La Greca Magazine
"Oh! That's one I've missed” I exclaimed in a split second unavoidably questioning my knowledge of classic Italian and Flemish masters. That painting surely didn't ring a bell.
Like in a Caravaggio, light was skillfully shed directly on the main subjects engaged in a game of shadows amongst the wrinkles, the hair and the feet of a blonde little girl. I had to pay a closer look to realize that the child clumsily squeezing life out of those strawberries was not a Renaissance creation. The dim calligraphic watermark in the top left corner read Melina Nastazia Photography.
It is true, Melina has always been a romantic soul, and a very talented one too. Gazing through the rest of her work, I could recognize HER all over. It was HER I saw in the faces of my beloved schoolmate’s daughters, who playfully posed as her models - or rather her muses - with an exceptionally professional discipline. SHE is the curious little Alice in Wonderland, the young beauty in the Greek island dress and the twirling ballerina of Degas. The way I see it, Melina’s photographs are inspired by various themes of her past, her roots - our roots -, her grandmother’s fairytales, older paintings, vintage memories and a rare elegance.
Between the 15th and the 19th century the norm in painting was the representation of light in order to create illusions that tricked the eye into believing the image was real. And now, after a swift from impressionism to expressionism, abstract art and cubism, there are modern painters who also experiment with depicting reality at a tremendously accurate degree.
Ironically, several photographers seem to reverse things. For many contemporary artistic photographers light is now the means to create another kind of reverse illusion, that of a painted image. With the use of digital technology, computer-generated effects, special color filters and cutting-edge lenses these artists can capture reality as transformed through rays of artificial or natural light. The outcome can be abstract, nonsensical, surreal, magical, or – as in the case of Melina - overflowing with nostalgia for innocence and hope for the future only the look of a child can evoke.