Interview: Marian Otero
Luca Curci talks with Marian Otero during CONSCIOUSNESS, second appointment of the ANIMA MUNDI 2022, at Palazzo Bembo – Venice Grand Canal.
I was born in Madrid. I graduated in Economics and I started working for six years as part of the Warner Music finance team in Spain. Following this, I relocated to London and took a career break before returning to my hometown to professionally pursue my passion for Photography. I aim to express the invisible within the visible through my photos, the essence that forms an individual as well as transmitting unspoken stories through imagery which, at times, changes the very nature of the objects portrayed. Each photography has its own unique history that starts with the fusion of perspective, intention, and emotion at the press of the shutter release. I do not photograph what I see but rather what I feel. It is a process by which I translate my way of seeing reality through a particular language to convey that which I cannot express through words.
Luca Curci – Which subject are you working on?
Marian Otero – I am currently working on a particular style of abstract photography through the search for specific images within Nature while experimenting with different techniques throughout the editing process.
LC – How did you get to your current artistic practice?
MO – I have been interested in photography from a young age but I, unfortunately, did not complete any professional studies until 2016 (Obtained the title of “experto universitario en fotografia profesional aplicada”), when I came back to Madrid after living 18 years in London. My first exhibition was in 2018 in New York (Artbox Project in Armory Show Artweeks), then my second exhibition was in July 2021 after finishing first place in a well-known National Spanish Photography Competition (“Abeja de oro” 66th edition). In October 2021 two of my photographs were showcased at Luis Gonzaga center, a socio-cultural center run by the Madrid City Council. Furthermore, nine of my photographs are currently showcased at the Four Seasons hotel in Madrid and in Flecha, an international art gallery located in Madrid.
LC – What is the most challenging part about creating your artworks?
MO – The process of searching for new ideas to create a new photographic series. I don´t assume that my gaze captures everything, therefore, I try to look deeper and find the very essence of the object on which I lay my sight. I feel obligated to quote Ansel Adams, as I believe he truly and eloquently describes my creative process: “You don´t make a photograph just with your camera. You bring to the act of photography all pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.”
LC – Are your artworks focused on a specific theme?
MO – My inspiration mainly comes from Nature. I try to find the intrinsic connection between what Nature and humans share with each other. I attempt to describe similar features that can be found within both worlds through visual metaphors, where the viewer must get involved in order to find meaning.
LC – Do you use art to express something in particular? Is it your medium of expression?
MO – I think art is a form that allows the expression of thoughts and emotions. A universal language that permits us to express that which cannot be described through words. It establishes a connection between each individual and their own emotional experiences. It is an attempt to describe the unseen within the visual world, the true essence, which can be uniquely interpreted by the contrasting perspectives and subjective realities of each observer. Consequently, I unintentionally become inspired and try to build upon all these features while taking my photographs.
LC – In which way the artwork presented in our exhibition is connected with the exhibition’s theme?
MO – The concept of the exhibition falls perfectly in line with my work. The imperceptible energy behind all beings that gives them life. My series of six photographs called “Nature submerged” tries to portray the intrinsic connection between flowers and human features (fragile, ephemeral, beauty, energy).
LC – Can you explain something about the artworks you have in our exhibition?
MO – During the lockdown, when I couldn’t take photographs outside, I was inspired to be creative at home and experimented with capturing flowers submerged in water with infused liquids. Flowers caged in an unusual medium but somehow still thriving, a similar portrayal of my own feelings when lockdown started in Madrid. In order to get the perfect shot, I placed the flowers in a fish tank and used weights to keep the flowers under water and, additionally, poured a variety of pigmented liquids. It felt as though my studio had briefly transformed itself into a laboratory. I was gladly surprised by the result of my work.
LC – What do you think about ITSLIQUID Platform?
MO – ITSLIQUID provides a beautiful setting for artists to exhibit their work. I believe that ITSLIQUID gives artists exposure and can help them acquire international credibility on social media.
LC – What do you think about the organization of our event?
MO – I am thrilled to be part of this event hosted in Venice. The Venetian setting at Palazzo Bembo was amazing and the organization has been very
professional, as well as the publicity of the artworks and artists through social media. The international atmosphere created by all the artists from different countries and backgrounds was both interesting and intellectually stimulating.