Kaupo Kikkas

Kaupo Kikkas (b. 1983) is an Estonian photographer, who focuses on music and fine art photography. He has studied photography at Finland’s Visual Arts Institute. He is dividing his time between portraying the world-class musicians and his fine art photography projects. These include a study of graveyards, a portrait series of shale miners, images of a lost cinema in the Egyptian desert, and many others.
Kaupo has photographed several books – and classical music album covers, his work is also often published in magazines. Kikkas was named best commercial portrait photographer at the WPPI Las Vegas (16×20 print competition) in 2013 and honoured as the best Estonian portrait photographer in 2011 (Baltic’s Photography Festival).

When not working he can be found camping and photographing in Lapland or Amazon rainforests. Occasionally he still picks up a saxophone and, after a few drinks, has been known to sing.

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Lauri Lihten-Haavel

Lauri Lihten-Haavel (b.1976) is an Estonia artist, living and working in Tallinn.
Lauri is a graphic designer and a freelance artist, who time to time gives lectures about Commercial Space Design at Estonian Art Academy.
He has completed Art and Art History teacher studies at the University of Tallinn and alternative studies in Art Advertisement.

Lihten-Haavel has taken part in many group exhibitions and has also had some solo exhibitions. He lovest to paint, but in recent years he has been focusing more on graphic art and developing his style and technique in lino-cutting.

My inspiration comes from everywhere, starting with daily life and ending with national folklore. These are my reflections and narratives about different aspects of life.

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Leelo-Mai Aunbaum

Leelo-Mai Aunbaum (born 1990) has graduated from the University of Tartu (BA) and Estonian Academy of Arts(MA), both degrees in painting.

Aunbaum is mostly dealing with environmental ethics and anthropology. She questions whether one can alienate from modern society and what are the consequences in doing so.

I get my inspiration mostly by taking long walks in nature. I try to go at least once a day. It helps me to be more productive and also more present at the moment. For me, nature is the best subject and muse. Most of my paintings have started from observations in nature. I love the richness of colours and lines that are seemingly chaotic but also organized at the same time.

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Lembe Keskpaik

Lembe Keskpaik (born in 1966) is an Estonian painter, graphic artist, and illustrator. She lives and works in Tallinn. Lembe studied fine arts at the Estonian Academy of Arts.
As she chooses the medium based on the needs and requirements of her subject, she mostly paints with acrylic on canvas or draws with ballpoint pen or marker on paper. In her art, she covers a variety of topics from abstract shapes to people and spaces.

I’m interested in how people move through life, time, and space. I’m inspired by people, their lives and stories. We all live stories and art is my way of recording those. It’s interesting for me to see how a thought or a feeling finds its shape, how it transforms from something intangible to something real.

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Lembe Ruben

Lembe Ruben is a well respected Estonian graphic artist, who lives in Tallinn. She has graduated from the Estonian Academy of Arts graphic arts department and has a Masters’ degree in Fine Arts. Ruben focuses mainly on graphic art but also works with drawings, paintings and photography.

Lembe is expressing herself mostly in relief print, copper edging and her self developed experimental methods. Even while testing new techniques, she has successfully been able to keep her abstract works beautifully minimalistic. She is fascinated by spontaneity and subconsciousness; using them in her works and also in her art teaching approach.

In 2011, she was rewarded with the prestigious Wiiralt prize of the young artist. Her works can be found in state art museums of Estonia, Latvia and Denmark. She has taught at the Estonian Academy of Arts and University of Tartu Viljandi Culture Academy; she has written, illustrated and designed books and magazines; different project of animation and stage decoration.

Lembe Ruben is a member of the Estonian Artists’ Union, Estonian Freelance Graphic Artists’ Association and belongs to the art group “Ydi”. Association of Estonian Printmakers.

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Leslie Laasner

Although Leslie has studied at Tartu Art College and Estonian Academy of Arts, he is mostly known to a broader audience as a Musician rather than an Artist. After graduating from the Art Academy, he decided to brush the art-dust off his shoes, tune into the sound and sail towards the golden prizes with solo music projects and with various Estonian cult bands.

It wasn’t until more than 15 years later that he grabbed the brush again. Today Leslie continues writing music, time to time also columns, and he just made a debut as a movie director. The chameleon Artist does not stop there; an addition to that he is also working as a designer and does fashion photography. Did we mention Leslie is a crazy moto enthusiast? Yep, that he is too, and then there is painting. With all the things going on in daily life, there is not too much free time left, but when there is time to paint, he enjoys it thoroughly. That also reflects from the paintings.
Leslie has had several solo and group exhibitions in Estonia and abroad.

I don’t look for inspiration; it just comes from everywhere—the random moments, in collisions with different people and situations, make me feel the urge to set a scene for them in my paintings. These daily acquaintances and happenings will later become the subjects and motifs in my paintings.

