Iranian visual artist Shirin Abedinirad (1986) places nature at the centre of her research. After a period devoted entirely to performances, staged throughout Iran – in which she tackled dense themes such as gender issues, sexuality and human compassion – today Shirin devotes herself fully to land art. Her installations, often set in desert settings, draw on the surrealist sphere, especially in her choice of object. Doors and stairs are recurrent protagonists of her installations, always accompanied by the element of the mirror, which acquires a relevant semantic aspect. Structural elements that are usually functional, here lose their original purpose. Realistically, they lead to nothing, to no other environment, to no real place. The mirror component, however, creates a possibility and transforms everyday objects into possible portals to another, mostly inner and intimate dimension. For Shirin Abedinirad, the intention is to generate in the viewer a question, “Who or what do we encounter crossing that border? Who do we see reflected in the door?“
“Tupac The Legend” is a forty-page volume containing a unique collection of images taken by Michel Haddi during a photo shoot in 1993 with 2Pac. The book, signed and numbered out of 500 copies, was released on September 13th and also revisits some of the rapper’s thoughts. What sets this book apart is the inclusion of quotes from Tupac himself, providing a deeper understanding of the artist’s thoughts and personality. «I am thrilled to present this limited edition book: ‘Tupac The Legend,’ featuring many previously unreleased images,» enthusiastically declares Micheal Haddi.
Haddi’s personal connection with Tupac adds a special layer to the book’s narrative. During their encounter, Haddi was inspired to portray Tupac in attire reminiscent of Martin Luther King Jr., a vision the rapper decided to embrace, and the result of which is reflected in the book.
Micheal Haddi’s own story is fascinating as well, from a turbulent childhood in Paris to collaborations with iconic figures in the fashion industry. His story is as compelling as his photography. In conclusion, “Tupac The Legend” aims to be a heartfelt visual tribute to the legacy of Tupac Shakur. This limited edition coffee table book, with its unpublished images and personal anecdotes, promises to be a valuable addition to the collections of fans and portrait enthusiasts of the rapper.
“Life, like a river, flows with its own rhythm, carrying us on a journey filled with both tranquility and turbulence,” explains photographer Nanda Hagenaars. “In moments of calm, we are embraced by the gentle currents, as if floating effortlessly through the passage of time. It is during these moments that we find solace, and our spirits are uplifted by the serenity of the waters. However, calm waters can transform into turbulent torrents, unsettling our footing and leaving us questioning our purpose.”
With these words, Nanda Hagenaars (1988) provides us with a glimpse into her perspective on life, offering insights to understand her photographs. Hagenaars captures these ebb and flow of life through her lens. Her work can be described as poetic, intuitive, and emotional, driven by the desire to translate her feelings and emotions into images. The concept of time and timelessness has led Nanda to focus on black and white photography, a choice that adds depth and timelessness to her art.
For Nanda, the camera is more than just a simple tool; it’s a symbol of transformation. It has helped her see life in new ways, much like looking through her lens has shown her fresh perspectives. She believes in using photography as a means to grow and discover herself. “It’s not always easy to see things differently, but I make an effort to do so,” she says. This philosophy is reflected in her practice. She doesn’t just see the water; she also sees its reflection. This way of seeing extends to everything she captures, always in search of new compositions, eager to unveil hidden beauty. Nanda plays with light and shadow, creating a dance that is both rhythmic and melancholic.
«Just as the river carves its path through the landscape, so do the challenges we face shape us. The trials and tribulations, the moments of uncertainty and doubt, they all contribute to our personal evolution. They teach us resilience, patience, and the art of adaptation. We learn that life’s true beauty lies not in the absence of obstacles but in our ability to overcome them. And as we continue along our journey, we learn to trust the flow of life, knowing that, just like the river, we are forever evolving, forever moving forward.»
In Nanda Hagenaars’ world, each photograph is a reflection of this philosophy. With her lens as a guide, she invites us to join her in exploring the intricate twists and turns of the river of life, finding meaning and beauty in every shot.
Nanda Hagenaars will present one of her shots at the Collater.al Photography exhibition at the Matalon Foundation in Milan from Sept. 22-24, 2023.
Wendy Symons, a self-taught Dutch photographer, embarks on a profound journey through her lens, capturing intimate moments of motherhood without any filter. Wendy Symons possesses a remarkable ability to perceive the beauty in everyday moments, those small and delicate details often overlooked by the frantic pace of life. Her photography is a heartfelt exploration of the human experience at every stage of life. However, it’s the early motherhood experience that holds a special place in Wendy’s heart. She approaches it with an honest and intimate lens, revealing the profound bond between a mother and her child.
Inspiration flows to Wendy directly from nature itself. The healing power of the natural world influences her work and often becomes the muse for her next shoot. Through her lens, Wendy finds solace and inspiration, effortlessly merging the worlds of art and motherhood. Wendy Symons’ style is a testament to authenticity and the raw essence of life. She relies exclusively on natural light to capture genuine moments in their full splendour. This choice infuses her work with a warmth and truthfulness that makes each photograph an unfiltered window into the lives she documents.
One of Wendy’s extraordinary projects is Art Mama, in which she merges her two worlds, the artistic and the maternal. In the midst of the pandemic, she embarked on this introspective journey, diving into her life as a mother and artist. Wendy’s photo diary paints an intimate portrait of her children and herself as they deal with the complexities of motherhood during turbulent times. Her images are a reminder that the journey of motherhood, although unpredictable and chaotic, is a shared experience that unites us all.
Wendy Symons will present one of her shots at the Collater.al Photography exhibition at the Matalon Foundation in Milan from Sept. 22-24, 2023. Courtesy Wendy Symons
Valentina Sergi (1997) is a fashion photographer with a passion for pastel colors, bold contrasts, and the vibrancy of images. Her professional work has led her to photograph a variety of subjects in exclusive locations, and her photographs have become a constant presence in many well-known fashion publications. However, what truly sets Valentina Sergi apart is her ability to craft an emotionally compelling narrative through the lens of her camera. Colors, the interplay of light and shadows, patterns, people’s hands, the warmth of an embrace, places steeped in nostalgia, and the hidden stories behind a wrinkle are all elements that Valentina Sergi seeks to capture in order to create a pure aesthetic composed of images that oscillate between the real and the surreal.
The A-Mors Series: A Deep Exploration of Love
One of Valentina Sergi’s most significant projects is the series titled A-Mors. This series delves into the theme of love in a profound and provocative manner. It revolves around genuine love, a love that has been eagerly anticipated, yet so strong that it overcomes the fragility of a tender heart. The intriguing wordplay in the title, where “A-Mors” appears to derive from the Latin “a-mors” (without death), underscores the eternity of this sentiment. In this series, Valentina Sergi explores the concept of an eternal love that transcends temporal boundaries. Her photographs capture moments of passion and affection, while simultaneously evoking a sense of transcendence.
Sergi’s works are emotional and surreal, with a strong conceptual underpinning. Valentina understands that photography is not merely the recording of an objective reality, but rather the presentation of stories, concepts, and worlds as she perceives them through her personal experiences, culture, and sensibilities.
Her connection between cinema and photography is evident, and this cross-pollination of the arts allows her to bring innovation to her work. The photographer leaves us with a famous quote by Vincent Peters, who states, “A photograph is not just made with a camera; it is brought to the act of photography with all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.“
Valentina Sergi will present one of her shots at the Collater.al Photography exhibition at the Matalon Foundation in Milan from Sept. 22-24, 2023. Courtesy Valentina Sergi