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A conversation with Marta Zgierska

episode 10
Dec 18 2019

Artist Marta Zgierska shares the process of creating intimate, vulnerable artwork based on her own personal experiences.

About our guest
Marta Zgierska explores trauma, liminal experiences, and working with the body through her stunning photographic images. In her current work, she explores the canons of feminine beauty and undermines the pressure that the contemporary society exerts on the woman’s image. She brings a personal touch to each piece, often placing herself in the role of the object of performance. In 2019 she was named Artist of the Year at the DongGang International Photo Festival in South Korea. Her works can be found in the collection of HSBC Foundation and in many private collections.



Resources mentioned
Gowen Contemporarywhich we thanks very much for their collaboration in this episode

“For me it’s more about finding some common feelings and some common structure which we have in the trauma experiences“

Marta Zgierska, Votive Figure II, 2019
Pigment print, 130 x 92 cm, Ed. of 3 + 2 AP

Marta Zgierska, Votive Figure I, 2019 Pigment print, 57.2 x 80 cm, Ed. of 5 + 2 AP

Marta Zgierska, Afterbeauty VIII, 2018, Pigment print, 40 x 28,6 cm Edition of 3 + 2AP

Marta Zgierska, Afterbeauty I, 2018, Pigment print, 40 x 28,6 cm Edition of 3 + 2AP

Joining us today is Marta Zgierska, a Polish artist exploring the idea of beauty, intimacy, and the feminine body through her photography work. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Photography, in addition to Masters of Art degrees in Theatrology and Journalism.

Her artwork is inspired by her personal experiences, emotions, and feelings. Her breakthrough series, Post, was based on her experiences after a serious car accident and the resulting physical and mental trauma it caused.

Creating artwork everyone can relate to

Although she uses her personal life as material, she also focuses on making each piece relatable to the viewers, tapping into the everyday fears, anxieties, and passions that we all experience.

“For me it’s more about finding some common feelings and some common structure which we have in the trauma experiences, and picking some kind of new point of view,” she says.

In each of her series, she works to identify the most important theme she is thinking about at the time, and then expand it into a commentary that everyone can relate to and contemplate.

Pushing back against the beauty industry’s narrative

Her newest series, Votive Figures, incorporates themes similar to her earlier work, but takes the art a step further, creating artistic commentary on the double edged sword of how we perceive and related to themes such as beauty, femininity, the beauty market, and how our perceptions change based on outside influences such as Instagram or social media.

“I play with contrast in the visible photographic process,” she says,  “the contrast between the sweet image and the painful and dangerous ... process of pouring hot wax on your face, eyes and body.”

She said these are subjects she is very close to, at this time in her life. “I think about all this stuff because I also feel it’s very personal now,” she says.  “I’m 30 years old, I should ... look good… be present and have a job.” 


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Frédéric Elkaïm
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