Capturing Emotions – Interview With Milenna Saraiva

Without a doubt, Art, especially portraiture channels, a better understanding of ourselves and others. It nudges us towards empathy, appreciation of diversity, and the grasp of emotions. From documentation to speculation, the category of portrait art is fascinating as it gives insights to the interior self. As Lucian Freud stated: ‘I think a great portrait has to do with the way it is approached … it is to do with the feeling of individuality, and the intensity of the regard and the focus on the specific’.

Dynamic and vibrant, Milenna Saraiva captures the spirit and the expressions of her sitter with a strong brush of paint in her portraits. Her strength in depicting the likeness inspired by the individual’s narrative and conviction is passionate. She pushes the age-old genre in new directions where the feelings are revealed, and the appearance utters the individual’s true essence.

Princess Diana – Artwork by Milenna Saraiva – Brazilian Visual Artist

Here is my interview with Milenna Saraiva

Jupilings: Your story- 

Milenna:  I was born in SÃO Paulo, Brazil. I grew up surrounded by musicians and Art in my family circle, so I was always stimulated to be creative. I recollect always drawing since I was very young. I was a shy child, so drawing helped me to communicate and protected me from the world. I ended up getting into dancing and then gymnastics and became an athlete at 12 years old. I used to practice for 8 hours a day, after school, and travel around the country competing with my teammates. Even then, I continued drawing on the side. When I was 17, I injured myself and decide to stop training. At 18, I decided to go to the US to study Fine Arts, and there I lived for the next 14 and a half years. Los Angeles was an excellent teacher and mother to me, but I missed my real base in Brazil and moved back to my country. I continued my education here with a post-grad degree in contemporary painting. I started to make my way into the art world here, doing all kinds of arts-related activities. One of them was live painting. Once I observed and connected with the visual performance, it changed the way I paint and my approach. It has also given me the confidence I need to loosen up and let my emotions come out with way less restrained. Today I have an art studio that I go to every day and spend at least 8 hours working. I spend my time discovering new ways to express myself through my work, painting commissions, murals, and performing live painting in all kinds of events.

Milenna Saraiva Artwork

Jupilings: What inner force shapes your artistic concepts-

Milenna: Art is the language of my thoughts. I find it easier to paint than to use words. The lights, the darks, and the layers of depth that come from playing with textures and colors give me a freedom that I cannot find in Portuguese or English. Painting is my quiet way of expressing my heritage and questioning social values. My work has become a tool for me to narrate my life experiences in parables. The paintings I make reflect my personal mythology.

Jupilings: As a portrait artist, you capture aspects of a person’s identity, likeness, and emotions. In your artwork, do you aim to portray the individuals as to how they see themselves, or how they perceive them-

Milenna: I want my portraits to give clues about the portraited people’s energy and essence. I do want them to identify with the works too. For that, I rely on trying to perfect my technique. Portraits are tricky, though, people want their portraits made still, in most cases are surprised when they see the final product. Their expectation is to see themselves as they see themselves and not how the artist sees them. The way we see ourselves is unique to ourselves. There are many versions of us, one to each different person that we meet, so it’s impossible to fulfill that desire unless you are a photo-realistic artist. And that will never interest me. In my opinion, an artwork will always have the artist’s perceptions engraved all over it.

Andre – Artwork by Milenna Saraiva

Jupilings: What are your thoughts on “portraits” to create a visual dialogue to explore social justice, sexuality, race, and many other controversial subjects-

Milenna:  I’m attracted to controversial subjects, clearly, lol. I think portraits have always been fantastic tools to create dialogues, subtle dialogues with those paying attention. Many artists have and are using imagery and symbols to tell stories, to convey hidden or explicit messages. At this moment, I’m not taking advantage of the allegories that painting offers in all its possibilities; instead, I’m investing in the emotions and expressions of the markings, brush strokes and the colors to do all the ‘talking.’ For instance, the portrait of Marielle Franco, a prominent Brazilian human rights activist, and politician, murdered in mysterious circumstances by the militia, I used a very warm color pallet, with red drips, splashes, a well-defined box behind it, and name it “Seed.” I narrated her story in an observable manner, and those paying attention will hopefully understand it. That means my Art allows me to say what I want to say, but only to those who want to hear it. If Art is a form of communication, my paintings are a language.

Marielle Franco – Artwork by Milenna Saraiva

Jupilings: What is your life motto-

Milenna: It changes a lot from time to time, depending on what’s going on. But there’s a good one I always go back to that says “Live whimsically. Love extravagantly. Dream boldly. Create daily.” 

Jupilings: How do you dial down the negative thoughts & self-doubt- 

Milenna: It’s a constant struggle to balance everything that happens in my mind. But I think I usually sort it all out by painting. Negativity and positivity are only opposite sides of the coin. As well as self-doubt and confidence. I believe that self-doubt is essential for improvement. When I’m questioning myself if something is as good as I could make it, I will keep working on it until self-doubt is gone.

