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Maurice Sapiro Spirit of Fall 2020 Collection
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Andrei Tallent grew up in Denmark. In his late teens he competed in road cycling events and learned a lot about himself, both physically and mentally. From this period of his life, he learned self-discipline, the ability to push himself, and self-reliance.
At age 18, he moved to the U.S. to explore life and connect with long lost family. He spent many years in both California and Hawaii and graduated the University of Hawaii at Hilo with a B.A. in Philosophy in 1998. During his time in college, he also spent a significant amount of time learning the deeper ins and outs of chess. Both philosophy and chess sharpened his reasoning abilities and aligned with his propensity for introspection and self-examination.
Andrei also took his first photography class in Hilo. This is where he unknowingly laid the foundation for his photography and art. Digital cameras had just started to arrive on the scene, but were generally scoffed at by “serious” photographers for their low resolution and high price. So, he learned to shoot with film on a Pentax K1000, a fully manual camera.
Also during this time, he got his first computer. An “IBM clone” with an Intel 286 chip and probably several MB of RAM. He spent quite a bit of time playing remote text-only games with other players over a complex pre-internet network. By the time he graduated, AOL was king and the internet was in its infant stages.
After getting his philosophy degree, he found himself at an important life intersection: pursue an advanced degree or dive into something else? He dove and went right into making websites. He learned html when it was so simple you could learn all there was to learn in a week. He spent several years developing and running a successful video game review site during the early internet boom and the inevitable bust.
The next phase of his life was a whirlwind of wonderful events that started with meeting his wife, and moving with her from Hawaii to New York City with a brief stint in Utah. He learned to cook in New York City at the French Culinary Institute. He briefly pursued a culinary career as a personal chef, but an unexpected back surgery put a fast end to that! During this time, photography and website development remained important in his life. He experimented with a Holga and got his first DSLR camera in New York.
Then everything changed with the birth of his son. He did not breathe at birth. He suffered significant brain damage and spent six weeks in intensive care. He is the sweetest and hardest working kid you will ever meet, despite his challenges. Among the conditions complicating his life is cortical visual impairment (CVI). Because of this, Andrei’s wife, mother-in-law and Andrei started a non-profit organization, called Little Bear Sees, dedicated to raising awareness about CVI.
Andrei now spend a significant amount of his day taking care of his son.
In the evening, he makes art.
Sebastian Michael’s AWAKE Photoshop art class has been life changing for him.
It gave him a creative outlet that combines so many of him strengths and interests that it just feels natural to make art. His interest in logic, computers and reasoning resonates well with learning and working in Photoshop. His love of photography pushes him to think about composition, color and subject matter. His desire to learn is fueled by the never-ending learning curve that is Photoshop. It feels perfect to him. It has become an obsession. He cannot imagine not making art now.
Andrei is deeply influenced by a handful of contemporary Photoshop artists. Mario Sánchez Nevado, Parée Erica, KJER and Robert Cornelius are at the top of the list. Their art inspires him to try harder, push his creative boundaries, think more, think less and create!
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