Energy In Motion: From Painting To Digital Art In The Photography Of Federica Marin

“People never appear in my photographs, this is out of a sort of respect and modesty that I have in showing the human figure”.

Architect, artist, photographer: Federica Marin has cultivated these three disciplines in alternating phases, enclosing them, however, always in a single world, within herself. “The arts are a unique dimension, because you can use them in different ways. Everyone creates their own,” Marin says.

In recent years, the artist’s focus has been on photography; her images are worked with digital techniques, but have deep processes and knowledge behind them, based on manual skills and artistic and architectural culture. Federica Marin’s story begins when she was a child, when, with a small Japanese automatic camera, she took pictures of television images and reproduced them by drawing them. Federica says: “When I was eight years old, I accompanied my mother, a teacher, on a school trip to Florence and I was enchanted by the works of Leon Battista Alberti. It was then that I decided to study architecture. Federica Marin grew up amidst the smell of her mother’s oil paints, a painter as well as a teacher, and studied at the Art School. “In those years, thanks to a particular address of my school, I was able to learn all the techniques of photography and development, while continuing to practice artistic and technical drawing,” explains the artist. “Thanks to the school, I even started exhibiting and selling my first paintings,” she concludes.

After high school, Federica Marin moved from Udine, her hometown, to Milan, where she graduated in architecture and taught at the university. But her path as a photographer takes off in her native Udine, where she has to return because of her father’s death. The artist tells: “The first important exhibition I set up in the prestigious Villa Manin in Passariano. I had started the research of the dynamic element in photography, in its meaning of energy, I was no longer satisfied with the traditional static images, I wanted to reproduce the movement I perceived; even a tree, through digital retouching and color, was transformed into emotion”. A research that Federica continues over time, at the same time as painting, up to the latest photographic creations. The artist continues: “In a personal exhibition in Rome, I exhibited the images taken inside the deepest and most ancient caves of the Carso, where I went with a group of geologists. I looked for something that you can’t see in the dark, but that appears with light. There are stalactites and stalagmites among the most ancient in the world, that inside keep metals, such as copper, that reflect the light”. Among Federica Marin’s other salient experiences is a work she conducted in the mountains, a place of passion, taking photos of a drop of water in a lake at 1900 meters above sea level. “I was looking for, in the small, the universal laws that are above us,” Marin explains. Another important project Federica Marin did in contact with the world of fashion, side by side with the designers of the maison Missoni. “The mannequins and the shop windows represent all of us, but in a more detached way”, explains Marin, “people never appear in my photographs, this is out of a sort of respect and modesty that I have in showing the human figure. Unless someone explicitly asks me for a portrait”.

Another exception to the important rule that Federica Marin has given herself is represented by the series of famous faces, especially female, that the photographer has graphically elaborated: from Sofia Loren to Maria Callas, passing through Massimo Troisi (an image, the latter, exhibited in the exhibition Troisi Poeta Massimo, held in Naples in the summer of 2021), Marin’s faces have obtained considerable success and are now requested for other exhibitions. “To create something it is important to start from what is in the world and that is enclosed in images within each of us; then comes the manual drawing, which I have never abandoned, finally to digital processing,” explains the artist. From October 2021 until March 2022, a selection of Federica Marin’s works will be on display in Abu Dhabi, representing Italian contemporary art within the Universal Expo.

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