection for preserving emotion and immortalizing intimate experiences through his craft. Born in Moscow, Russia, Kolesnikov’s childhood consisted of frequent travel due to his parents’ work as interpreters. Exposed to an abundance of unique places and diverse faces, he developed an early fascination with documenting his experiences and perpetuating the delicate relationships he formed. “My goal as a photographer is to create imagery that evokes feelings from the audience by genuinely capturing the conscience of my subject,” Kolesnikov describes.

Vladimir Kolesnikov - @oxipital.optic

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Rather than pursuing an art-based degree, Kolesnikov majored in psychology in college, affording him the unique ability to dig deep into his subject’s subconscious to empathize with their ambitions and understand their interpersonal qualities, contributing to his uncanny approach to photography. Reflecting on his astonishing creative process, Kolesnikov reveals: “How am I different? I approach all of my photo sessions with a psychologically based perspective that is client-driven and focuses on revealing their passions, interests and backstory to create powerful images that truly capture a person’s character, and allow me to convey those to the audience.” It is Kolesnikov’s conviction that establishing repartee and forming an intimate relationship with his subject enables him unparalleled access to the their personality, allowing him to comprehend their wants and needs, and adjust the project accordingly. In doing so, he hopes that his imagery will not only reflect the inclinations of his subject but that it will also enhance the experience and end result on their behalf. While his approach to photography emphasizes emotional contributions from his subject, an inner-perception of the relationship coupled with Kolesnikov’s own emotions hold equivalent significance in shaping his photographic process.

“It is impossible to create a meaningful image or capture your subject in a candid way without being able to connect with them on a personal level beyond the shoot.”

Vladimir Kolesnikov - @oxipital.optic

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He acknowledges: “It is impossible to create a meaningful image or capture your subject in a candid way without being able to connect with them on a personal level beyond the shoot. Sometimes it’s not so much about your artistic ability as it is about the capacity to connect with another human being on an emotional level.” In many ways, photography provided the emotional diversion Kolesnikov needed during a particularly reclusive and unsettling time in his life, and the art form continues to serve him. “As soon as I start taking photos, my love of photography and desire to create visually stimulating imagery takes over, at which point, I can focus more on capturing the energy of the subject,” he admits. Photography continually pushes Kolesnikov to test the boundaries of his creative potential, urging him to pursue meaningful relationships and acting as his “saving grace”, which has allowed him to manifest his passion for capturing emotions and preserving memorable experiences. Equipped with an exceptionally original approach to portrait photography, Kolesnikov ensures that his understanding of psychology and his talent behind a camera lens will continue to unearth heartfelt moments and fulfilling relationships, entertaining every facet of his imagination, and providing a place of mental solitude. “A picture is the confirmation of an experience, proof that someone was there to commemorate it with a camera, “ Kolesnikov concludes, “Furthermore, it is a testimony to the people I meet in my life, the things I do—my existence.”

“Sometimes it’s not so much about your artistic ability as it is about the capacity to connect with another human being on an emotional level.”

Vladimir Kolesnikov - @oxipital.optic

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Vladimir Kolesnikov - @oxipital.optic

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Vladimir Kolesnikov - @oxipital.optic

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LolA Rossi

“This mask everyone puts on takes even more space on social media, but we also can't escape it. It is like a drug making us fall in a kind of lucidity and emptiness at the same time.�

Lola Rossi - @lolarossi


on Film

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is a French, Berlin-based photographer, digital artist, filmmaker, and self-professed tech nerd. Using contrasting bold colours and lines with soft details, she aims to portray her profoundly personal message in a world overwhelmed by images. Rossi began her career as a VFX artist working for big names in the cinema industry, but decided to leave the technical and predictable work in favour of a freelance lifestyle that nurtured her creative inspiration. Rossi draws her inspiration from a variety of sources, but she is moved prominently by the culture of the 1980’s, femme fatale, and retrofuturism. There are distinctly feminist motivations in Rossi’s work; however, Rossi’s focus is not on the strength of these female subjects in the traditional sense. Instead, she chooses to emphasize the fragility and loneliness of her models. For Rossi, this disenchantment originates from the masks she feels society imposes on people, especially women. She views her artistic process as removing the layers of an outer shell from her subjects. “We are part of an exceptional generation who knew the world without Internet but grew up with it. This mask everyone puts on takes even more space on social media, but we also can't escape it. It is like a drug making us fall in a kind of lucidity and emptiness at the same time,” Rossi says.

