Lillian Vedvik

Lillian works with stoneware and earthenware, and her decorative work ranges in expression from delicate elegance, to the more bold and roughly hewn, often coloured by using oxide which gives it look of having been carved straight out of the earth itself.
she is a hands-on craftswoman, and rarely resorts to mechanical means in her creative process. She is inspired by the classical art of figurative sculpture.

Shain Erin

Shain Erin has been making some sort of art practically since birth and has achieved success in a variety of media including painting, digital media and sculpture. In recent years he has become obsessed with the possibilities of the doll as a medium with the potential to reach a wide and varied audience while challenging conventions and preconceptions about “art” and art-making. He draws on a wide range of influences including world art, mythology and popular culture to create a unique perspective on the doll as an art form.
Shain Erin has a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the San Francisco Art Institute And has shown work throughout the US including the recent “Raining Art Dolls” Show at Ten Women Gallery in Venice, California and the “Circus” show at Studio Space Arts Gallery in Barre, Vermont. His art doll sculptures are in collections throughout the US and in Germany.

I’m an obsessive artist (since birth) working primarily in sculpture, painting and digital media. I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the San Francisco Art Institute and have shown work throughout the US. My doll sculptures are in collections throughout the US, Australia, Canada, England, France, Germany, and Norway.” (mostly in San Francisco and Denver) But mostly I’ve kept to myself artistically, exploring my obsessions and refining my vision and methods.
I’ve always been fascinated with world art and mythology and for about the last ten years I’ve been concentrating on exploring and defining a personal mythology and “history” while honoring and referencing existing world art traditions. . For that reason I refer to my work as Neo-Mythic and see myself as a creator of artifacts that never were.
For the last several years I’ve been preoccupied with dolls: I see them as a long under appreciated art form with virtually unlimited expressive possibilities. I’m inspired by traditional world art figures (kachina, bochia, nkisi, namchi, shadow puppets, etc.) while working to push the boundaries of what a “doll” is as far as my imagination and skills will take it.
These are not comforting toys; they can be challenging and defiant, disturbing and enchanting, irrational and frightening, beautiful and sad. They have stories they yearn to tell, and they hold secrets they will never give up. I like to think of dolls as spirit vessels and the making of a doll a kind of offering or invitation. It’s always a collaboration between me and whatever spirit comes forward.
Lately I’ve felt it is time to come out of my shell and start finding an audience for my work, so here I am. I hope you will find something to connect with here –that touches you in some way, and I would love to hear what you think.
In recent years I have become preoccupied with the formal/expressive possibilities of the doll as an art form. I am fascinated with the way in which dolls can function simultaneously as contrived objects and as living entities. I draw on a wide range of references including world art, art history, mythology and popular culture to inform and empower my doll sculpture.

Bogdan Zvir

Contrasts and paradoxes were surrounding Bogdan since childhood: a wooden village house without any conveniences that drowned in snow till roof, it was situated next to a modern building of a famous bank and an awl-like TV tower. Winter frosts till -60 and dry summer heat of +40 with sandy air from Lena. House foundations on piles growing from permafrost, and ugly heat pipelines spoiling cold sky. Then St. Petersburg. Mystic inconceivable city built on an absurd spot by a controversial person with the cost of a paradox number of lives and expenses. The city that in absurd time became symbolic, isn’t it a perfect refuge for Bogdan Zwir? Weird author. Who is capable of distracting anybody from idle thoughtlessness, tearing away from a swamp of indifference, evoking craving for self-study and bringing fruitless ideas to life. Showing in the absurd the creative dynamics of magic images, his real fantasy is full of them.
Bogdan Zwir is a photographic artist in St. Petersburg, Russia. He says he did not receive special education in either photography or the arts. He writes in his broken English, "I comprehended independently the secrets of processing a photo... The main aim in creativity is to invent unreal life but to maintain a realistic performance...[with] dominance of emotional, psychological and esoteric components... There is no place for accident...The image appears and lives, having its past, present and future. It breathes, pulsates, provokes the spectator to mutual conclusions and experiences. The movement excited in the viewer has neither beginning nor end. There are always questions left... You would ask what it is after all - photography or painting? On the one hand, technically it is photography. But the final impression is painting."

