Sanja Marusic’s unique, vibrantly coloured compositions are a real eye-catcher. Mixing bodies, geometric forms, lively palettes, human sculptures, painting and digital retouching, the artist develops a universe recognisable among a thousand, in which intimate projects are born. The Croatian-born photographer discovered the medium at the age of 14, thanks to her parents’ camera. Three years later, she entered art school and began to learn more about photography. Today, at the age of 29, she creates intuitive and graphic artworks, where brushstrokes intersect with analogue photography. A process requiring a certain concentration and a cool head. Alternating commissions and personal work, she travels all around the world and finds inspiration in the landscapes she crosses to erect her photographic canvases.
Produced in 2019, Eutierria reads like a passionate letter to her husband. Conceived after their wedding, the series encapsulates their love-drunk wanderings in psychedelic territory. One year later, Sanja Marusic started Before You, a colourful visual diary, recounting the transformations of her body during her pregnancy. Two works imagined as echoes, each one reporting on the transformations of a relationship, its progress towards unsuspected depths.
An invitation to plenitude
There is no denying the pictorial influence present in the artist’s images. Covering bodies and nature with multicoloured flat tints, Sanja Marusic pays homage to the folk and naive arts – stylistic currents that deliberately do not respect the rules of perspective, the intensity of nuances or the precision of drawing. Set in surreal and contrasting settings, her models – her husband and herself – play with the notions of horizon and scale. “I draw a lot of inspiration from Polish, Russian and Mexican painters, as well as from embroidery and paintings on objects”, says the artist, who cites “Soviet art of the 1930s” as one of her favourite periods. A decade marked in particular by graphic propaganda posters, and the birth of Supremacism, then Constructivism, two movements favouring geometric figures and primary colours.
For the photographer transforms silhouettes into angular forms. She draws circles on her rounded belly and breasts, turning her backgrounds into colourful tapestries. A way of blending into her world and becoming one with a fantasised nature – the term Eutierria, coined by the Australian philosopher Glenn A. Albrecht also refers to the feeling of being part of one’s surroundings. By taking care of her aesthetics, Sanja Marusic proposes, like Russian artists, a metaphysical reading of her art. An invitation to plenitude. Contorting the bodies to form hybrid beings with multiple limbs, the photographer confides that she “had difficulty holding the different poses [present in the series]. This is why my face is visible in my photos for the first time: it expresses a feeling of self-control, confidence and calmness.” A serenity that she finds by painting on her images, in post-production. Splendid, her artworks thus present readers with two very distinct declarations of love: one to her soul mate and the other to art.
© Sanja Marusic