Lola Rossi - @lolarossi

“Film is a complete way of creating a universe because you can make the viewer evolve between different locations that are related, and explore both the microcosm and the macrocosm of the universe you are creating.”

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Lola Rossi - @lolarossi

In her work and philosophy, Rossi acknowledges that she is living in a generation that knows what it’s like to live both with and without widespread social media. Because of this, she believes she is better able to perceive what is wrong with today’s online culture. Upon reflection, she is now able to realize that she spent part of her artistic life embedded in, and catering to, what many are calling a ‘toxic culture’: “I spent a lot of time making the mistake of adapting my work to social media and reading too much feedback on my work on Instagram or Facebook. I almost lost myself and the essence of my work in it,” Rossi recalls, “Now I am trying to take the biggest step back that I can from these social media.” As someone who has experimented with various multimedia and has worked in several industries, Rossi derives much of

her inspiration from her favourite filmmakers such as David Lynch, David Fincher and Jim Jarmusch. Rossi even prefers film in some ways: “Film is a complete way of creating a universe because you can make the viewer evolve between different locations that are related, and explore both the microcosm and the macrocosm of the universe you are creating. But it is, of course, less instant and a longer process than photography.” It is essential for Rossi to understand her films’ universe inside and out. Part of her process is creating mood boards and collecting books, illustrations, films and even furniture as references. By engrossing herself in the fantasy, she is able to become a part of it, and it becomes a part of her. Once the absorption of herself and her work achieve equal measure, the pro-

cess is complete and the creative symbiosis offers palpable results for the viewer. Of course, photography serves as a different, but equally important creative outlet for Rossi: “Photography is a way for me to store memories on film. I like to embellish or destroy these images in post-production as we are doing it with our minds when memorizing and fantasizing about something.” Rossi escaped the need to fit certain trends, in favour of more emotive and personal art. As part and parcel of this realization, Rossi is not actively involved in photography culture due to the sheer volume of work produced and displayed. She treats her medium as a religious process, “For a photographer, clicking the button should not be an automatism, you need to give a part of yourself to the images.”

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Lola Rossi - @lolarossi

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Lola Rossi - @lolarossi

“Photography is a way for me to store memories on film. I like to embellish or destroy these images in post-production as we are doing it with our minds when memorizing and fantasizing about something.�

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"Fashion babe" Model Sonja Kovacevic.

Aleksandra Nikolic - @sashka.photo

Aleksandra Nikolic - @sashka.photo “I get inspired by the world around us and the worlds beyond. You can find inspiration in almost anything–everything that exists is a playground for the creative mind.”

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leksandra Nikolic was ten years old she got her very first camera. Since the moment she held it in her hands, she was in love with photography. With Barbie dolls and family members as her first models, Nikolic and her camera became inseparable over the years. Turning to professional photography almost three years ago, Nikolic’s fashionably-driven images are still mired with a child-like wonder–dreamy, intense, artistic and fantasize with futuristic elements. You would not have to search far to find subjects with painted skin, crazy sunglasses, swathed with butterflies or laying in a coloured bath full of glitter. Capturing human emotions and energy, and always trying to show the dreamy and magical side of life, Nikolic’s playful work is a treat for the creative mind.

“I was always into art since my early age. I used to paint, write poems and later designed dress and jewelry, but photography was always a big part of my life.”

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“For me, photography has an effortlessness about it because I have always loved to be on both sides of the camera. I get inspired by world around us and the worlds beyond. You can find inspiration in almost anything–everything that exists is a playground for the creative mind.” Aleksandra Nikolic - @sashka.photo

“I do much of the styling and dramatic makeup, and I love to create headpieces, clothes and to do the body art for my shootings. It makes easier to realize my photos because I know exactly the vision I am trying to execute.”

Lady in black Model Milica Ramic @_chikorita__

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“The cosmos were very fascinating for me and still are. Stars and futuristic aspects inspire me and love to show that through my photos.�

Aleksandra Nikolic - @sashka.photo

“I have always wanted people to be inspired and moved by my photos which shows beauty as well as darkness. They represent my moods, emotions and creativity.”

