Interview: Maria Worobyova
Luca Curci talks with Maria Worobyova during CONTEMPORARY VENICE 2021 – THE SECRET GARDEN, at Misericordia Archives.
Maria Worobyova (born in 1996) is an artist and designer based in Moscow, Russia. She graduated from Stroganov Academy of Arts and took part in several exhibitions and fairs in Russia and Europe. Working mainly with painting and drawing, she turns to the theme of travel memories. The images of the past in her works are fluid and changeable, they are refracted through subsequent experience and present mood, giving birth to the memories of the future. The artist is close to the aesthetics of Impressionism: she seeks to capture simple but vivid impressions and tries to demonstrate the beauty of every moment. However, plein-air vision here is combined with deep reflection, recalling and restoring the fragments lost in memory with abstract painting. The immediacy of impressions and the inconstancy of memory are also reflected in technique: it leaves a place for unpredictability, chance, and with it, life itself.
Luca Curci – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
Maria Worobyova – Art for me is a way to change a reality surrounding me. When I work on painting, my feelings and mind are changing. In the process, you don’t think about the outcome, you end up feeling differently, all the feelings end up in the picture. The part of me felt painting through the plein air etudes. I saw in painting an opportunity to combine the expression of myself and my impression of the beauty of the world, my love for the world, my desire to travel. It makes the image more complete and more profound. It gives an appeal to the source, to the beginning of my I, where the desire to paint comes from. The possibility of painting in the plenary always creates a new and powerful influence, possibly also changing my perception and even my technique. It allows me to look at myself in a new way. And I also realise that I probably won’t be able to keep quiet when I see new country for the first time. I need a way to express my admiration. I always get excited when I see a new landscape: perhaps it will give birth to a new big series, a new theme in my work.
LC – Which subject are you working on?
MW – Now I’m working on a self-portrait series “Female. Memories of the future.” The series of works shows a naked girl painting herself. Nudity here is a metaphor for spiritual nudity on the one hand, and openness and naturalness on the other. Female nudity is a symbol of naturalness and sensuality. The point of the work is to convey the sensuality of the moment, sensual perception of the world as a natural way of experiencing the world. Time is one of the key themes of the series.
LC – What is your creative process like?
MW – When I paint I always start with a particular image, but then I follow the way the material speaks and the way my hands feel it. It’s such a peculiar texture of the soul. If I have painted for real, if in that moment there was that true expression, I then look at the brushstrokes on the canvas as something native, I take it as a part of me.
LC – Are your artworks focused on a specific theme?
MW – I also feel an interest in the process of creation, in where the feeling comes from and how it is created. This theme is also reflected in the conceived series of works. The moment of impulse, the moment of sending, the moment when the feeling arises. What happens if you suppress it and don’t express it? And what if you express it? My art reflect the future, it reflect the me who is incredibly excited by every new country, who looks at new landscapes, who revels in the possibility of seeing something special and new at the tips of her fingers. I create series based on memories of the beauty of trips and impressions from them, wondering whose memories are mine of the buildings or the buildings’ of me?
LC – How is being an artist nowadays?
MW – In Maugham’s The Theatre, there is a description of how Julia is unable to play, at the mercy of the moment, the feelings she is actually experiencing. In order to fully express the image, you have to experience certain sensations in reality and then step back a little and play them. An actress, an artist, a poet, a musician – they are essentially the same thing, one and the same substance, they are based on the same origin. The only difference is what came first, the strings, the words or the colours, what language it spoke. This idea can be seen in various works touching on the theme of the artist’s message. The word Artist means actor in Russian, and the coincidence is not surprising. What an artist does is also an act. I think, this is especially true these days, when a sense of lightness and connectedness is important. It’s really important to сreate connections between people. The world becomes fuller if everyone talks about something that is important to them. What is simple to one is unique to another. It’s like a constellation…I think, it is important to talk, to share. Until you tell someone else, you may not realize you are thinking it.
LC – What is the message linked to the artwork you have shown in this exhibition? How is it connected to the theme of the entire festival?
MW – Vibrant texture due to the use of linseed oil instead of solvent. You listen to what the material has to say, go for it. An element of chance. You don’t know what you’ll get at the beginning. Process of creating art means double reflection: not only the memory, but also the emotion of the present. Remembering an image… Memories of the future as an attempt to remember, to fix what you will forget or have almost forgotten. Whose memory is this? Mine about the buildings? Or the memory of the buildings about me? My goal is telling the beauty of the moment by placing it outside of time. See something special and talk about it. You start to speak out, no matter what the topic, and your voice opens up. A way of opening up. To understand what is important and what is not just in place and in the moment.
LC – We were attracted by your last artistic production, has the artwork presented been created for the festival or as a part of preexisting works?
MW – The work “Sardinian paintings. Sardegna” is a part of “Sardinian paintings” series, inspired by my first travel to Sardinia in 2018.
LC – What do you think about ITSLIQUID Platform?
MW – I think that ITSLIQUID Platform is great opportunity to bring together many talented artists from different countries and connect their statements together. This is a great opportunity to create a connection between people, between artists and everyone interested in art.
LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
MW – For me personally, Venice has a special meaning. This exhibition is particularly important to me. I think that for artists, the ITSLIQUID GROUP really opens up the opportunity to be seen and heard. Moreover, it is very important that ITSLIQUID GROUP exhibitions take place in places with cultural history, bringing together artists from different eras, classical and contemporary art. It’s really great mission.