Julian Assange Artwork by Milenna Saraiva

Jupilings: How do you minimize distractions when you are working-

Milenna: I don’t think I manage distractions that well. I could be way more productive If I actually do away with it. I’ve gotten used to doing many things at the same time. Working on several projects at the same time. The distraction is also an opportunity, or maybe a window, to take a moment and then return to something I was very focused on. And sometimes, this little break could give me the answer that I need to finish a piece. So, I guess I embrace them.

Jupilings: How do you deal with criticism-

Milenna: I will only accept criticism from people I respect and have more knowledge than I do. Otherwise, I ignore them completely. Sometimes you need to protect yourself from opinions since every person has a different one, you have to believe in what you believe in. There are many reasons you do what you do and how you do it, that precisely is what makes you unique.

Malala YousafzaiArtwork by Milenna Saraiva

Jupilings: Advice for aspiring artists-

Milenna: If you want to be an artist, study to be one, like a doctor studies to be a doctor. Learn every technique, learn how to draw and produce as much as you can. Only the practice of your craft will allow you to discover your true gift and unique style. Also, be organized with your works, photograph everything, and have an online portfolio since the beginning. It’s important to network, to be part of a group of people who think alike and have the same goals that you do.

Most importantly, what you love. Find out what inspires you and create based on what you love. When you do that, you will want to do it all the time, and you will never feel like you’re working. Know that not everyone will like what you do, and you’ll get many ‘no’s,’ but keep going until you get the ‘yes.’

Artwork by Milenna Saraiva

Jupilings: What is the role of Art today-

Milenna: Art has many roles, in my opinion: To entertain, to express and provoke thinking and emotions, tell a story, shock, and sometimes to simply beautify the world. To me, it’s all of it.

Artwork by Milenna Saraiva
Artwork by Milenna Saraiva

Jupiligns: What’s the best advice you’ve ever heard- 

Milenna: At Santa Monica College, my painting teacher once told me I needed to work harder if I wanted to be an artist and said that “talent isn’t enough.” When I was younger, I was reckless. I used to go out at night and was always come late to painting classes. After that day, something changed in me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Focus by being mindful – Positive Vibes Series

“Mindfulness is a way of befriending ourselves and our experience.”Jon Kabat-Zinn

How can you focus on being mindful of the external activities around you while the busy buddies in your head are jumping on different time machines traveling from the past to the future and mostly making long stops at unpleasant stations along the way? At times, your head’s turmoil becomes worrisome that you need to ship magic bullets in the form of sugar cravings or any other substance abuse to quiet them. It is a challenge to be present and mindful, but it will be amazingly rewarding if meshed into our daily life. Remember when you were a child, delighted to look at an object with your eyes wide open without expecting anything from it. You were absorbed in the experience without any preconceived idea. Just a “beginner’s mind,” no clutter, no concept, no meaning, no assumptions, no color, or shape. You were just fascinated. As Psychoanalyst Wilfred Bion said, “being mindful is like taking photos; we learn to see without memory or desire.”

Stephane Barbery Photography

Precisely, a photograph captures a moment in time, and you will see things as they are, and mostly you see something that you usually ignore. This is to be mindful. You are being immersed in the experience without any distortion by your perceptions. By being mindful, you become receptive and see endless possibilities that exist within the world. As Monet said, “to see, we must forget the name of the thing we are looking at.”

Stephane Barbery Photography

Focusing to be mindful is to learn how not to rush and wait, which involves letting go. “Great understanding is broad and unhurried; little understanding is cramped and busy.” Chuang-Tzu

Stephane Barbery Photography

So how to focus on being mindful? Imagine you are a photographer exploring and embracing every opportunity. You want to seize the moment and see things around you. Don’t bother about the techniques, the light, or the subject; you adopt a “yes” attitude pushing away the blocking emotions. You just let go! You let go of expectations, perfectionism, comparing yourself to others, and be open! By letting go, you don’t rush into judgment. As in photography, you accept the scenery without labeling or categorizing.
With practice and dedication, you will find harmony between your concentration and being mindful. A process that allows you to be highly sensitive to your surroundings, interested, approachable, and open. Your field of view is expanded, and you become aware of something new. Something that you can zoom in, investigate, record it, and zoom out.

Featured image by STÉPHANE BARBERY

Best Coffee-Table Book To Give As A Gift – Orlando Suero/Photography

“If I’d realized what a wonderful photographer you were, and how nice McCalls was about doing a story — I never would have been the jittery subject I was.” — Jackie Kennedy 1954 (from a letter to Orlando Suero)

The art of visually documenting feelings discovered in great moments is what makes Orlando Suero a great storyteller. His visual representation explores people unplanned or in heartfelt reactions, intentionally capturing the meaningful message in their expressions.

Orlando Suero showed an interest in photography early and started taking pictures in his teens when his father gave him a Kodak Jiffy. A graduate of New York Institute of Photography, his stellar career picked up when he documented newlyweds Jackie and Senator John F. Kennedy for five days at their Georgetown duplex in 1954.

