Maleonn’s theatrical and painterly photographic world cannot be completely classified. He turns to aesthetic expressionism “to demonstrate the labyrinth of our spirits,” preferring his work “to be the same as my spiritual world: complex and profound, kind and wicked, naïve and cruel, suspicious and trustful, painful and happy, all existing at the same time and becoming more real by virtue of their interaction.”

From meticulous choreography on the one hand to last- minute flashes of imagination on the other, Maleonn’s fantastical compositions emerge from a series of intuitive judgments, starting with the raw idea that he draws as a kind of storyboard. Intuition continues to govern through to the moment he takes the photograph; Maleonn will often change his initial sketchedout scheme for the photograph when something wonderfully unexpected happens.

For some works, Maleonn follows intuition even further into artistic manipulation of the image. Black and white images are transformed into colourized artworks, whether by painting with computer tools or, as with the recent Portraits of Mephisto series, by hand-painting a print in watercolour: “I abandon the true colours of the actual scene I have photographed,” Maleonn says, “and turn to the colours of my imagination and in my memories.”