Yehor Hrytseniuk
Yehor Hrytseniuk
Mahaut Dumesnil
Kingston Yu
Janai Snagg

Featuring: Anastacia Kuchuk, Anatole Tober, Arlo Shapiro, Asha Sankaran, Donovan Turnacioglu, Fiebe Standaert, Gianna Galluzzi, Janai Snagg, Kareem McLeod, Kingston Yu, Laiken Bennett, Lev Feldsher, Liam Enriquez, Mahaut Dumesnil, Misha Pak, Nicole Krieger, Oliver Lenovitz, Samirah Horton, Sebastian Abimerhi, Sofia Doucette, Tais Soto Vaca, Yehor Hrytseniuk.

In this immersive project, students were tasked with delving into the realm of the surreal using the medium of digital collage. Students were guided to experiment with the boundaries of the ordinary and engage with the absurd, utilizing digital collage-making as a tool for self-expression and exploration of the subconscious mind. Fundamental questions surrounding the manifestation of the absurd in digital art, the role of collage in expressing the subconscious, and the use of symbolism and metaphor to convey profound emotions and meanings within surrealistic compositions were at the forefront of the project’s objectives. By immersing themselves in the process of creating digital collages, participants not only produced visually captivating artworks but also unlocked deeper insights into the human psyche as well as the nature of reality, fantasy, and dreams. Peer feedback sessions and the crafting of individual artist statements provided opportunities for reflection on creative processes, intentions, and personal interpretations of the surreal. Ultimately, this project served as a platform for artistic experimentation and introspection, inviting participants to push the boundaries of their creativity and engage with the enigmatic world of digital surrealism.


About the Artists

I’m Anatole Tober, and I am a student at Leman Manhattan Preparatory School. I am 15 years old and a sophomore who is involved in an extremely rigorous sports team. Even though I’ve spent all my life participating in sports, because my parents were artists, I have been drawing for most of my life. Since I want to be an architect, I am currently taking an architecture class. Over the last few years, I’ve realized that art is one of the best ways for someone to express their emotions and their thoughts, and I’ve felt like it is a great way to escape reality. I am currently on an extremely competitive soccer team in the MLS Next, the biggest soccer league in the United States. But because of this, I barely have time to do any other activities, which forces me to manage my time in a well-organized way. Thank you.


My name is Anastacia Kuchuk, and I am from Ukraine. I am a sophomore and a boarding student at Leman Manhattan Preparatory School. I have been an art enthusiast my whole life, drawing inspiration mainly from my city, Odessa. Odessa is one of the most beautiful cities in Ukraine. I could spend days and nights admiring the historic buildings, listening to the sound of the waves crashing against the shore of the Black Sea, inhaling the fresh air carried by the gentle wind, and witnessing the breathtaking sunsets while wrapped in a cozy blanket. It’s painful to witness Ukraine’s suffering in this war and to be away from my home, filled with sincere people and cherished memories I never thought I’d have to leave behind. I wanted my collage to be unique and intriguing. I chose my favorite hobby, which is volleyball, and included a unique element of space with its captivating colors. I aim for this collage to convey the idea of blending two seemingly unrelated themes without fear of the outcome. Through my collage, I want to convey that every life, every person, is as significant as the stars in space. As my friend once said, “Each person is meant to live and shine with happiness.


My name is Arlo Shapiro and I am a 9th-grade student at Leman Manhattan. I am from New York City and am happy to call it my home. Outside of school, I love to play Magic the Gathering, a collecting card game that uses strategy and creativity to defeat your foes, and to bake. As a student, I participate in digital photography and computer science as electives, and I have a passion for science and math. During my time in digital photography, I have enjoyed combining abstract ideas with well-known ideas in society. When I take pictures, I like to mainly capture inanimate objects and still scenes, and I tend to avoid places with a lot of motion. While being a student at Leman, I have become more confident in myself and I have begun to be more bold with my photography. Thank you for hearing my story and seeing my art.


Hello, I am Asha Sankaran. I am 16 years old. I grew up in Brooklyn until I was 10, and then I moved to the Bay Area, California. I returned to New York this year as a Sophomore at Leman High School. I am a boarding student. I love New York and the environment here. My favorite part about Leman is the people I’ve met and the friends I’ve made. The collage I worked on features a photo taken on my walk to school in California. Instead of walking first thing in the morning, the photo was taken during sunset, and I noticed the harmony of the colors in the sunset. You are unable to see how much emphasis the colors have in the collage; however, another key factor of the image is the emphasis on the lines on the ground. It adds contrast between the white lines and the black road. I added the pyramids because I thought the shape of them was similar to the mountain in the back.


