The Love of Light

courtesy Rachel Baran

courtesy Rachel Baran

With no formal training, twenty-year-old photographer Rachel Baran has set the interwebs abuzz with her series of stunning and surreal self-portraits. We needed to get inside her wonderfully creative mind. To honor her as one of the best young talents we collaborated with, we used one of her images as our holidays cover. To see and read our story about Rachel please go here:

Icarus Blake: Editor in Chief (aka Luca Babini)
Teo J. Babini: Managing Editor
Lora Wiley: Contributing Editor
Greta Pininfarina: Fashion Director
Miko Sala: Art Director
Tiffany Credle: Senior Publishing Editor
Luigi Scarcella: Graphic Illustrator
Nancy Cooper: Finance Supervisor
ePublished by Kodezero NYC
Tech Supervision:
Contributors to this issue:

Rachel Baran/The Love of Light
Rachel Baran is a 20-year-old, self-taught conceptual photographer living in the United States, who is currently attending school for psychology and art therapy in Ohio. While her independent work is mainly focused on self-portraiture, she has also worked for a studio as a senior portrait photographer for three years. She plans to attend graduate school for social work and continue developing her photography.

Julien Dumas/The Woman Remains the Same
Julien Dumas’s photography work invites the viewer to make his or her own story. He uses nudity as a canvas for the human spirit and equalizes gender and ethnic with the delicate stroke of his camera in his series ‘Non Ethnie’. In his latest series, ‘Lost in …’ he depicts the solitude of humans embedded in stark landscapes.

Deborah Trazino/UmbrellApocalypse
Italian, bridge & tunnel queen.
Currently working on “The Camel of Tao… A Spiritual Guide for the Fashion Inept Lesbian.”

Luca Di Prospero/Fast Food Hero is a videographer, filmmaker and actor born in Rome (Italy). He wrote and directed three short films: “Presagio Fragile” (Fragile Omen) presented at the Rome Cinema Fest, “Ce l’hai un Minuto?” (Do you have a minute?), winner of more than 10 festival awards and finalist for the prestigious David di Donatello 2012 (Italian Oscar) and “Indie”, a road movie, selected at Retro Film Festival. He worked as assistant director for the short movie “Alle Corde” (On the Ropes) by Andrea Simonetti, winner of more than 5 prizes.
He is the creator of the comic web series “Pappagalli”, finalist at the Roma Web Fest 2014.

Maddalena Monti/Fast Food Hero is an actress, screenwriter and cultural organizer from Milan, Italy. She has worked in Germany, China, Switzerland and Lichtenstein. She is one of the directors of “Festival delle Nuove Vie” (literature), and organizes the Noir Fest (cinema and literature).
She works with her husband Luca Di Prospero, helping in creating and shooting video projects.

Maria Giulia Prezioso Maramotti/Industrial Resurrection: Visions of Detroit
Maria Giulia Prezioso Maramotti (aka MJ) is a born and raised Italian who lives in NYC, and before that in Paris and London. She works in the fashion business.
She is first a sailor and a globetrotter. The dream of her life is to go sailing around the world. She is addicted to rock, blues, jazz, and the hugest fan of the AC MILAN soccer team.
She loves running, biking, swimming, hiking and every sports which involves being outdoor and close to water and wind.

Caterina Clerici/Killah Hills 10304: No Ebola in Little Liberia/Love in the Times of Ebola
Caterina is a Milanese independent journalist who landed in New York via London. She writes/photographs/records AND reads about diaspora communities, social issues, Tuareg music, mental illness, Liberia, and sometimes the joys of living in Brooklyn, of course.

Ali Demirel/Pontus by Ali Demirel
Ali Demirel was born on 12th of May 1989 in Istanbul
Father: industrial designer and interior architect
Mother: graphic designer
Due to his parents he was within fine arts since early childhood. He started making videos in middle school (approx. 6-8th grade; approx. 12 years old). After the band “Sakin” (means calm, quiet, but can also mean citizen) by chance saw the videos Ali made for fun with his friends at high school and wanted a music clip from him, he started entering the video market. Choosing graphic design instead of cinema-TV in university was a risk according to Ali, but turned out to be his best desicion ever because graphic design education gave him the gift of looking at things from a totally different perspective.

Aaron Schraeter/The White Blind
Aaron Schraeter is a contemporary artist born and raised in Queens, NY. Infusing imagery linked to his childhood memories of cartoons, theater, and puppetry, Aaron uses painting and sculpture to deliver a visual experience that skirts the line between the macabre and the light hearted.
Aaron has been showing his artwork in public institutions, such as the MoMA, the Queens Museum, New York Studio Gallery, and pop-up shows all over New York City, since the age of 14. Aaron holds a BA in digital media from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University in Philadelphia, and an MFA from Queens College, CUNY.
When he is not focused on his own artwork, he is often engaged in separate collaborations with his two brothers, who are a musician and a filmmaker, respectively.

Thor Benson /Columnist
Thor Benson is a traveling writer currently based in Portland, Oregon. Benson has been featured in literary journals across the country, including: Black Heart Magazine, Empirical Magazine, The Conium Review, FictionBrigade, and more. He is also a freelance journalist for publications like Vice Magazine,, and DailyKos. Benson can be found at a run-down whiskey bar.

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