Courtesy of Orlando Suero
Courtesy of Orlando Suero

His amicable relationship with his subjects enabled him to render a real person, one that is accessible with an aura of unfeigned delight. His career extended to his 80’s and at 93, he was thrilled to learn that his new book, Orlando/photography had gone to print by Hatje Cantz. 

Courtesy of Orlando Suero
Courtesy of Orlando Suero

Orlando/Photography is a collection of 200 intimate shots of well-known actors, politicians, musicians, and other celebrities from the 1950s to 1980. It has been gathered by his son Jim and their friend, film producer Rod Hamilton. Sadly as Orlando has suffered a stroke on the day the art publishers gave the nod to publish his artwork, I had the opportunity to interview his son Jim. The latter kindly agreed to elaborate on one of the best photography books that makes a great gift.

Jupilings: How did it happen and what made you decide to publish the Orlando/photography collection-

JS: I had my father’s archives that had been sitting around for years. I really had no idea what to do with them or how to get things going. It was at a mutual friend’s wedding that I was reunited with an old friend Rod Hamilton. Knowing he was a producer in Hollywood I showed him the Instagram account I had started for my father thinking he would like to see vintage photos of Hollywood celebrities. I also explained to him that I had thousands upon thousands of 35mm slides and negatives.

I could tell Rod became immediately interested when I told him about the archives. He implored me, before I do anything, to watch the documentary, “Finding Vivian Maier”.  The film documents the discovery of the archives of street photographer Vivian Maier and the massive task of documenting and organising such a collection. Rod said to me, “this is what we have to do”.

So we set forth on scanning, documenting, organising my father’s life’s work not knowing where it would lead us. We first thought of producing an exhibit, which we would still like to do. However, upon receiving some well-respected advice, we were directed to work on getting a book published first. So through hard work and diligence (many kudos to Rod who really made things happen), we were able to connect with German publisher, Hatje Cantz. Also, we are very happy we did. They are marvellous.

Courtesy of Orlando Suero
Courtesy of Orlando Suero

Jupilings: What makes this book riveting-

JS: I think one thing that makes it riveting is that many of these photos have never been published or rarely seen. They literally have been boxed up for decades. Additionally, I feel it was my father’s eye for the moment. He always would say, “I think with my eyes”.  So, I believe he had a natural intuition to recognise the makings of a great shot and capture it as he envisioned. His style and his knack for getting his subjects to open up to him, to let him in, shows very prominently in his work, especially his close-up portraits. All of this, I feel, keeps one turning the page.

I also want to recognise what a tremendous job that Nadine Barth, Constanze Korb, the rest of the team at Hatje Cantz did to make this happen. Also, the great vision of Art Director Julia Wagner at grafikanstalt. To make a book riveting it takes not only the art (that speaks for itself) but the editing, design and production behind it. We cannot thank all of the individuals enough who worked so hard to make the book what it is.

Jupilings: How would you describe Orlando’s style of photography-

JS: I would describe his style as emotive. Many of his photographs evoke an emotional reaction that hits you right in the chest. There is a certain softness to his photography. You feel his work; you just don’t view it. There are times I am just left amazed at the clarity, at the palpable connection between photographer and subject. I have seen many of these images for decades, and I still get an emotional reaction. There is just a certain beauty in his photography that, and maybe I am biased, sets him apart from the rest.

Jupilings: What are the most emotionally & engaging “catching the moment” images in this collection-

JS: There are many, and I think there will be differing opinions. One of my father’s most recognisable photos in this collection is Jackie lighting the candles. That is one photo of a young Jackie, newlywed to the young and upcoming senator that captures her beauty and grace in such a serene moment as she prepares for a dinner party. It is an iconic shot.

For me personally, there is one photo in this collection, no actually two of Princess Margaret that are side by side on opposite pages that are emotionally engaging. One is of the Princess engaging a boy scout at the Jamaican Independence Ceremony in 1962. Her smile, her eye contact, her connection to the young scout, even though you cannot see his face, is just a very warm and beautiful moment. It’s a photo that I have never seen before, and it really hit me. The opposite photo of her in Los Angeles in 1966, catches the Princess in a quiet moment with a lovely photo bouquet created by Orlando’s talent that evokes a very serene moment. She hasn’t engaged with anyone it is just her. It is just so peaceful and really draws you in and makes you wonder what she is thinking at that time.

One of my favourite, emotionally engaging photographs in the book isn’t necessarily of a famous subject such as Bardot, Wood, Redford or Newman but of actress Jan Watson. I insisted this photo be in the book. It’s just so beautiful. I think it highlights Orlando’s ability to connect with his subject and capture a soft, emotionally engaging photograph. This photo strikes me every time.