My name is Donovan Turnacioglu, I’m a senior in high school. I was born on October 11th, 2005 in New York City. My mother was adopted from Colombia when she was only a couple of years old and grew up in New Jersey. My dad was born in the US as a 2nd generation immigrant. I have been at Leman for 13 years since I joined in kindergarten and stayed up until my senior year. I will be going to Lehigh University next year to study psychology. I would say most of my work is inspired by my love for film and soccer. I enjoy watching many sports documentaries on players I watch to see how they mentally process everything happening in the game. I am committed to leaving an enduring legacy fueled by passion and innovation in the field of psychology.


I’m Fiebe Standaert, a junior at Leman Manhattan Preparatory School, deeply passionate about photography. My journey as an international student and avid traveler has profoundly influenced my artistic perspective. For me, photography is about capturing memories, embracing creativity, and exploring the world’s beauty. Each place I’ve lived in or visited has contributed to my artistic vision, teaching me to find inspiration in the everyday and unexpected. In my digital photography studies, I’ve learned the importance of slowing down and appreciating the intricate details of my subjects. In today’s fast-paced, technology-driven world, I believe there’s a growing need to pause and truly admire our surroundings. Whether I’m capturing nature’s tranquility, the dynamic energy of landscapes, or the intimacy of human-animal interactions, my aim is to evoke emotional resonance and encourage viewers to see the world in fresh, exciting ways. I’m grateful for the opportunity to share my artistic journey with you and hope that my work inspires a deeper appreciation for the world’s beauty and diversity.


My name is Gianna Galluzzi. I am a 16-year-old student at Léman Manhattan Preparatory School. This May, I will be turning 17. Up until I was four years old, I lived in Westhampton. Since then, I have lived in my apartment in Battery Park. I have lived in New York my whole life and have been at Léman for 6 years, as I joined the school in 6th grade from PS 276, my elementary school. I enjoy reading, spending time with friends and family, hiking, swimming, and watching films in my free time. In school, I participate in the Varsity Volleyball team, The Read-Aloud Club, The National Honor Society, The Duke of Edinburgh Award Program, and many others. I really enjoy the IB HL film class I am in, and photography works with that hand in hand. Both classes have taught me how to utilize the technical features of camera equipment and edit with online software. Specifically, Adobe apps such as Photoshop and Premiere Pro.


I’m Janai Imani Snagg, a student at Léman Manhattan Preparatory School. I am 15 years old and a sophomore who is involved in student council and many different sports teams. Even though I have always been interested in sports, I have always enjoyed arts and crafts. I am currently in an architecture class because I want to pursue a career in architecture, but photography has always been a fun hobby of mine. Along with drawing and painting, I really enjoy taking pictures of my friends and found that I am quite fond of it. The purpose of the work is to evoke something relatable and to depict how life feels for some people. In all three of the collages, there are aspects that all people must experience in common. Over the few years, I realized that art can show many different perspectives, and I wanted to convey the feeling of connection in my collages. I am inspired to create something whenever something happens to me, no matter if it is good or bad. Those experiences shape who I am, and I wanted to convey that because maybe I am not the only one to experience that. Thank you.


Hi, my name is Kareem Walcott-McLeod. I am seventeen years old and I live in Brooklyn, New York. Art has been in my life for as long as I could remember. Growing up, I would always paint, draw, color, make little crafts and so much more. The support from my family really helped my artistic journey start as I can remember they would buy me a vast variety of art supplies every Christmas and birthday whether it was markers, a sketchbook or watercolors. With that being said, I feel as if art has always been a part of me. The main focus of my art is interpretation. I see myself as a very open-minded person and I love hearing perspectives from other people. To me, hearing someone else’s point of view on my artwork is so fascinating. It amazes me how one image could bring out so many different perspectives. Currently, I mostly do collages. I incorporate themes such as human behavior, religion, spirituality, and corruption in various of my artworks. Commenting on the world that I live in truly inspires me to keep creating artwork. However, my work isn’t something that’s linear. It’s constantly changing and I’m constantly experimenting with styles and the things that I like. Discovery and transformation help me to improve myself as an artist.


Hello, I am Kingston Yu. I am 16 years old and soon turning 17 and a student at Léman Manhattan Preparatory School. I was born and raised in Chengdu, China, which was known as the Panda City. I left my city at a very young age. I went to Singapore for school as an international student when I was 13 and moved to New York after spending a year in Singapore. My aim for this surreal collage is to introduce more sides of my city, Chengdu. I am deeply in love with my city as well as obsessed with its culture. This city contains the best memories of my childhood and my love for my family. I was separated from my family since I left when I was 13, I could only see my parents and my sister every year during summer break.


