On The Edge

by Lena

Gregory-Kuiper-Elena-Levon-Miami-Photoshoot-Photo-shoot-black-and-white-cuban-art-nude-vintage-1920's-style-fashion - 13

Just a week prior to my dusty cowboy boots, breathlessly hitting my 6th continent, they were tested for survival skills, in a most telling way…

For several weeks, I was literally “on the edge”… My health was at its worst and I had promised my friend, legendary photographer, Robert Farber, to come to Miami for a Photography Workshop with his protegé Gregory Kuiper.

I was trying to do my best to get better and stronger. Barely could get out of bed, feeling faint and extremely weak, I was using Mr. Bond’s arm, as the crutch. “This is not fair at all! He is twice my age and I am the one who can barely get out of bed in the mornings!” – I thought to myself, as tears ran down my cheeks.

“Lena, you don’t have to go to Miami, just call Robert and tell him, that you are just too sick. He and Greg will understand.” – This was Mr. Bond’s advice.

“No!!! I am going to Miami even if it will kill me! I have made a promise and I can’t see a better way to live and die – Making Art!.. I will crawl to that photo-shoot if I have to!” – Was my reply in a form of an overwhelmingly agonizing scream. (Please, someone, get Mr. Bond a medal, already) The weakness was taking over, but my love for Art and creating were not going to let it win.

I got on the plane all weak and still very much sick, but excited to do some creative work. Plane from New York to Miami, was also delayed a couple of hours and Greg thought I would probably have to stay an extra day, because of the missed hours. When I arrived at the historic Biltmore Hotel, something magical happened.

I took a shower, swallowed my medication, styled my hair, changed into “I’m ready for my close-up” outfit, smiled to my own reflection in a mirror, took the elevator downstairs and flew into hotel’s courtyard like a bird who has been released from years inside a cage. Robert, Greg and I created about 1500 solid shots in a couple of hours, before dinner.

In the next days, I danced, sang, cried, ran, jumped, swirled, laughed and lived on the very edge of insanity.

I was inside a “No man’s land” …

Suspended in my creative matrix, which I made with music, as my very own protective shield — all the weakness, pain and agony disappeared. All that was left, was my soul, that kept painting colorful stories on blank canvases.


People are afraid of loss, changes, getting older and death…

I’m not…

I dance with my fears.

I dance with them passionately, colorfully, until the very last drop of pain and pleasure…

Into nowhere…

Into infinite emptiness…


Mentor/Director – Robert Farber

Photographer – Gregory Kuiper

Artist/Wardrobe/Styling/Concept and Idea – Elena Levon

Location – Miami, USA

November 2015


The woman behind The Edge …










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