Courtesy of Orlando Suero
Courtesy of Orlando Suero

Jupilings: How would this collection influence connecting the dots of stories and background of the subjects or unveiling the public misconception of their narratives- 

JS: Interesting question. Many of these photos are such a small sample of Orlando’s entire archives. Photo sets of Billy Wilder and Jack Lemmon, Dennis Hopper and Michelle Phillips, Brigitte Bardot, Michael Caine, Jack and Jackie Kennedy, the list goes on. I feel they both unveil misconceptions but also solidify perceptions.

Courtesy of Orlando Suero
Courtesy of Orlando Suero

For instance, take the Hopper-Phillips photographs from Taos, New Mexico. Their tumultuous 8-day marriage is well known. However, if you look at many of the photos in the complete set, you would see tender moments of a caring, fun-loving young couple. Where the public may believe there was total chaos their entire relationship, that simply isn’t true based on the photographs.

Whereas the moviemaking duo of Billy Wilder and Jack Lemmon were well-known to work great together and my father’s work really does capture those moments. So this particular photo set from The Fortune Cookie doesn’t unveil misconceptions but bolsters the perception that they were indeed a great movie making duo and worked tremendously well together (and had fun doing it).

Ultimately, I will leave the viewer to make those connections from the book. I think the photos in my father’s monograph do shed some light on misconceptions (and perceptions), but I really feel one has to consider these photos as part of larger collections that in their entirety may unveil misconceptions or make better connections to what is publicly understood regarding the subjects.

Courtesy of Orlando Suero
Courtesy of Orlando Suero

Anthropocene Project – Art Gallery of Ontario

 

Anthropocene- Relating to or denoting the current geological age, viewed as the period during which human activity has been the dominant influence on climate and the environment. (Oxford Dictionary)

The idea was popularised by Nobel Prize winner Paul Jozef Crutzen 

A picture can tell a thousand story, be intelligible and have a colossal impact. It speaks louder than any politician or some extensive report for that matter.  How many times we genuinely were interested in learning about climate change and the environmental dangers, however as soon as we see long paragraphs, we fall into “too long didn’t read it” reaction.

Bringing awareness to environmental problems is difficult to let alone tackle them. Nevertheless, knowing about it and educating the public in an uncomplicated approach is smart. “The Anthropocene” exhibition is the creative project produced by Nicholas de Pencier, documentary director, producer, and director of photography; Edward Burtynsky, one of the world’s most respected photographers and Jennifer Baichwal, director and producer of documentaries. Together, they have simplified the scientific research using virtual reality, augmented reality, film, superb and inspiring post-industrial art to examine the human influence on the earth.

The Canadian master photographer of industrial landscapes, Burtynsky, has captured surreal shots some from satellite or aerial views indicating the widespread harm caused by human activities. Deforestation, dense human settlements, heaps of garbage or existing and potential repercussions of unknown and ignored exploitation of our precious cosmic real estate.

An exhibition, not to be missed, that unveils how we consume the natural resources of our planet and how we dispose of the waste. Learning about “the human signature on earth”, disturbs and gives the motivation to care about the earth. It runs till January 6 in Art Gallery of Ontario and February 24, 2019, at National Gallery of Canada.

Dandora Landfill - Plastics Recycling, Nairobi, Kenya

Dandora Landfill – Plastics Recycling, Nairobi, Kenya

Phosphor Tailings Pond near Lakeland, Florida, USA
Phosphor Tailings Pond near Lakeland, Florida, USA – the unnatural colour of a phosphor tailings pond in Florida due to pollution (Phosphor is essential for industrial agricutlure)
Uralkali Potash Mine, Berezniki, Russia
Uralkali Potash Mine, Berezniki, Russia
Makoko,Lagos Nigeria
Makoko,Lagos Nigeria
These large tetrapods will be used to create seawalls and protect shorelines. Each one can weigh up to 80 tons. Tetrapods allow water to flow around them and prevent coastal erosion, a serious global threat. This form of seawall now covers approx 60 per cent of China coastline. Made of concrete, tetrapods are technofossils- human-produced objects that cannot naturally decompose, another geological marker of the anthropocene.
These large tetrapods will be used to create seawalls and protect shorelines. Each one can weigh up to 80 tons. Tetrapods allow water to flow around them and prevent coastal erosion, a serious global threat. This form of seawall now covers approx 60 per cent of China coastline. Made of concrete, tetrapods are technofossils- human-produced objects that cannot naturally decompose, another geological marker of the Anthropocene.
Screen Shot 2018-10-18 at 9.32.07 PM
Nigeria, poor communities have begun pirating crude oil from the pipelines through a process known as ‘bunkering’. Volumes of crude and toxic by-products are leaked through this process into the surrounding forests and waterways.

 

Interview With Alice Zilberberg – Internationally Acclaimed, Award-Winning Artist

Overblown and imperfect, sensual and symbolic, are layers of different circumstances and conditions that Alice Zilberberg explores in her compositions. An Award-winning Fine-Art Photographer, Alice communicates complexities and possibilities of human conditions in our contrived world. Her visual language merges hallucinogenic scenes and what appears to be a reflection of the reality. She elevates her subjects mythically, however, she does not spare them the fallibility of their entity.