My name is Laiken Bennett, and I am a 15-year-old student, currently a freshman at Leman Manhattan Preparatory School. I take digital photography as an elective and spend the class either taking photos, talking about photos, or editing them. I enjoy reading and writing, as well as capturing pictures of nature. I’m currently learning to play the piano and I also enjoy running as a hobby. Additionally, I take film studies and produce short films for that elective, gaining further experience in working with cameras, lighting, and editing. I use media such as iMovie, Photoshop, digital cameras, and my phone camera. In my free time, I enjoy listening to music, shopping, and spending time with my friends and family. When taking photos, I tend to gravitate towards objects and landscapes, especially candid shots, as I feel they provide a special authenticity.


I’m Lev Feldsher, I’m a 17-year-old student at Léman Manhattan Preparatory School. I’m an American-Israeli, and I’ve lived in New York City for my entire life. Photography has been something that always interested me. I’ve always liked to experiment with different lighting and conditions in order to create photos with true emotion and thought. I also have tried experimenting with digital art, using various Adobe programs to create. In the near future, I plan on moving forward with a career in film production, and I’ve been given opportunities to work on multiple productions this past year. Film and photography are very much intertwined, and they share many of the same elements, while also being drastically different in many ways. I’ve worked with a variety of photography equipment, mainly using Canon DSLR and mirrorless cameras. I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to many different countries and regions, and in many of these places, I take photos of the culture, the environment, and surroundings, and capture moments that I personally want to remember. I think that photography is a very personal and individual thing, and I’ve embraced that with all my works.

My name is Liam Enriquez and I go to Leman Preparatory School. I am in the Digital Photography elective that Leman provides. I enjoy taking pictures with the cameras we use and creating unique and personal artwork. I really enjoyed the collage unit as I was able to make collages unique and personal to myself and about things that I enjoy. Space inspired my collages as space is something I find interesting and I enjoy it very much. I enjoyed making my collage as it allowed me to explore different parts of space and how I could incorporate them into my art. I was also able to create interesting backgrounds to go with my photos which was one of my main goals when creating my art and collages. I faced some challenges when trying to make my art as I didn’t know how to create an image that I really liked, however, I was able to look at other images and gain inspiration from them.


My name is Mahaut Dumesnil and I’m a sophomore at Leman Manhattan Preparatory School. I was raised in Brooklyn but my parents are French, so I spend most of my vacations in a region called Brittany in France. In New York, I like to boulder, shop, read, hang out with my friends, and take pictures on my camera. In the summer, I play tennis and sail the catamaran competitively. My friends and I like to go hiking to a spot overlooking the sea in the afternoons after our training. I want to study architecture, so I’m hoping to get a short internship over the summer. A lot of my family members are architects or designers. My favorite architect is Luis Barragán, who is from Mexico. I would like to travel and discover more of Europe and hopefully East Asia as well. My favorite artist at the moment is my aunt, Margaux De Fouchier (also known as Margaux Avril), who makes really cool music and can be found on Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube, or even Deezer.


My name is Misha Pak. I am a Russian high school student at Leman. During my time at Leman, I have different subjects, including Digital Photography. I was creating surreal collages in Photoshop with three completely different approaches. I took inspiration from video games I played and from TV shows that I watched. One of them is a dark and mysterious collage with representative colors. This was the first collage that I have worked on. This collage is set in a vast and dark space where no one else is there. This collage represents loneliness and the mystery of the unknown. While this collage was dark I also tried to experiment and create the opposite collage. This time it was also set on the moon, but it was rather happy and bright than dark. I used bright colors that represent happiness, for example, pink, red, blue, and yellow. To make this collage brighter I put Sponge Bob surfing. I also tried to mix those themes into one collage. 


I am Nicole Krieger, a 17-year-old from São Paulo, Brazil. I moved to New York in early 2023 and attend Léman Manhattan Preparatory School. I had never done any artistic projects linked to photography until this school year, when I enrolled in a digital photography class, which allowed for more artistic interests than before. I’ve always been interested in art, so being able to explore new mediums has expanded my skills. Learning to use Photoshop has taught me how to properly edit images and incorporate creative and surrealist elements into photography. Surrealist collages have allowed me to express my imagination in a practical and visible way. With my collages, I intended to make them express a theme by using color. I developed a color scheme for each of my collages, allowing for unique and satisfying imagery, while also taking inspiration from surrealist artists. I hope that my collages are satisfying and visually appealing to people.


My name is Oliver Lenovitz Ring. I am a 15-year-old freshman-year student at Leman. I am from New York City. I have always been very interested in photography, even since a young age. My mom studied photography in college. Since my mom studied photography, I became interested in it too. I mainly use my phone to take pictures, but I occasionally use a digital camera too. I mainly take low-exposure pictures of landscapes and objects, as that is what I think looks best. I also like the portrait mode on an iPhone camera because it makes it seem like the object in the image is the only concern. This is my first year taking a photography class, and I have already learned so much. I now know how to use a digital camera, but I am still a beginner and open to learning more. I like using the manual mode best on a camera because it feels as though I have full control over what I am doing, instead of the camera doing the work for me. Things that I like to do outside photography are trombone (which is my other elective), and sports. Thank you for reading my bio and I hope you enjoyed my story.


