Eliana Marinari’s practice is based on a long tradition of drawing. Reinterpreting the genres of the landscape and the portrait as a means to challenge our perception of reality, her work reflects a fascination for the power of images and explores the human capacity to refer to a visual object and generate semantic associations.
Trained in classical drawing in Florence, Eliana Marinari also received a doctorate in neuroscience in London, focusing on the perception of image. Her artistic research brushes up against scientific studies by demonstrating the illusory quality of visual perception, which queries the truth of the visible. She brings to light subjects taken from reality by obscuring them, questioning in this way the power of representation.
The very detailed technique she has developed involves numerous stages. She begins with photographs selected from magazines or personal archives, which she then cuts, assembles, redraws in graphite or colored pencils and then enhances with pastels. Next, she sprays on acrylic colors and finishes with a final layer, the “glaze”, which shrouds the initial drawing like a Renaissance-style sfumato. The point of departure vanishes amidst the transformation, generating a distancing effect that unsettles the gaze. “The deconstructed image imitates our mind’s process of creating a visual representation and brings time, memory, loss, and an emotional narrative to the subject,” she specifies.
Very inspired by the work of Gerhard Richter, the artist paints only female portraits which seem to want to escape from the encounter. The colors—sometimes bright—and the subject’s expression disappear in a questioning and existential haze. The plants are haloed in the same romantic and sometimes worrying mist, punctuated by several stronger spots of color.
Beyond her artistic work, Eliana Marinari looks to bring the visitor into a dialogue with her recomposed faces, curious about what types of memory they call to mind, what relationships they evoke. Because it is in this dialogue that she constructs them, the process of creation being a source, for herself, of surprises and discoveries at each stage.
The two series represented, Recognition and Recollection, bring together recent work, both portraits and plants.