The images go through mutations, they change in form, become fragile, dramatic or grand. Still, Alice exposes her subject matters in symbolic ways. The confluence represents the unconscious and the notion of seeing one thing through another. Alice Zilberberg taps into her imaginative psyche to open a dialogue about the female power, nature and challenges the philosophical questions about self.

Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg
Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg – I have struggled with insomnia and chronic fatigue in the past two years. Very quickly, my day-to-day life changed from being normal to becoming just about getting enough rest at night so I can stay connected to my creativity and sense of self. Above Water reminds me of all the times I’ve told myself to keep my head up and to persevere through my struggles. It is about that middle point where I could give up and label myself defeated, or choose to look forward and smile, believing that tomorrow will be a better day.

 

Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg
Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg
Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg
Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg – We often define ourselves by our past, and hold beliefs about what things will be like in the future. It could be difficult to remember that every new day has the potential for change. With every new day, we can start working towards a new goal and a dream. This image is a metaphor for the birth of every new day.

Interview with Alice Zilberberg

Jupilings: Tell us about yourself and how you got into art/photography-

AZ: I started drawing and painting when I was very young. I started playing around with manipulating images even before I shot my own. When I picked up a camera in my last year of high school, I saw that I liked the detail that the medium of photography gave me, as well as the dichotomy of the real/unreal that I was able to achieve using digital painting. I’ve been working in this style since.

Jupilings: The fundamental principle in your creations-

AZ: I would say that principles change during different periods in my creation. At the moment I am emphasizing trying every idea that I have, without being scared, and eliminating expectations of what it “needs” to be.

Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg
Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg

Jupilings: What is your perspective on life-

AZ: I always try to keep in mind that we have a limited amount of time here, and death is inevitable. We should try to enjoy and explore things we want to create or do as much as possible.

Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg
Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg – Desert Moon was created from content I collected during my travels through Arizona and California. I was inspired by the surreal and unique terrains, and was fascinated by the diversity of land that occupied this area. Driving through the vast landscapes reminded me of how small I am in comparison to the rest of the world. I found this therapeutic, rendering my concerns and worries less important than before. The oversized moon added in each image represents the calming affect I felt while spending time here.

Jupilings: What are you aiming for in your art-

AZ: My latest work asks questions pertaining to the state of being, particularly our relationships, whether to ourselves or others. In it a find a kind of peace that I hope helps others look inward and find answers about their emotionality.

Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg
Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg – In a transitional time in my life, I felt inspired to create Begin. It reminds me that no matter what happens in life, we can always start again. Wrong paths do not look as a failure to me, but only a path to a new and more beautiful beginning.

Jupilings: What surprises you most in life, even though as an artist/photographer, you narrate dreams, ideas, out of ordinary situations,..through images-

AZ: I’m surprised by different things, and I am used to the surprise. I think it’s important to keep learning and exploring as much as possible in the world. I think being curious and asking many questions is a really healthy thing, which provides you with wisdom for your next step in life.

Jupilings: What motivates you to take pictures, is it an emotional state, philosophy of life, politics or advocacy-

AZ: The creative process is a therapeutic one for me, and I hope that my work inspires others to look inward as well. It’s about trying to make sense of the complex human condition, to provide some sort of relief and even a sense of control over our lives.

Jupilings: Do you have a preference in camera, software or technology ? & why-

AZ: I am not a technology-oriented person. I’ve always been in the mindset of getting your hands on enough to create what you want to create. We often get carried away with all the technology can do, instead of thinking of what we need to do what we already do.

Jupilings: Which photographer has influenced you most-

The works of many photographers inform my work, but I think my ultimate favorite artist is Salvador Dali.

Jupilings: What is your favourite subject to capture-

AZ: I rarely think of my work as photographing just one subject; photography becomes a kind of canvas for me on which to create and paint over, making an image that feels like a digital painting rather than a subject. My favorite thing to work on is whatever I’m working on currently since the excitement, and the possibilities take over me.

Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg
Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg – The series Goddess Almighty is a reinterpretation of the first recorded goddess, Mother Nature. Worshipped in a time when nature was depended upon and respected, she epitomized fertility, the life cycle and sexual freedom, all embodied in a woman. Today, by contrast, we domineer and destroy nature. Our primary religions convey god as a man and traditionally devalue women. Reminiscent of baroque art, the work reestablishes the goddess to her origins, defining her as strong, mysterious and defeating. Dancers are used for their physical strength, their muscles digitally exaggerated.

Jupilings: What does women empowerment mean to you?

AZ: It means being in touch with yourself, your cravings, and needs. Going for it no matter what gender you are.

Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg
Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg

Jupilings: What are your tips about building a brand name as an artist/photographer-

AZ: I think that when you are starting out, it is important to just focus on creating whatever you want, without labels, branding, or anything. As soon as you are put into a box and labeled, it could be restrictive to your work, and you could kill the very creativity in you that drew you to create in the first place. Later on, it might be more important to develop a language around your work that you feel represents you.