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Manfred Dubov

Manfred Dubov (b. 1986) is a painter and a nurse-paramedic, who lives and works in Tallinn, Estonia. He has graduated from the Estonian Academy of Arts with a Bachelor degree in Fine Arts and Tartu Health Care College with a degree in Intensive Care Nursing.

Manfred has had several solo and group exhibitions. Aside from painting, he also writes. The latest book with a collection of his poetry is called “Today Everything Is Found” (publisher: Kultuurileht, 2016), which was nominated for prestigious Betti Alver Poetry Prize.

I paint with oil on large canvases. My works reference a wide range of sources: thoughts, feelings, memories, dreams, personal experiences. I place characters inside interiors and landscapes during different, mostly dreamlike situations. Sometimes they are merging into their surroundings, and sometimes the surroundings melt into them. In a way, my artworks are like a timeline of my inner evolution. I draw my inspiration from a wide array of sources: from art (Fra Angelico, El Greko, Otto Dix), but also my work at the ambulance.

For me, history, poetry and literature (Pasternak, Lorca, Eluard, Bukowski, Camus) are also very inspirational. Nevertheless, just like everyone else, I am affected by global and local environments, and as they influence me, they also influence my art. I paint to reflect on life using the visual language of figures, colours and strokes to communicate with the viewer.

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Maria Sécio

Maria Sécio (b.1994) is a Portuguese artist, currently based in Berlin. Sécio has studied in the art school António Arroio (Portugal) and Film-Production at Arts University Bournemouth (UK). However, she ended up graduating with a Bachelor in Fine Art Photography.

The development of her unique artistic language begun after her residencies in Japan at Studio Kura (Itoshima) and in Greece at Tryfon Arts Residency (Lesbos).

She has exhibited her works at group exhibitions in Berlin, and her works have been published in numerous magazines in Milan, Berlin and Lisbon. In 2020 Sécio had her the first solo show “The Calm Before” at Mina Gallery in Amsterdam.

Maria Sécio is the founder of the artist collective <3 (Below Three), which is a four-member group of painters and photographers based in Berlin. Their initiative behind this union is to invite time-based arts and 2D visual arts to coexist in the same space.

With her project River Gurara, she won the first prize – “Novos Talentos FNAC 2020” – in the photography category (Portugal).

It sounds paradoxical to associate the images I create with constructed scenery when I refuse to stage a moment fully. I create fictional atmospheres with the reality that surrounds me. The truth within the frame comes from deconstructing the moments into a new abstract narrative. The subjects – models are stripped from themselves, allowing me to alter their nature into my own.

The new characters often address my emotions as I subconsciously incline my work on exploring my fears and lost memories.

I only photograph with analogue film, and the practice is often cyclic. It provides me with the necessary endless stages for editing. I capture the image, with ‘technically wrong’ settings. That allows me to have a broader choice of movement in the frame. After having the negatives developed, I proceed to decompose them with acidic substances manually. The image is often only complete after a back and forth – manual and digital editing with sometimes more than one image becoming a single piece.

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Shev Lunatic

Yevgeniya Shevchuk‘s talent was recognised during her childhood and promoted in the form of private lessons for drawing. To her, it was always clear that her path would pursue creativity. Later on, however, financial security became a top priority, leading her to study graphic design to pursue a commercial career. Yet ultimately, Shevchuk‘s thirst for creativity returned with an encounter with a gallery owner from Monaco. She adopted the name Shev Lunatic and has been working as a freelance artist since 2016.
Art as a rebellion for freedom and expression, Shev Lunatic works with bold colours, without losing the seriousness of her expression. In her works, she combines abstract forms and images with spray and acrylic paint, which move between realism and surrealism. Her attention is always focused on the eyes of her portraits to intensify the quote-inspired surrealist and psychedelic mind – eyes are the windows of our soul.

The young artist also creates her colourful street art at events and regularly shows her work at international festivals. Her paintings are exhibited in galleries in Paris, Düsseldorf and Berlin.
My Art is my expression, my position and my statement.

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Thao Nguyen

Thao Nguyen is a 20-year-old German-Vietnamese artist born and living in Berlin. She is currently a Fine art and English student while developing her artistic position through painting. Her portraits of young men moving somewhere between abstraction and realism are made primarily using acrylic and mixed media, including spray paint. Thao’s work is influenced by contemporary painters such as Gerhard Richter and Jenny Saville but also by film and music culture.

“The human face has always been my subject of interest; I try to express inner feelings and conditions of human nature by projecting them onto the male figure. For me, abstraction is a tool to convey a sense of distance and alienation – the loose and often aggressive brushwork is a result of the struggle with my cultural identity, frustration and is overall inspired by my personal situation and environment. My painting process often stretches over a long period of time where I destroy and eventually rebuild fragments bit by bit. I sometimes find myself physically exhausted by this process while the art-making functions as some sort of self-therapy at the same time.”

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