Paul von Borax

Paul von Borax started photographying long ago ... and what should have been a hobby gradually turned into passion. he likes to experiments, tests, and his photos are more worthy for him than himself. He gradually discoveries and encounters that give wonderful desire to continue to shape his hands lights, decorations, moods ... watch and give to see that look.
"Rather chaotic, I do not claim to act perfect photographic, rational. I do a lot of improvisation, and built between random. I trust my intuition, my will and my pleasure to do so, and often in my dreams, many of my photos are taken." 
His inspirations are multiple tables, situations, events ...
First he tried taking pictures by Polaroid in 2005, it was time ... and now he uses many materials, films and different processes. Boiled, stained, abandoned, scratched, bruised, his only goal is to make an atmosphere that only Polaroids are able to express.
The series is made of a Polafu Mamiya housing and Polaroid back. Makeup artist Anna Telia Paul von Borax created an aura of goddesses with each model. The snapshots are then passed through various secret recipes photographer for their surface are transformed and earn tons of another time. Muses and represented plunge the viewer into a work of erotic early twentieth century.
The second series presented by The open eye gallery entitled The Girl Sheet is produced in collaboration with artistic makeup Anne Arnold ( In a more romantic Paul von Borax recreates a world as an ultra feminine.
For the photographer philosophy remains the same on all series regardless of the chosen techniques: all the shooting. Almost no retouching, by choice. Photography: the writing light. Paul von Borax is a photographer, not a Photoshop-designer. Reality in its simplicity and its brutality sometimes it is more beautiful than any artificial world. 
- The Girl and Polafu Sheet, The open eye gallery, September 2012
- Ghosts of Atlantis, underwater pictures, MKP, Paris, May 2012
- Collective exhibition with Furious, Paris, on the theme "ten years Furious" in May 2011
- Cultural Office of the Grand Place, Arras, March 2011
- Café Photo, Lille, October 2010
- FEPN (festval European nude photo) Arles, May 2010
- Expo "Polaroid", The Furious, Paris, May 2009
- "Ur Hair," with teams of hairdressers Japanese "Yellow Cab," "The Castle" Tokyo, February 2009

Bill Westheimer

Since making his first photograph at age 14, Bill Westheimer has been fascinated with alternative processes including high school experiments in holography, solarization, and high contrast imagery . At Union College Bill studied with noted painter and educator Arnold Bittelman. He continued with his experiments in photography and experimental image making while completing college.
Later Westheimer studied with Jerry Burchfield who introduced him to color photo graMs and Cibachrome (now Ilfochrome) printing. Bill went on to teach Cibachrome printing at Colorado Mountain College in Aspen. Early in this millennium he learned the 19th century technique of collodion glass plate photography from the leading experts in the field: France Scully and Mark Osterman.
Recent work includes photograms made on collodion glass plates, Ilfochrome and gelatin silver media. He has been collaborating on a camera obscura project with Charles Schwartz documenting the city of New York, and recently published a book MANUAL – The Personalities of Hands and CRICKETS a handmade book created in collaboration with Leonard Seastone. His works are exhibited in galleries and museums worldwide.
Bill lives and works in West Orange, New Jersey in a converted 1885 carriage house that includes a modern darkroom and digital printing studio.
I believe art should ask questions, not provide answers.    The problem with photography is that it shows you what exists. It is much too literal for my taste.  My challenge is to take the familiar and make it unfamiliar; to ask a question and begin a dialogue with the viewer.  W.H. Auden said: ”Knowledge may have its purposes, but guessing is always more fun than knowing.”
I don’t capture what is there, but rather I liberate what I see.  When my photograph of something familiar makes the viewer see it in a new and different way and use their imagination then I have succeeded.  I love to photogram the small things that we often overlook: a weed, or a broken piece of glass.  I pursue those things that are rejected, the trash and the detritus, because I enjoy the challenge of finding something exquisite in the ugliest garbage.  Like the ancient Japanese Zen monks’ tradition of wabi-sabi - which venerated the ephemeral complexity and beauty of nature’s imperfections - I pursue my fascination with the art of impermanence. 
I use the objects with the photogram technique to make one-of-a-kind pictures. Without the interference of film and lens I reveal the fundamental nature of the entity itself. Taking the objects into the darkroom, I use their shapes, shadows and their essences to expose conventional photographic paper or old fashioned glass plate negatives that can then be enlarged and reproduced using digital technology and a pigment printer.
My personal dialogue with the objects provokes the questions expressed in my pictures.  All I ask of the viewer is to join me in my pursuit of the investigation.