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Wearing armor Model Sonja Kovacevic @sonja_kovacevic

Aleksandra Nikolic - @sashka.photo

“I want to show through my work that life is magical– despite sometimes being difficult–just let go and enjoy life!”

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The Fallen Memories “Poetry has always been part of my creative process...Sometimes, the inspiration to write comes from an image I’ve taken, and other times the written piece gives birth to a visual concept that I can pursue; they enhance one another, and allow me to tell a full story.”

Azrol Afendy - @azrolafendy

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inding a balance between the visual and written arts is a dilemma that many artists face during their career; while the two areas can be viewed as interrelated, the unique techniques and practices respective to each field beckon the question: Which best represents my artistic vision? Rather than harbouring uncertainty and allowing indecision to hinder his ability to create, Malaysian-based photographer, Azrol Afendy, embraces and embodies the essence of duality, combining vivid poetry and surreal photographs to further relate and convey emotion to his audience.

Azrol Afendy - @azrolafendy

“Poetry has always been part of my creative process,” Afendy admits, “Sometimes, the inspiration to write comes from an image I’ve taken, and other times, a written piece gives birth to a visual concept that I can pursue; they enhance one another and allow me to tell a full story.” In his renowned Wonderland series, Afendy depicts the heartbreaking tale of a man wrought with familial tragedy, desperate to find solitude within his imagination. Symbolizing the process of healing and finding one’s self, the series portrays the use of pain as a source of inspiration.

“In those days, I was struggling with depression, anger and the unbearable weight of guilt, but I tried to repurpose those emotions and turn them into something positive— changing pain and negativity into beauty and reclamation.”

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Azrol Afendy - @azrolafendy

Afendy reflects on his mindset when he first began the project: “In those days, I was struggling with depression, anger and the unbearable weight of guilt, but I tried to repurpose those emotions and turn them into something positive—changing pain and negativity into beauty and reclamation.” The Wonderland series draws inspiration from Kirsty Mitchell’s “The Pure Blood of a Blossom”, demonstrating the importance and equivocal hardship of

self-reflection. Assiduously crafting each facet of the project, Afendy spent nearly five months delicately perfecting the butterflies, headpiece and attire to embellish the dreamlike scenes that doubled as an escape from his own hardships. In the “The Fallen Memories”, a piece introducing Wonderland, Afendy meticulously crafts scenery from his imagination to emanate a sense of calm and nourishment towards the recovery process. inspadesmag.com • 181

Azrol Afendy - @azrolafendy

Amid a dense forest, the model stands with her arms outstretched, palms open, welcoming peace to heal her wounds. An ornate headpiece, composed of rich lavender flowers, boughs of green ivy, and electrifying blue butterflies, accentuates an intricately crafted violet gown. “I used butterflies as my subject to represent the recreation of life. They acted as the saviour to the man, guiding him through his pain to reach a place of tranquillity,” Afendy confides.

Symbolizing the “Self” with a female subject, Afendy captures flowing ends of a garment to represent the chaotic nature of life, each strand equally as integral to the Self’s prosperity, yet all pulling simultaneously from opposing directions. A striking arrangement of blue butterflies speckle the garment, contrasting the turmoil of “Life” and shepherding the man to the ethereal scene to find freedom from his pain. The accompanying poem, “The Journey of Healing”, composes a narrative of inspadesmag.com • 183

Azrol Afendy - @azrolafendy

the man and Life, which Afendy uses to intensify further the arduous journey depicted in his imagery. The man begins in a place of unrest, struggling to make sense of the adversity Life has shown him, questioning why painful, lingering memories continue to plague his mind. As the poem progresses, the man demonstrates acceptance toward things beyond his control, beginning a transition into a place of realization that Life’s hardships have taught

him more than they have taken from him. As the poem reaches a close, the man illustrates a positive outlook for the future, discovering his imagination as a place of tranquillity, a place to which he can escape the toils of life and find himself once again. Afendy, in his emotional entanglement of words and images, shows us that sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words, and sometimes words can paint a thousand pictures. inspadesmag.com • 185


