Photo & Art Direction: Mária Švarbová
Costume Design: Martina Siranova
Mária Švarbová was born in 1988 in Slovakia. Despite studying restoration and archeology, she found a medium for her artistic expression in photography. Since 2010, she has focused on developing her own photographic language, quickly gaining international recognition. Amongst awards, solo and group exhibitions, her work has been featured in Vogue, Guardian, Instagram, and many other publications. Highlights of her commercial work include commission for promotional poster displayed at the Taiwanese landmark, 101 skyscraper.
Mária has developed a distinctive style early on – departing from traditional portraits to focus on experimentation with space, colour and atmosphere. Her interest in architecture and public spaces, usually build in the Socialist era, led her to create unique sceneries. Human body in Mária’s photographs is more or less a prop, without individuality or emotions. As part of careful composition, beautifully alien figures create still, dream-like scenes with ordinary objects. There is a silent tension, the drama is hidden under clean, smooth surface. Even in her more ornamental, nostalgic works there is a sense of cold detachment. Everyday actions such as sports or doctors visit are frozen in a moment and through Mária’s eyes, given a new meaning. Soothing pastels, geometry and visual purity give a sense of otherworldly order, undisturbed visual pleasure that is unattainable in real life. Through her photographs, Mária stops the time and shares her vision: she is not afraid to address the loneliness and isolation, nevertheless she chooses to celebrate its still, calm beauty.
Winner of International Photography Awards 2016.