Jupilings: What do you do to conquer fear or self-doubt-

AZ: When something overwhelms me, I just take the first step in the direction of trying something. I then try to focus on the next step. I find that if I do this, I very quickly either get into a flow or see that the experiment is not working. I will learn and move on.

Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg
Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg – In the Dark is a representation of the feelings of uncertainty that sometimes linger over me when I dive into the unfamiliar. I try to experiment in my life and in my work by doing new things that intrigue me. This is accompanied by fears and doubts about the future. Feeling captivated, but unstable. I always remind myself that only with experimenting, there can be growing and learning. All experiences, however uncomfortable, teach us something and become a part of who we are.

Jupilings: What are your thoughts about the blockchain technology especially in support of digital art?

AZ: I think different options to sell your art are always great, especially one that addresses the authentication problems for digital artists. I haven’t explored this area myself, but I look forward to seeing the changes in the art market.

Jupilings: Would you consider using the blockchain technology platform to reach global digital art/ photography enthusiasts? What are the problems in your industry do you want these platforms to solve-

I am open to it, I think the blockchain and art relationship is still evolving, and I look forward to seeing how it develops.

Jupilings: What superpower you would like to have ? and why-

AZ: I want to teleport to any place at any time, it would save me so much travel time and jetlag for any projects I’m working on.

Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg
Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg – In a transitional time in my life, I felt inspired to create Release the Sun. I often suffer from anxiety, and through therapy I always remind myself of the sense of flow I get from making artwork, which feels like a ray of sunshine. This image is a metaphor for this

Jupilings: Which movie you would have liked to be the lead actor-

AZ: I would hate being the lead actor in any movie; I am terrible of being put on the spot!

Jupilings: What is your life motto-

AZ: This is your time to do whatever you want to do.

Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg
Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg
Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg
Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg – The Dreaming Girls is influenced by the surrealism movement. An homage to the surrealists working from the 1920s to the 1960s. This projects seeks to channel the unconscious and unleash imagination.

 

Alice Zilberberg
Alice Zilberberg – Alice Zilberberg is an internationally acclaimed, award-winning artist, recognised by curators, collectors, and art patrons across the globe. Born in Tallinn, Estonia, and raised in Israel, she currently resides in Toronto, Canada.

2018: Winners at Festival d’Hyères – Fashion & Photography

The Hyères International Festival of Fashion and Photography is the oldest fashion contest, that encourages creative and unique perspective on the world and fashion. The global challenges, critical issues and the shift in conscious and sustainability are prevalent and desired in its context.  Launched in 1985, at Robert Mallet-Stevens’s aristo-modernist Villa Noailles, in Riviera coastline, is the “must attend” event on the fashion calendar.

The social projects with the flair of originality and innovation are realized in photography, accessories and fashion collections to challenge the uncertainties in our societies, to communicate the cultural pressures, to inspire and to help the collective to overcome their disabilities and inspire.

This year’s, winner of the Swarovski Grand Prize for Accessories in Festival d’Hyères, H (earring),  received an unanimous vote  from Christelle Kocher who presided the fashion accessories jury panel alongside Michèle Lamy, Mansur Gavriel’s Floriana Gavriel, Vogue Runway Director Nicole Phelps, and jeweler Elie Top, among others.

In an industry that attempts to make hearing aids as invisible as possible, the collaboration between the French trio,  Kate Fichard, Flora Fixy and Julia Dessirier resulted in transforming the hearing aid device to a remarkable accessory. They merged creativity, elegance and practicality to produce a confident fashion statement.

Crafted in gold and rhodium-plated brass sprinkled with Swarovski crystals, they offer elegant ways to wear by fusing jewellery and technology, without compromising the function of the device.

Screen Shot 2018-05-01 at 12.04.52 AMScreen Shot 2018-05-01 at 9.50.02 AM

Here are the winners in other categories:

Fashion

Grand Prix of the Première Vision Jury with Rushemy Botter & Lisi Herrebrugh (Men’s Collection) Netherlands. The menswear collection spiced up with humour, pays tribute to the Caribbean fisherman, touches on cultural issues of gender fluidity, as well as causes and effects of environmental pollution.

Screen Shot 2018-05-01 at 11.11.56 AMScreen Shot 2018-05-01 at 11.12.06 AMScreen Shot 2018-05-01 at 11.12.14 AM

Chloé Award to Marie-Eve Lecavalier (Women’s Collection) Canada. The Montreal born designer reflects ambition, endurance and purposefulness by deconstructing and distortion in her design ideas. In her collection, the altered reality is achieved by transforming leather appearance into a knitted structure.

Screen Shot 2018-05-01 at 11.37.55 AMScreen Shot 2018-05-01 at 11.38.11 AMScreen Shot 2018-05-01 at 11.38.47 AM

Audience Award of the City of Hyères to Sarah Bruylant (Women’s collection) Belgium. A fan of Christian Dior, her vibrant and flamboyant collection pays respect to art and history.