Hello, My name is Samirah Horton. I am 15 years old and from Brooklyn, New York. I currently attend Leman Preparatory School in Manhattan as a Sophomore. I like playing sports like Basketball, Volleyball, and softball. I also play three instruments: Piano, Guitar, and drums. I am a Professional DJ and I have been since I was 6 years old. I am the DJ for the NBA Team the Brooklyn Nets and I am a top 5 Honoree for Nickelodeon and Time Magazine Kid of the Year. Digital photography has helped me explore a creative form of expression that has expanded my horizons. I can’t name a specific thing that has inspired my work. It mostly comes from pop culture which is a great inspiration for my work. I think that I can’t credit one thing to my inspiration for my artwork besides pop culture. What I like about all art forms is that you can never think wrong, necessarily it’s free, and up to your exposition and feeling and emotion at the time. So whatever I feel or see on social media recently that invokes thought inspires my artwork.


My name is Sebastian Abimerhi, I am part of the digital photography class at Léman Manhattan Preparatory School. I am from Yucatan, Mexico, and I am a boarding student at Leman. I am 16 years old, and this is my first year studying photography in my life.

For all of my work, I took inspiration from some examples on the internet and I used my imagination to modify and perfect them as I wanted to create them. I like to work with non-realistic effects and characters while using things that are related to the same subject. For my collages, I focused on using different colors and environments so that people could see the variety of things that our imagination can think of.

When looking at my work, people should feel calm and relaxed while also having some humoristic sensations and observe the surrealism in it.


My name is Sofia Doucette, and I am a sophomore at Leman Manhattan. I am taking Digital Photography as an elective, and for the past few months I have been learning how a single image can tell a fascinating story. Growing from a child to a young adult in New York City has strongly influenced my art style, as the city can tell so many stories: fun, stressful, calm, and everything in between. From the stylish restaurants to towering skyscrapers, there is always something to see. Away from the busy urban life, I also love the outdoors and enjoy snowboarding and swimming in the ocean. Finding aspects of the outdoors in the city, and aspects of the city in the outdoors also inspires me to look at my surroundings in a different light, and has greatly influenced me in my surreal collage work.


My name is Taís Soto Vaca and I am from Ecuador and Puerto Rico. I live in New Jersey and am a current Sophomore at Leman Manhattan Preparatory. My art forms consist of illustration, painting, and now photography. I began working on my art during the pandemic as I taught myself how to draw people and familiarized myself with different styles. I took up photography after my Freshman Studio Art teacher recommended I learn to engage and create art in different mediums to improve my abilities. My creations play with colorful elements and bizarre imagery as I take influence from my upbringing in mural-filled Chile. Additionally, I take inspiration from social and political issues such as sexism and wars as I switch the narrative showing the effect hate can have. Furthermore, I draw inspiration from different decades and blend progressive concepts of social justice with retro images in an ironic juxtaposition. However, I also enjoy drawing family members, short stories, and film characters. My art is constantly evolving as I grow up and explore new mediums allowing me to hone different skills in how I create and discuss art.


My name is Yehor Hrytseniuk, I am a 10th-grade student at Leman Manhattan Preparatory School. I was born in the capital of Ukraine, in Kyiv. This year I decided to take Digital Photography as one of my electives, as this class was interesting for me, and I believe the skills we cover in this class will be useful for me in the future. The unit on collages left me with good feelings and lots of new knowledge. In all three collages, I used completely different ideas. For my first collage, I wanted to connect ideas of time traveling and history, as I showed a portal from ancient ruins to a magic forest. In my second collage, I aimed to depict a perfect train view, as I take trains often and always look out the window, as I said, the second collage shows my imagination of a perfect train ride. In the third collage, I depicted greatness that was caused by the huge statue of Octavian August behind mountains.


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    Léman Manhattan Preparatory School

    Located in the heart of New York City’s most historic district, Léman Manhattan Preparatory School is a co-educational independent learning community and International Baccalaureate World School committed to educating, empowering, and inspiring students from early childhood through 12th grade to be confident, independent critical thinkers.

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Exploring the Surreal: Digital Collage as a Medium for Self-Expression and Subconscious Exploration

 coming soon

Featuring: Various Artists

Curated by: Ilona Lieberman

Presented by: Léman Manhattan Preparatory School & Photoville, in parternship with PhotoWings
  • Léman Manhattan Preparatory School
  • Photoville
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ON VIEW AT: PhotoCube 42

View Location Details Brooklyn Bridge Park – Emily Warren Roebling Plaza

1 Water St
Brooklyn, NY 11201

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This location is part of Brooklyn Bridge Park
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Recipient of the 2024 Photoville & PhotoWings Educator Exhibition Grant.

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