Mariam Shengelia

Born in 1994. She started taking photos in 2009. 
At first Mariam was taking documentary photography, but soon she realized that the style was not interesting for her. As she says " to be engaged in the creative process is the most enjoyable, it's mystical act." 
Mainly she takes self-portraits. Mariam has never taught photography. she can work with every type of camera (tape, webcam, digital camera). 
"I don't remember the reason of my decision doing photography, but it's seems to me that i did it because of art. photography gave me opportunity to express world and myself without academic or artistic style. My photography first of all is the sublimation of my inner vibrations. that's why i'm always trying to be free and creative. I think it's the most important to announce your emotions. 
I get annoyed at each photo in high quality, which twinkles, I think it demonstrates only technical opportunities and not your expressivity"
she studies in the first year of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. 
in 2010 she was taking part in the project "Georgian Stories"
Her first exhibition was in 2011.  In 2012 her slideshow was background of the poetry of Keren Esebua

Alina Lebedeva (Алина Лебедева)

Interview with Alina Lebedeva

- Alina, that means to you photo?

For me, photography - is primarily a means of expression. Every creative person has a need for activity, self-expression, in creation.
To me it means a creation. Moreover, taking for himself, I do not set any goals. Importance of freedom of feelings. Watch man and catch interesting moments for me. Any creative shooting I spend only for the purpose of having fun.
- What about the money?
In this case it is secondary. They may appear, can not be displayed. That is, it is not done by any bets. If I had a goal to earn, I probably would have rented something else.
- Photography for you today - is the work?
For me, this is a good extra income, in terms of the material, and my creativity when it comes to the domestic.
- And you would like it to become your profession?
No. Because otherwise I would have to meet the market. I do not want to be dependent on this. Modern art I probably would not close. I see it in most cases shocking. Shocking is designed to surprise the viewer. Whether he wants to come back to this again - not a fact. It is already learned. Go back to what touches that eye-catching, that velvet and soft touch eye, which causes feelings inside, not screaming outside. I think, in our time, this is really not enough. I still for the beauty and inner content, though it is not always fashionable.

- what do you do in your free time
I sleep, eat. (Laughs.) I have my old job, which gives me a small income. But give it up I do not want to, because it is a stable help.

- But still, if you do not want to give up this work and devote himself entirely to photography?
If you care for me in the photo would mean immersion in an activity that I do not want to do, then definitely not. If it will not contradict me, I'll be glad. I just know all of this industry from the inside, and sometimes I want to be protected from this. And that rest during their creative filming.

- And are there  photographers whose work you like?
Sally Mann, Sarah Moon, Paolo Roversi, the early works of Lindberg.

- There is an opinion that Alina Lebedeva - a Russian Roversi. You agree with this?
Yeah, I heard it. I can not even talk about this story. Early in his career, I post the photos on various websites. Once I saw them at one of his works comment "Poversi." At that time, I do not say nothing to say, so I decided to search the Internet. When I saw pictures of him, it was very impressed! His aesthetic is so close to me that has never met a one photographer. Somewhere there is a dear soul!
- I know that you know personally with Rovers. What would u say about him?
Sincere. He is like he is. He does not play. I think that if the person is self-sufficient you are, he is simple. 

- Alina, I noticed that  you often shoot women.
Yes, it is. I take my girls just because they are close to me by spirit. In the creative set, I just rented display itself. But this does not mean that I'm doing a self-portrait. I just create people in such way as  I want to see them.

- You like shooting nude models, in your projects.  what is the reason of it?
Clothes - this extra information, which only interferes with the pictures. For me the main show is the inner world of man. Creativity for me is self-expression, I'm not interested nude because of the anatomical details. I need a natural expression of the sensual nature of man, his honesty, vulnerability, a man as he is, he is in himself, without reference to a person of any age, fashion or time.

- How often do you shoot for yourself?
Maybe once a month, maybe two. No laws. Sometimes i calm down for a while, sometimes spontaneously people coincide with me,  I'm glad. Always done and do not do it often, because sense of hunger is  very important for the creativity, satiety reduces sensitivity, and interesting people are not too much.

- Alina, viewing your work, I want to note that you have a lot of beautiful models. Do you find girls to shoot, or model seek you themselves?
Always different. I'm often written with a request to take pictures, but write mostly those who I'm not very interested. I do not often find a suitable person for the shooting, so I try to keep already tested models or sometimes accidentally stumble on something new and exciting.

- What is important for you in model?
The word "model" I would not use in my photography, rather it is - a man, woman, girl, whatever, but at least the character. "Model" - this is for me, the notion of business, it does not apply to creativity.
First, I pay attention on face. It is important that human eyes were not empty. Also, this person should share my views on creativity. I write to her and ask he which of my work she likes. If she said that she liked my work photographs of all the models in clothes, wearing makeup, and other beautiful glamor, naturally, I do not want to make photographs of them. If she chooses the pictures that I most enjoy and relevant for me now, so we go great with it and be able to do some shooting.