Sara Bruylant - Image from https://lxry.nl/amfi/
Sara Bruylant – Image from https://lxry.nl/amfi/

Audience Award of the City of Hyères to Cécile Gray , France. The accessories are made of steel wire, tinted in gold, and covered with a nylon sheath. Once woven, this gives a soft material, to be comfortable and to move with the person who wears them, and rigid, to work it in volume.

Screen Shot 2018-05-01 at 2.21.36 PMScreen Shot 2018-05-01 at 2.17.50 PM

Photography

Grand Jury Photography Award to Eva O’Leary, “Spitting Image” USA.

 

American Vintage Photography Award to Sarah Mei Herman, for a project called Xiamen, which she shot in the Chinese coastal city.

The Still Life Prize to Csilla Klenyanszki, for a series called Pillars of Homes which was shot at home.

Screen Shot 2018-05-01 at 12.32.36 PM

Josh Rossi – Digital Artist Who Touches Your Heart

Non nobis solum nati sumus.

(Not for ourselves alone are we born.)” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

JOSH ROSSI – DIGITAL ARTIST from Jupilings on Vimeo.

Exercising our talents & sharing our knowledge, unselfishly, to change, bring hope or transform someone’s life is above all, the lasting fulfilment with high dose of ecstasy.   Purposely using our gifts to create real and tangible impact in our societies is the ultimate purpose of humanity. Digital artist and photographer, Josh Rossi uses his talents to bring awareness to the real superheroes of our world. With clients such as Warner Bros, Adobe, Nickelodeon, D.C. Comics, and many more major brands, with the help of his wife, Roxana, they transformed children with major illnesses and disabilities into members of the Justice League. The artwork received more than 100 million online views.

Five-year-old Simon Fuller, diagnosed with neuroblastoma, was featured as the Justice League's Batman. Image courtesy of Josh Rossi
Justice League – Image courtesy of Josh Rossi
Nine-year-old Teagan Pettit was born with a congenital heart defect as is featured as Superman. Images Courtesy of Josh Rossi
Justice League – Images Courtesy of Josh Rossi
Justice League - Images Courtesy of Josh Rossi
Justice League – Images Courtesy of Josh Rossi
Justice League - Images Courtesy of Josh Rossi
Justice League – Images Courtesy of Josh Rossi
Justice League - Images Courtesy of Josh Rossi
Justice League – Images Courtesy of Josh Rossi
Justice League - Images Courtesy of Josh Rossi
Justice League – Images Courtesy of Josh Rossi

The project was created after a Halloween photo shoot of his daughter, Nellee. The digital images illustrate his healthy and enthusiastic little girl as Wonder Woman. The series acted as a catalyst, he was contacted by emotionally inspired parents of            critically-ill children around the world, expressing that “their children are the real superheroes”.

Wonder woman - Images courtesy of Josh Rossi
Wonder woman – Images courtesy of Josh Rossi
Wonder woman - Images courtesy of Josh Rossi
Wonder woman – Images courtesy of Josh Rossi

Here is my exclusive interview with Josh Rossi to learn about his gifts and talents:

Jupilings –  Tell us about yourself and how you got into digital art/photography:

Josh Rossi: When I was a young boy I was obsessed with art. I was born in Florence, Italy where I lived for 7 years. When I hit high school I saw no need to pursue art and so I dropped it and got into other things. After high school I got an internship with a film production company and started getting more into film. When I was 22 I realized that I wasn’t satisfied with what I was doing so I needed a change. I decided that advertising was a lot more exciting and chose to go to Miami Ad School and that’s where my passion for photography came in. At school I had to rely on my own skills to produce print ads and online media. I had to convey a message and I didn’t want to just snap one shot and be done. I wanted to include a lot of different elements that told a story. That’s when I started getting into compositing. I realized that I could actually create the images that were inside my head. I never thought that was possible before. I became literally obsessed with ad photography. I would stay up every night until 2 or 3 studying my favorite photographers. I would study every single detail and try to recreate what I saw. It took me a year and a half before I decided to put my style out there to the public. Once I put my work out there for people to see I got a surprising response. People loved it! I dropped my 9 to 5 job and have been working full time doing what I love ever since. Whenever I create an image I try to think of a story behind it. I want my viewer to get into the picture and imagine a whole scenario. What brings me joy is when I can inspire others to do bigger and greater things. I am based out of Los Angeles and Puerto Rico where I specialize in Commercial and Advertising photography.

Jupilings – What is the fundamental principal in your creations?

Josh Rossi:  The image has to have emotion in it before it’s even created. You need to envision it and the emotion behind it. 

Jupilings – Are you a digital artist that uses photography to express an idea or a photographer who captures the moment of the idea?

Josh Rossi: Digital artist who uses photography to create my art.

Jupilings – Do you have a preference in camera, software or technology ? & why

Josh Rossi: Photoshop, Sony A7r2. The Sony is mirrorless and it’s easy to carry around. It’s very high quality too and is great for traveling. Photoshop has so many options that it lets me do anything I want with an image.