Professional Photographers of Canada (PPOC) is a diversified group of creative artists dedicated to the highest standards in professional imaging. PPOC’s accreditation process recognizes photographers who have reached a nationally accepted standard of proficiency and knowledge in photographic arts. Achieved by submitting samples of photography to a PPOC Board of Review, this peer-reviewed program challenges candidates to demonstrate their capability of delivering exceptional quality photography in a chosen category. As a specialist in their chosen field, a PPOC Accredited professional photographer has the proven experience, knowledge and equipment to provide you with a quality product in their area of expertise.

ppoc.ca - Merle Prosofsky prosofskyarchitecture.com



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ppoc.ca - Merle Prosofsky prosofskyarchitecture.com

Merle Prosofsky’s lifelong love affair with photography began as a child with his mother’s gift of a Kodak Brownie point and shoot camera around the age of 10. His passion for the medium quickly grew and many cameras and rolls of film later, he decided to turn his passion into a full-time career.

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ppoc.ca - Merle Prosofsky prosofskyarchitecture.com

Prosofsky credits his enrollment and graduation from NAIT’s photography program as the jumpstart to opening his own commercial studio in 1978. The technical challenge of photographing everything from soup to nuts has kept him interested and continuously evolving his technique since that day.

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ppoc.ca - Merle Prosofsky prosofskyarchitecture.com

His imaginative use of light, colour and classic composition has earned him numerous awards and accolades, including the PPOC National ‘Commercial Photographer of the Year’ award an unprecedented six times. Beyond these kudos, his dedication to quality and service has lead to a loyal client base of commercial and residential firms, architects and interior designers.

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At 63, Prosofsky is looking forward excitedly to exploring new technology, equipment and technique in the quest of delivering the very best in photography. Prosofsky was an early adopter of digital photography and enjoys the unlimited creativity and potential offered by the technology. He works exclusively with Phase One medium format equipment and lenses and is passionate about the benefits of Capture One processing before finessing his images in post. To see Merle Prosofsky’s work and learn more about his studio visit his website at www.prosofskyarchitecture.com.

ppoc.ca - Merle Prosofsky prosofskyarchitecture.com

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ppoc.ca - Merle Prosofsky prosofskyarchitecture.com

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ppoc.ca - Merle Prosofsky prosofskyarchitecture.com

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Articles inside

NEOFOKUS Denise Bergert article cover image

NEOFOKUS Denise Bergert

pages 46-57, 59
Merle Prosofsky article cover image

Merle Prosofsky

pages 186-199
The Fallen Memories - Azrol Afendy article cover image

The Fallen Memories - Azrol Afendy

pages 176-185
Playground for the Creative Mind - Aleksandra Nikolic article cover image

Playground for the Creative Mind - Aleksandra Nikolic

pages 166-175
Memories on Film - Lola Rossi article cover image

Memories on Film - Lola Rossi

pages 156-165
Undertones of Psychology - Vladimir Kolesnikov article cover image

Undertones of Psychology - Vladimir Kolesnikov

pages 144-155
Natural Beauty, Rustic Charm - Christina Strehlow article cover image

Natural Beauty, Rustic Charm - Christina Strehlow

pages 136-143
The Eye of Salem - Salem McBunny article cover image

The Eye of Salem - Salem McBunny

pages 122-135
Camouflaging  Complexity - Polina Surikova article cover image

Camouflaging Complexity - Polina Surikova

pages 102-121
Girl with a Pearl Earring (and an Octopus) - Giulia Valente article cover image

Girl with a Pearl Earring (and an Octopus) - Giulia Valente

pages 90-101
Pointing Fingers at Modern Impressionism - Chiara Magni article cover image

Pointing Fingers at Modern Impressionism - Chiara Magni

pages 82-89
Black or Pink article cover image

Black or Pink

pages 74-81
Veins of Anguish Marco Autuori article cover image

Veins of Anguish Marco Autuori

pages 60-73
Denise Bergert NEOFOKUS article cover image

Denise Bergert NEOFOKUS

pages 46-59
The Vaganova Method article cover image

The Vaganova Method

pages 16-45
Living on Someday-Now article cover image

Living on Someday-Now

pages 14-15
Palette, Powerful tools for creative minds article cover image

Palette, Powerful tools for creative minds

pages 8-11
Albany Pickering article cover image

Albany Pickering

pages 4-5, 12-13
Ildiko Sopronfalvi article cover image

Ildiko Sopronfalvi

page 1
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