- Do you meet the girls before shooting?
No. But why?
- Then you can see the person to know how she looks like
Yes, I agree. I know that many photographers do so. I'm just very lazy, I guess. I do not want the extra time out of the house. People in conversation once, but when he stands in front of the camera, it is quite different. So I do not need contact with the girl before shooting.  Sometimes it is enough for me to drink tea with her in the studio before shooting and I understand what she is in life, not the front of the lens. Any creative photography with a new model - is a risk. This risk may be justified, but maybe not. But it's worth it!
- Tell me how the shooting took place?
If I make something for myself, I do not make plans, never, and I have no idea or have intended. I'm just starting watching  the man. For me mood and condition is important. That's it. The most important is to grab the second which i like.
- How much time does the photoshoot take?
Always different. If a person is not moving and closed, at least two hours. And if the person is closed, three or four hours.
- What light do you use when shooting?
Only constant. I do not like breaking something. It prevents me from concentrating on the essentials, and I love to shoot at apertures.
- Where are your creative photography?
Some shooting I spend at home, but often shoot in his studio.
- Do you have your own studio?
It does not belong only to me. I take it off with a few photos. This is a small basement room with no windows, where there is very cold and wet.
- Alina, all your pictures are understated and blurry. Why so?
I just have bad eyesight. (Laughs.)
- So do you sometimes focus wrong?
This also happens.
Laying out your photos in LJ, you are accompanied by their tex. And for what?
In fact, all this is not related to each other. It happens that you  are sitting at night, and thoughts are coming to you. I took them and recorded. That's it.
They, of course, may be combined with photos in the posts, but it is not necessarily so.
- And finally I would like to know about your latest commercial work for the company Grishko. I know that they recently Oleg Tityaev shot for them. Why did they turn it to you? How did they choose such an unusual shooting?
I myself strange has strange feeling when I received from them the proposal. It happened all so. The owner of the company found on the internet one of my photos (it was a creative mode). He wanted to buy it. We decided to meet and discuss everything. In the end, he offered to drop advertising in foreign markets. Topic shooting was free.
I note that it was one of those cases where the customer comes to the photographer. This is the most pleasant, but, unfortunately, it happens rarely.

More Photos

Sergey Chilikov

Sergey Chilikov is a Russian photographer born in Kilemary, Mari Republic, in 1953. He has graduated from the Mari Pedagogical Institute, ultimately obtaining an MA in Philosophy in 1983. He started photographing in 1973, at a time when the Soviet Union frowned on the notion of photography as artwork.  In 1976-1991 Chilikov lectured at the Yoshkar-Ola University. In reaction, Chilikov distilled into his photography both his personal obsessions and absurd observations of his country . Chilikov's series of photographs bring us a different vision of Central Russia revealed through his encounters with people.  In 1993 he’s published a book on Russian philosophy, “The Owner Of a Thing, Or the Anthology Of Subjectivity”.
The resulting images are staged in the most unlikely ways, and full of a characteristic dry visual humor. Locals pose in their villages simultaneously revealing and accentuating the austere surroundings. Occupiers of socialist flats pose nude amidst the outdated and garishly decorated interiors. These playful scenes often combine recurring erotic motives and dreamlike color. Chilikov's Russia is a land unaltered by the drastic collapse of the Soviet Union and populated by characters that cross the line from the traditional to the sensual.

Chilikov’s photography career has started in 1976 in the Fact group (S. Chilikov, Y. Evlampiev, V. Voetsky, E. Likhosherst, V. Mikhaylov). Soon he has become the leader of non-conformist photography in his region. Together with a group of like-minded individuals, he organized exhibitions and festivals; he managed to co-exist quite peacefully with the official photography organizations of the Soviet time. In 1980-1989, Chilikov organized the Analytical Photo Exhibitions (‘Yoshkar-Ola biennale’), and the annual open-air photo festival on Kundysh River. In 1988 he’s participated in the final exhibition of the Fact group at Na Kashirke exhibition hall (Moscow).
Since 1989 Chilikov has been working on a multitude of projects involving different towns of the former Soviet Union. His series, entitled ‘Photo Provocations’, ‘Countryside Glam’, ‘The Beach’, ‘Gambling’, ‘Philosophy of a Journey’, and others, depict the latent eroticism of people in the countryside, that appears even more vital when it contrasts with the depressing surroundings. Sergey Chilikov’s brilliant and playful photographs, full of typically Russian humor and self-criticism, are a feast for the eye. He is considered to be one of today’s most influential and creative contemporary Russian photographers.