Eliana Marinari

Eliana creates blurred portraits by applying different layers of soften pastel and spray paint in order to challenge the viewers' brain.

Legend has that the renowned war photographer Robert Capa has his D-Day films burnt in the development process. The only 11 photographs saved were blurred. An art critic defined those 11 pictures “slightly out of focus”, a catchphrase that became the title of Capa’s autobiography.

Slightly out of focus are also Eliana Marinari‘s artworks. At the end of October I was supposed to meet Eliana in her studio in Geneva. unfortunately Covid restrictions didn’t allow me to travel and I couldn’t enjoy her artworks live. We had a video call instead and I had the opportunity to ask her few questions about her practice and her life in Switzerland and I could see a few of her latest pieces.

Eliana creates blurred portraits by applying different layers of soften pastel and spray paint in order to challenge the viewers’ brain. Her current technique is the result of an ongoing process. Over the years she experimented multiple materials in order to perfect the blurred effect and to obtain a texture, a grain that enhances the drawing. Paper is her favourite support so far.

” I like how the colours soften on paper, I think is the best support for the effect I want to achieve”

Eliana creates fictitious portraits mixing together features from different people, sometimes even from herself. The idea is to create a something that is familiar as archetypical but doesn’t really exist, questioning the power of representation.

Having both a scientific and an artistic background Eliana focuses on our brain processes of recognition, memories recollection and semantic association. Instead of trigger a visual perception, her works force us to watch with our minds, activating inferences, assumptions and memories.

On this matter, she told me how difficult is to show her works through social media as sometimes they are mistaken for blurred photographs, loosing the depth of her research.

“I began to photograph myself together with the artworks to show that the picture is not blurred, the paintings are…”

Eliana moved from London to Geneva few years ago. A big change, obviously. As an artist she found herself a bit isolated at the beginning. She felt that there wasn’t a proper art scene, there were different people working on their own, lacking a sense of community. She decided to do something about it. Engaging with other artists in creating events, activities and networking occasions she is now building a community to support and promote artistic expressions.

Unfortunately the pandemic forced her to postpone few events, but she has definitely something on her plate and I can’t wait to see her next show. Keep updated here or on her website: www.elianamarinari.com

Semantics of Pink, 2019, pastel, pencil, ink, pigment and spray paint on paper, mounted on panel, 40 x 30 cm, courtesy of the artist
Once Nr. 2, 2018, acrylic, pastel, ink, spray paint on paper mounted on panel, 100 x 90 cm, courtesy of the artist
Fade away Nr. 3, 2019, pastel, pencil, ink, spray paint on paper, mounted on panel, 40 x 30 cm, courtesy of the artist

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