Jupilings – Which photographer has influenced you most?

Josh Rossi: Dave hill, Erik Almas

Jupilings – What is the secret of being a successful digital artist/photographer?

Josh Rossi: The secret is finding the best inspiration you can, practicing endless hours to perfect a look and keep learning.

Jupilings – What is your favourite subject to capture?

Josh Rossi: I love capturing people and landscapes together.

Jupilings – What does women empowerment mean to you?

Josh Rossi: Woman empowerment means to acknowledge the power and strength that they have. It means to allow them to express those strengths and not be shy to show them.

Jupilings – What are your tips about building a brand name as a digital artist / photographer?

Josh Rossi: To build a brand name you need a specific style that people know you for. Not just a better style but something different and new. People don’t care so much about better, they care about new and different.

Jupilings – What do you do to conquer fear or self doubt:

Josh Rossi: I learn to control my thoughts and push those out. Everyone feels fear but few people know how to manage it and push through the fear when necessary. You can’t listen to the voices in your head that create self doubt. Push them out immediately. The more you let them linger the more self doubt will build within you. No one knows your potential except your own self. How can you conquer the world if you can’t conquer your own mind?

Jupilings – What super power you would like to have ? and why?

Josh Rossi: Ability to change someones life just by deciding to do so.

Jupilings – Which movie you would have liked to be the lead actor:

Josh Rossi: Mission Impossible or James Bond

Jupilings – What is your life motto?

Make others rich like unto yourself.

Images courtesy of Josh Rossi http://www.joshrossi.com

Natalie Shau – Digital Art

Natalie Shau is a mix media artist and a photographer from Vilnius, Lithuania. Influenced by religious imagery, fairytales illustrations and eclectic art world, she taps into the myths, dreams and steers the play of thought to where there is no rational boundary. She explores the complexities of human emotions, by suggesting vulnerability and strength of her surreal and extraordinary creatures.  Natalie renders fantasy and reality themes provocatively and elegantly.  Besides her personal artistic projects, she rigorously creates artwork for musicians, theatre, fashion magazines, writers and advertisement campaigns.

Forest Baby by Natalie Shau
Forest Baby by Natalie Shau
Powder by Natalie Shau
Powder by Natalie Shau

To learn about her and her vision, I had the opportunity to ask her few questions:

What inner force inspires you to create? 

Inspiration is usually the beauty of nature and art (any kind, literature, painting, photography, cinema).

What about motivation, what is the outside force that compels you to create?

Motivation for me is when people like what I create and support my artwork.

Secret Emotions by Natalie Shau
Secret Emotions by Natalie Shau

Do you aspire to drive public awareness on current social or political issues when you are creating a work of art?

Some social issues sometimes, but political absolutely not. Everything nowadays is extremely polarized. And you are running a risk to get into a lot of trouble if you were to express your opinion, freely. I am certain many people prefer not to talk about what they really think nowadays. Specially when you are a public person. 

Mon Plaisir by Natalie Shau
Mon Plaisir by Natalie Shau

What is your dream project? 

I would be very interested in creating a movie & a crazy photography set based on some dark fairytale. 

Justine by Natalie Shau
Justine by Natalie Shau
Snowflake by Natalie Shau
Snowflake by Natalie Shau

And, do you have a particular designer / brand / production that you would like to be involved in their’s marketing campaign? 

Well maybe Gucci? That would be nice. 

Do you have creative patterns, routines or rituals?

Yes, I usually work at night. Daytime I just can’t concentrate.

What’s the best advice you ever had about how to be more creative?

Listen to your inner true self.

What does women empowerment mean to you?

Don’t be a victim and fight for your goals.

What are your tips about building a brand name as an artist?

Just a lot of work, people develop styles only by creating and working.

What do you do to conquer fear or self doubt:

In such circumstances, I always think that I have so much while many others don’t even have basic things. So I must not complain. 

What are you thoughts about the blockchain technology specially in support of digital art? 

Well, I have not yet looked deep at it, yet, however, I am very very happy that there will be more possibilities for artists.

Would you consider using blockchain technology platform to reach global art enthusiasts?

Absolutely!

What are the problems in the Art Market that you would like these platforms to solve?

Well the biggest problem nowadays for independent artists is of course how to fund themselves and have the possibility to acquire new materials for their art projects. 

What super power would you have liked to have ? and why?

Being able not to sleep. So I could create more and visit many places. 

Which movie would you have liked to be the leading actor?

La Reine Margot 

What is your life motto?

Stay true to yourself.

Fashion Photography "Snow Yak" by Natalie Shau
Fashion Photography “Snow Yak” by Natalie Shau
Fashion Photography "Kristina" by Natalie Shau
Fashion Photography “Kristina” by Natalie Shau
Cradle of Filth 1 - Music Art Works by Natalie Shau
Cradle of Filth 1 – Music Art Works by Natalie Shau

 

Natalie Shau has collaborated with many brands, please refer to her website: https://natalieshau.carbonmade.com/about