Marietta Varga is a Hungarian, Budapest-based photography artist who shoots stunning photographs that portray intimate feelings. She completed her studies in photography at the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design in Budapest. Her photos are simple, clean, and have an outstanding visual balance that looks almost surreal. Her creative journey started with more personal projects where she expressed her personal experiences and used them therapeutically to be a better version of herself, both for her life and her art. Nowadays, her art is concentrated on architectural photography, and her subjects are more objective, but even her architectural photos can create a sense of wonder, which makes her works unique. The mix of her visual style and thoughts are the key to creating these highly aesthetic scenes that look surreal. She describes them as representing a world where she wants to live; considering how magnificent they are, she is not the only one who wants to live in those places.
Photography was a way for you to get to know yourself and your works were more personal at the beginning, how was your journey to know yourself with art?
I became highly interested in photography at the age of 19. Now this was the same period when I reached adulthood. Many confusing feelings and questions wandered in my mind (as I am sure many adolescents experience the same at this stage). Frankly, I was struggling to tackle these thoughts and often I was not able to put into words the feelings I had. Luckily, I have realized that the medium of photography is able to build a bridge between me and the way I express myself.
I started using symbols and I soon noticed that my photographs act as sort of an "alienating tool" since I was able to express my feelings and talk about them after I created the photos. By doing so, it was clear for me that I was able to dredge up a number of repressed feelings or events that I was struggling to process and cope with. Discovering this ‘technique’ meant a massive help and it was a key factor in the development of my personality.
You prefer to use especially pastel color pallets in you works, what feeling do you want to give with your works through your color preferences?
For me pastel colors embody nostalgia, dreaminess and almost a sort of otherworldly feeling. The subjects that keep my mind occupied and that are the basis of my projects these days often relate to these feelings and concepts. Through my photographs I endeavor to deliver my message for the viewer as accurately as possible. For this I apply visual elements consciously (just like my color palette).
It is possible that as my personality changes in life, the message of my art might alter too one day. Along this line the use of pastel colors might not be exclusive in the future but it is definitely a key characteristic of my current works.
Compositions you create by locations through your lens give a feeling of a surreal place, what are your criterions while choosing the places?
It frequently happens in my everyday that I search for special angles in any given space unintentionally. I try to find these angles and the connection of the space by decontextualizing the detail from the ‘wider picture’ hence giving a new sense of the space. I love this little game - when I move a tiny bit in space and I find that particular angle that I was looking for, it imbues me with a peculiar feeling and satisfaction. Very likely this sensitivity derives from my endless love of architecture.
However, there are places, let it be built or natural, that embody far more exciting possibilities to discover than others. Over the years I have started to observe and search for these potential spaces intentionally - I can say that most of the time my hope becomes reality.
It looks like Town Siofok II. Project has a special place for you, what makes it so special?
I believe that My Town Siófok II. has a special place in my heart partly because of the way it was born and my memories of it. On the other hand, a few of those elements came together when creating this series that still define my art, both visually and in my creative approach. I feel like at that point I have reached an important change and milestone in my photographic journey. Although, I have realized this at a later stage as it was not a conscious shift but the result of a longer process.
Your shootings evolved from personal to more objective within time, what made you evolve your art?
My last thoughts given in the previous question are also relevant here. Everyone has milestones in their life and the same applies in their work - in my case this is photography.I think these two things cannot be separated from each other. The change in my approach might have started after I finished my BA studies and when I moved abroad for some time at the end of summer. This brought about numerous changes in a lot of aspects in my life. I experienced a lot of new things.
I have stepped out of those subjects that centered around the deep analysis of myself and as I opened up thanks to new impulses I have found new subjects in my work.
At the time, my photographs have started to evolve around the subtle balance of objectivity and subjectivity.
Also, I have experienced a shift since the beginning of the pandemic and the first lockdown. I have started to combine fine-art photography with installation art in various projects and both of these genres play an important role evenly in my conception. This new field is highly exciting and I expect it will call forth big surprises for me in the future.